Poems about Time

As I Walked Out One Evening by W.H. Auden

‘As I Walked Out One Evening’ by W. H. Auden is a poem about the unconquerable nature of death and the imperfect nature of love. This piece was first published in 1940 in the poet’s collection Another Time.

As I Walked Out One Evening by W.H. Auden Visual Representation

Horace to Leuconoe by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Edwin Arlington Robinson’s sonnet ‘Horace to Leuconoe’ is a passionate address of a lover to a girl, brooding over what God might have in store for her. He advises her to seize the moment and forget about the past and the future.

Horace to Leuconoe by Edwin Arlington Robinson Visual Representation

To The Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers’s poem ‘To The Stone-Cutters’ explores the similarities between rock-cut sculptures and poetry. This piece highlights the timelessness of poetry.

To The Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers Visual Representation

Carpe Diem by Robert Frost

‘Carpe Diem’ by Robert Frost is a poem that encourages the reader to live in the present and comments on people’s tendency to focus on the past and the future instead.

Carpe Diem by Robert Frost Visual Representation

The Mountain by Elizabeth Bishop

‘The Mountain’ by Elizabeth Bishop is a poem portraying the transience of nature and life from the viewpoint of a personified mountain.

The Mountain by Elizabeth Bishop Visual Representation

Sonnet 124 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 124,’ also known as ‘If my dear love were but the child of state,’ is a poem about the speaker’s superior love. It has withstood a great deal and will last the test of time. 

Sonnet 123 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 123,’ also known as ‘No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change,’ is a poem about time and change. The speaker asserts that time isn’t going to change him as it does others. 

Sonnet 123 by William Shakespeare Visual Representation

Sonnet 115 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 115,’ also known as ‘Those lines that I before have writ do lie,’ is a poem about the ever-maturing nature of the speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. 

September by Ted Hughes

‘September’ by Ted Hughes is a moving poem that touches on a troubled and important relationship.

Loveliest of Trees by A. E. Housman

‘Loveliest of Trees’ by A.E. Housman is a joyful nature poem in which the speaker describes how powerful the image of cherry blossom trees is in his life. He takes a great deal of pleasure from looking at them.

Exposure by Seamus Heaney

‘Exposure’ by Seamus Heaney discusses the poet’s role in a society and how he might contribute helpfully to the discourse of the time. 

Air and Angels by John Donne

‘Air and Angels’ by John Donne depicts the unsual nature of the speaker’s love. He knows they have to come togther and allow their love to encircle one another.

The Year by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

‘The Year’ by Ella Wheeler Wilcox is a six stanza poem that is divided into sets of two lines, also known as couplets. She goes on in the second half of the poem to list out additional parts of life in order to show their connection and simultaneous presence.

Constancy by Joseph Brodsky

‘Constancy’ by Joseph Brodsky describes what it means to change over time, specially when moving from one’s own home to another wholly unknown environment. 

The Great Lover by Rupert Brooke

‘The Great Lover’ by Rupert Brooke contains a speaker’s profession of love for his past partners and a wide range of objects and experiences. 

The Sign-Post by Edward Thomas

‘The Sign-Post’ by Edward Thomas contains a discussion within a speaker’s mind about the progression of time and the nature of Heaven. 

Go, Lovely Rose by Edmund Waller

‘Go, Lovely Rose’ by Edmund Waller is addressed to a sweet and wonderours rose being sent to a speaker’s object of affection.

The Builders by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

‘The Builders’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes how a nation is built from the contributions of each and every individual of the country. The people from both the past and present collectively work for a nation’s advancement.

On Time by John Milton

‘On Time’ by John Milton describes the one element of human existence which must be extinguished for a truly utopian world to exist.

Moments of Vision by Thomas Hardy

‘Moments of Vision’ by Thomas Hardy describes the times in a person’s life in which they are forced to reflect on who they are and what they’ve done. 

The Old Year by Henry Kendall

‘The Old Year’ by Henry Kendall is an optimistic piece that deals with how time passes and the intangible impact it leaves on the present.

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