Dreams Poems


by Derek Walcott

‘Lampfall’ by Derek Walcott dives deep into an investigation of thought, dreaming, community and connection while also implying that nature and thought are more meaningful than development.

This poem is, in itself, a mere dream of the poet. As the speaker describes the world around him, everything takes on an otherworldly, ethereal quality, getting a bit blurry and metaphorical. This transition from plain English to more complex allusion, metaphor, and irregular line lengths take us on a journey into the poet's perception, where nature is in control.

Closest at lampfall

Like children, like the moth-flame metaphor,

The Coleman's humming jet at the sea's edge

Explore more poems about Dreams

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow

by Robert Duncan

‘Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow’ by Robert Duncan is often regarded as the poet’s best work. It analyzes the poet’s dream of a meadow while also exploring the new technique of projective verse.

‘Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow’ takes place in the poet's dream, which he believes to be a vision from one of his past lives. This dream, while it indicates that Duncan is an important person, also hints at the way Duncan died in a past life.

The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano

by B.H. Fairchild

‘The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano’ by B.H. Fairchild is a free verse poem about how the creative process can connect a father and daughter.

‘The Machinist, Teaching His Daughter to Play the Piano,’ at its core, is about a father who gave up on his dreams to work as a lathe operator. However, he wants more for his daughter, who has a passion for music. The poem explores the dynamics and differences between them with heavy, deep metaphors that convey all the right emotions.

To My Brother

by Lorna Dee Cervantes

‘To My Brother’ by Lorna Dee Cervantes captures the intense bittersweetness of remembering a childhood checkered by both strife and happiness.

Dreams are important to the poem, especially those that seem perpetually unattainable. The speaker and their brother suffer through their dreary and dull lives, sustaining each other with the hope that things will get better.

Love Poem

by Gregory Orr

‘Love Poem’ by Gregory Orr is a short poem about a speaker’s imaginative telling of asking for someone’s phone number.

The speaker might not be dreaming in the traditional sense but there is evidence that they could at least be day-dreaming. With their fantastical visions spurred by the receiving the phone number of the person they love.

The Virgins

by Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott’s poem ‘The Virgins’ gives a holistic view of the life, economy, and culture of one of the Virgin Islands of the US, Saint Croix.

Read Walcott's 'The Virgins' in order to find out how the American dream of a "good life" for the people of the Virgin islands bore no positive results, but dissatisfaction and dejection.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete

by Tupac Shakur

‘The Rose That Grew From Concrete’ is a moving celebration of personal resolve against the backdrop of oppressive forces.

Shakur seems to suggest that having dreams is an important, perhaps even necessary, quality in order to escape from one's environment.

Life Sculpture

by George Washington Doane

‘Life Sculpture’ by George Washington Doane is a poem heavily symbolic poem about realizing one’s true potential and purpose in life.

Dreams are an important part of George Washington Doane's poem, presented a vision of God's purpose for a person's life. Though the religious imagery and diction can also just be interepreted as a sublime fulfillment (spiritual or secular) of a person's deepest dreams.

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun

by Emily Dickinson

‘My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun’ by Emily Dickinson is a complex, metaphorical poem. The poet depicts a woman who is under a man’s control and sleeps like a load gun.

The speaker is on a journey in this poem and expresses her dreams for the future and how she'll get to live.

Lincoln, Man of the People

by Edwin Markham

‘Lincoln, Man of the People’ by Edwin Markham is a unique poem about Abraham Lincoln that paints him, and his legacy, in idealized, universal terms. The speaker spends the poem describing Lincoln the perfect leader.

One of the themes of this poem is dreams. The poet alludes to Lincoln's dreams and how he brought them into existence by changing the nature of the entire country.


by Hone Tuwhare

‘Monologue’ by Hone Tuwhare is a contemporary poem about the difficulties workers face when looking for a job and how temporary those jobs can be. 

Dreams for the future and for one's livelihood is another important part of this contemporary poem. The speaker dreams of a more permanent job for himself and for all the workers who wander into the factory hoping to find employment.

The Complaints of the Poor

by Robert Southey

‘The Complaints of the Poor’ by Robert Southey takes place in a city, likely London, and describes the desperate measures poverty drives people to. 

All the impoverished people the narrator meets in this poem all have dreams they haven't been able to reach or for which they're still striving.

The House by the Side of the Road

by Sam Walter Foss

‘The House by the Side of the Road’ by Sam Walter Foss was a once-popular American poem about caring for and helping other people. 

The speaker goes over the most important elements of his most important dream in this poem.

A Child’s Sleep

by Carol Ann Duffy

‘A Child’s Sleep’ by Carol Ann Duffy describes the ideal, peaceful sleep of a child, who is watched over by her mother as she dreams.

A Child’s Garden

by Rudyard Kipling

‘A Child’s Garden’ by Rudyard Kipling is written from the perspective of a young sick boy who is dreaming of escaping his confining and frightening life by taking to the sky in an airplane.

A Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

‘A Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe describes a speaker’s waking and dreaming state and the brief moments of light and hope he experiences. 

A Dream of Death

by William Butler Yeats

‘A Dream of Death’ is a poem about one such dream that uses strong imagery to build an image that is touching both with and without its historic context.

A Dream within a Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

Published in 1849, ‘A Dream Within a Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe examines the subtleties of time. His speaker delves into our perception of it and its effects.

A Jet Ring Sent

by John Donne

‘A Jet Ring Sent’ by John Donne describes how a speaker’s beloved returned his promise ring. The speaker meditates on the nature of their relationship and how it is symbolized by the black ring. 

A Long Journey

by Musaemura Zimunya

‘A Long Journey’ by Musaemura Zimunya is based on the changes that came to Rhodesia, a small country in southern Africa, after British colonial rule. The speaker explores the positive changes and the negative.

A Psalm of Life

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘A Psalm of Life’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a thoughtful poem about life’s struggles. The poet addresses the best way to confront these difficulties on an everyday basis.

A still— Volcano —Life

by Emily Dickinson

‘A still— Volcano —Life’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable poem that uses an extended metaphor to describe the life of the poet. She compares herself to a volcano that erupts under the cover of darkness.

After Apple-Picking

by Robert Frost

‘After Apple-Picking’ by Robert Frost begins with an apple-picker’s thoughts after a day of work. The poem goes on to explore themes of life and death.

Amethyst Beads

by Eavan Boland

‘Amethyst Beads’ by Eavan Boland alludes to Greek mythology and the suffering of a child, Persephone, after she was separated from her mother, Demeter.

An Introduction to Some Poems

by William Stafford

William Stafford’s ‘An Introduction to Some Poems’ is about the role of budding poets. The speaker says that every life is worth writing about, and a writer’s work is to share “authentic” human experiences.

At Grass

by Philip Larkin

‘At Grass’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about fame and happiness. It focuses on racehorses and how they found new homes away from their previous lives.

Awake By Jim Morrison

by Jim Morrison

Interestingly, Awake has been one of the hardest poems I’ve had the pleasure of commenting on. In Morrison’s poetry, he uses

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