Poems about Transformation

Snowfall in the Afternoon by Robert Bly

‘Snowfall in the Afternoon’ by Robert Bly is an interesting and multilayered poem. It uses natural imagery to describe a particular view of the world. 

Snowfall in the Afternoon by Robert Bly Visual Representation

The Harvest Moon by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘The Harvest Moon’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes the way that the light of the harvest moon touches everything. It is an indication that fall is here and that winter is on its way. 

The Harvest Moon by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Visual Representation

Homecoming by Lenrie Peters

‘Homecoming’ by Lenrie Peters is a poem about someone returning home after a long time away. This person is moved by the immense changes that their home has undergone during this period. 

Homecoming by Lenrie Peters Visual Representation

The City Limits by A.R. Ammons

‘The City Limits’ by A.R. Ammons is a powerful poem about nature. In it, the speaker supports spending more time in the natural world versus time in industrialized city centers. 

The City Limits by A.R. Ammons Visual Representation

Blandeur by Kay Ryan

‘Blandeur’ by Kay Ryan is a thoughtful poem that shows a deep love for the natural world and depicts it as all a part of God’s creation.

Blandeur by Kay Ryan 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

35/10 by Sharon Olds

’35/10’ by Sharon Olds is a moving poem about the poet’s relationship with her daughter. The latter is coming into her own while the former is growing old.

35:10 by sharon olds

Insect by Annie Finch

‘Insect’ by Annie Finch describes an insect. The poet uses hyphenated compound words and unusual images to depict the creature’s life and actions.

insect by annie finch

Reluctance by Robert Frost

‘Reluctance’ by Robert Frost is a powerful and thoughtful poem. It depicts the changing seasons and what it’s like to push back against winter.

reluctance by robert frost visual representaiton

The River by Sara Teasdale

‘The River’ by Sara Teasdale is a short and effective poem. It uses a river as a narrator and describes its journey towards the ocean.

the river by sara teasdale visual representation

Sonnet 149 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 149,’ also known as ‘Canst thou, O cruel! say I love thee not,’ is about the speaker’s love and lust for the Dark Lady. His interest in her has evolved into an obsession that controls his life.

sonnet 149 by william shakespeare visual representation

Cargoes by John Masefield

‘Cargoes’ by John Masefield is a well-loved, short poem that explores cargo ships. The poet empathizes the way the ships have changed throughout history.

The Climate by Annelyse Gelman

‘The Climate’ by Annelyse Gelman is a powerful piece about the climate crisis. It is seen through an approaching wave and metaphorical beachgoers’ negligence.

the climate by annelyse gelman

Sonnet 119 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 119,’ also known as ‘What potions have I drunk of siren tears,’ is a complicated poem in which the speaker describes a relationship he had with a woman. He admits it was a mistake.

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 113 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 113,’ also known as ‘Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind,’ is a demonstration of Shakespeare’s speaker’s love for the Fair Youth. He sees him in every animal, plant, and landscape he encounters. 

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman’s poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ is a moving depiction of the United States as it was on the cusp of President Biden’s inauguration in 2021. 

The Butterfly by Alice Freeman Palmer

‘The Butterfly’ by Alice Freeman Palmer is one of the best poems concerning the beauty of a butterfly. This poem is a poetic longing for being like a butterfly, beautiful, and heavenly.

Rhyme of the Dead Self by A.R.D. Fairburn

‘Rhyme of the Dead Self’ by A.R.D. Fairburn is a captivating poem in which the poet speaks about youth and coming of age through images of violence and religion.

Cinderella by Anne Sexton

‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton tells the story of Cinderella while also engaging with the theme of feminism and focusing on a very different ending.

Originally by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Originally’  by Carol Ann Duffy describes a child’s transformation after unwillingly emigrating to a very new, different country.

Ariel by Sylvia Plath

‘Ariel’ by Sylvia Plath is a deeply metaphorical poem. It focuses on the speaker’s experiences during a terrifying horseback ride.

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