Poems about Travel

Sally’s Hair by John Koethe

‘Sally’s Hair’ by John Koethe is a short and effective poem in which the speaker looks back on someone he met thirty-seven years ago and wonders where she is now.

Sally's Hair by John Koethe Visual Representation

The Vagabond by Robert Louis Stevenson

‘The Vagabond’ by Robert Louis Stevenson is a poem about one speaker’s desire to live a life close to nature and far from the rules of contemporary society. 

The Vagabond by Robert Louis Stevenson Visual Representation

The Wedding by Moniza Alvi

‘The Wedding’ by Moniza Alvi depicts a wedding ceremony and a bride’s apprehensive approach to her new home in England and her new English family. 

The Wedding by Moniza Alvi Visual Representation

Night Journey by Theodore Roethke

‘Night Journey’ by Theodore Roethke is a thoughtful, fairly simple poem about the American countryside. He spends the lines admiring the landscapes one can see by train at night. 

Night Journey by Theodore Roethke Visual Representation

Tavern by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Tavern’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay is a beautiful, short poem that speaks to one person’s desire to take care of others. 

Tavern by Edna St. Vincent Millay Visual Representation

Traveling through the Dark by William Stafford

‘Traveling through the Dark’ by William Stafford is a powerful poem about life, death, and nature. The lines depict someone’s choices in regard to a dead, pregnant doe he finds on the side of the road.

Traveling through the Dark by William Stafford Visual Representation

Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea

‘Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea’ is a traditional English folk song and nursery rhyme. It describes a speaker’s longing for her love, Bobby Shafto, who is out on a sea voyage.

Bobby Shafto’s Gone to Sea

The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare describes the actions of a Traveller who knocks at the door of a seemingly deserted home at night. 

I Remember, I Remember by Philip Larkin

‘I Remember, I Remember’ by Philip Larkin contains a speaker’s thoughts about his home. He expresses what he thinks is an idealized childhood and how it doesn’t match up to it.

Nutting by William Wordsworth

‘Nutting’ by William Wordsworth describes a speaker’s boyhood journey into the woods and the resulting pleasure and rage he experiences. 

Monuments by Kamala Wijeratne

‘Monuments’ by Kamala Wijeratne describes the depressed state of a Sri Lankan community in the midst of the Civil War which lasted from 1983 to 2009.  

In Your Mind by Carol Ann Duffy

‘In Your Mind’ by Carol Ann Duffy describes a detailed daydream in which the reader of the poem embarks on a strangely familiar trip.

Travel by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Travel’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay speaks of one narrator’s unquenchable longing for the opportunity to escape from her everyday life. 

Armistice by Sophie Jewett

‘Armistice’ by Sophie Jewett describes a brief moment of magic, contemplation, and peace that two travellers experience as they journey across the ocean.

Hitcher by Simon Armitage

‘Hitcher’ by Simon Armitage describes a brutal act of violence against a “free” hitchhiker committed by a speaker who is “under / the weather.” 

Directive by Robert Frost

‘Directive’ by Robert Frost is about the relationship between the past and the present. It is a very well regarded poem that has been described as “dismaying” and “gratifying.”

Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats

Yeats’ poems are continually referenced in popular culture, including the poem ‘Sailing to Byzantium’. Its first line, “That is no country for old men…” was used for the title of Cormac McCarthy’s popular novel, “No Country for Old Men,” later adapted for the big screen.

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