The Future

A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou

‘A Brave and Startling Truth’ by Maya Angelou is a commonly quoted poem about humanity’s future. The poet alludes to the “truth” that humanity will arrive at when “we” realize we are the one true wonder of the world. 

A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou Visual Representation

Knocking Around by John Ashbery

‘Knocking Around’ by John Ashbery is a thoughtful and image-rich contemporary poem about life. The four stanzas use a variety of examples of figurative language to describe the lights and darks or the days and nights, or life. 

Knocking Around by John Ashbery Visual Representation

Freedom by Rabindranath Tagore

‘Freedom’ by Rabindranath Tagore is a powerful and effective poem about freedom. The speaker spends the seventeen lines of the poem describing the kind of freedom he hopes his country will find.

Freedom by Rabindranath Tagore Visual Representation

The Planners by Boey Kim Cheng

‘The Planners’ by Boey Kim Cheng is a powerful poem about the way that development and the creation of new infrastructure makes the world a less interesting place to live in. 

The Planners by Boey Kim Cheng Visual Representation

One’s-Self I Sing by Walt Whitman

‘One’s-Self I Sing’ by Walt Whitman is a short poem that explores a few of the themes Whitman is going to use in Inscriptions. The poem celebrates the beauty and wonder of the common and separate identities of humanity. 

One's-Self I Sing by Walt Whitman Visual Representation

Alarum by Amanda Gorman

‘Alarum’ by Amanda Gorman speaks about extinction and the climate crisis, alluding to the fate of humankind if nothing changes. 

Alarum by Amanda Gorman Visual Representation

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles by John Keats

‘On Seeing the Elgin Marbles’ by John Keats is a poem about mortality. The speaker observes the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum and is moved by their power. 

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles by John Keats Visual Representation

Legacy by Rupi Kaur

‘Legacy,’ also sometimes known as ’I stand on the sacrifices’ is one of Rupi Kaur’s best-known poems. It is about the sacrifices women have made throughout time to improve the lives of women who followed.

Legacy by Rupi Kaur Visual Representation

The Rain by Robert Creeley

‘The Rain’ by Robert Creeley is an interesting and memorable poem about love. The speaker compares it through an extended metaphor to rain. 

The Rain by Robert Creeley Visual Representation

Stars by Sara Teasdale

‘Stars’ by Sara Teasdale is a beautiful and easy-to-read poem. In it, Teasdale spends five stanzas describing and appreciating the stars in the sky. 

Stars by Sara Teasdale Visual Representation

The Famous Writer by Daniel Galef

‘The Famous Writer’ by Daniel Galef is a compelling poem about the effects of fame. The speaker is aware that fame is destructive but wants to experience it for himself. 

The Famous Writer by Daniel Galef Visual Representation

Monologue for an Onion by Suji Kwock Kim

‘Monologue for an Onion’ by Suji Kwock Kim is a memorable poem told from the perspective of an onion. It chastises the reader for living life the way they do.

Monologue for an Onion by Suji Kwock Kim Visual Representation

broken bowl by Penny Harter

‘broken bowl’ by Penny Harter is a short and memorable haiku about a broken bowl. The poem uses three very short lines to describe its rocking pieces. 

broken bowl by Penny Harter Visual Representation

Inexpensive Progress by John Betjeman

‘Inexpensive Progress’ by John Betjeman is an incredibly effective poem. In it, the speaker acknowledges and speaks out against the way industrialism is removing humanity’s access to history and nature. 

Inexpensive Progress by John Betjeman Visual Representation

For My Daughter by Weldon Kees

‘For My Daughter’ by Weldon Kees is an interesting poem about a speaker’s thoughts about having a daughter and considering her death. 

For My Daughter by Weldon Kees Visual Representation

Light Refraction by Matt Melone

‘Light Refraction’ by Matt Melone outlines humanity’s unending quest to understand the world. Using memorable images of light and science, the poet describes the future and the past.

Light Refraction by Matt Melone Visual Representation

Taking Off My Clothes by Carolyn Forché

‘Taking Off My Clothes’ by Carolyn Forché is a short, effective poem about a relationship. The speaker spends the lines uses imagery to define the various aspects of her partner and herself. 

Taking Off My Clothes by Carolyn Forché Visual Representation

Earth by John Hall Wheelock

‘Earth’ by John Hall Wheelock is a short poem that addresses humanity’s intelligence. It features a Martian astronomer who is considering what happened to planet Earth. 

Earth by John Hall Wheelock Visual Representation

One Girl by Sappho

‘One Girl’ by Sappho is a beautiful and moving poem. In the two short stanzas, readers can explore imagery Sappho relates to marriage and the loss of freedom for a young woman. 

One Girl by Sappho Visual Representation

After the Winter by Claude McKay

‘After the Winter’ by Claude McKay is a thoughtful and beautiful poem. Its speaker looks towards the future and considers the ideal life he’ll live with his partner.

After the Winter by Claude McKay Visual Representation

What the Living Do by Marie Howe

‘What the Living Do’ by Marie Howe is a beautiful poem about contemporary life. Throughout, the speaker defines what it is the living do. 

What the Living Do by Marie Howe Visual Representation

Inventory by Dorothy Parker

‘Inventory’ by Dorothy Parker is a thoughtful and entertaining poem. It outlines what the speaker has in her life, would be wiser to know, better off without, and more.

Inventory by Dorothy Parker Visual Representation

It Is Here by Harold Pinter

‘It Is Here’ by Harold Pinter is a thoughtful poem. It uses sense imagery in order to explore a relationship between two people. 

It is Here by Harold Pinter

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