Poems about Violence

Old Timers by Carl Sandburg

‘Old Timers’ by Carl Sandburg speaks on the nature of war. Sandburg alludes to the ways in which history repeats itself no matter which country or time period one is in. 

Old Timers by Carl Sandburg Visual Representation

Here by R.S. Thomas

‘Here’ by R.S. Thomas is delivered from the perspective of a man who, while looking back on his life, finds himself self regretting acts of violence he committed.

Here by R.S. Thomas Visual Representation

Docker by Seamus Heaney

‘Docker’ is a 1966 poem by Seamus Heaney which depicts the life of a dockworker in Belfast and explores his personal and religious sense of discord.

Docker by Seamus Heaney Poem Visual Representation

Love on the Farm by D.H. Lawrence

‘Love on the Farm’ by D.H. Lawrence is a poem about the universality of love, passion, and death. Lawrence depicts these elements through the various lives observable on a farm.

Love on the Farm by D.H. Lawrence Visual Representation

The Lesson by Roger McGough

‘The Lesson’ by Roger McGough is an interesting and unique poem that depicts the result of a teacher’s built-up rage.

The Lesson by Roger McGough Visual Representation

1861 by Walt Whitman

‘1861’ by Walt Whitman is a moving Civil War poem written from the perspective of a soldier. He details the difficulty of a particular year. 

1861 by Walt Whitman Visual Representation

In the Desert by Stephen Crane

‘In the Desert’ by Stephen Crane is a popular short poem that presents readers with a strange scenario. The poem speaks on human nature through a disturbing image of self-destruction.

In the Desert by Stephen Crane Visual Representation

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

‘Lizzie Borden Took an Ax’ is a well-known children’s rhyme that alludes to the accusations against Lizzie Borden in regard to the murder of her father and step-mother.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax Visual Representation

Tucson by Stephen Dunn

‘Tucson’ by Stephen Dunn is a narrative poem that explores a particular city’s racial tensions. They are described through a single fight and allusions to the various men present in a single bar.

Tucson by Stephen Dunn Visual Representation

Sonnet by George Henry Boker

‘Sonnet’ by George Henry Boker is a war-time sonnet. It was written in order to emphasize how brave soldiers are and what they sacrifice.

sonnet by george henry boker visual representation

Salome by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Salome’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a dramatic monologue that is delivered by Salome. It occurs the morning after the death of John the Baptist.

On the Beach by Anne Ranasinghe

‘On the Beach’ by Anne Ranasinghe is a dark and disturbing poem in which the poet explores sadism through the narrative of a dog’s fate at the beach.

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.” 

After Auschwitz by Anne Sexton

‘After Auschwitz’ by Anne Sexton explores the poet’s emotional reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust and her plea to God to hear her.

Strange Fruit by Abel Meeropol

‘Strange Fruit’ is a heart-wrenching song penned by Abel Meeropol and Billie Holiiday. It reveals the tragic nature of some of the darkest times in American history.

The Field of Waterloo by Thomas Hardy

‘The Field of Waterloo’, a poem written by Thomas Hardy, concerns the horror of war from the perspective of different creatures other than human beings.

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