Relationships

Poems can provide insight into our relationships and how we deal with relationships between each other. These poems focus on relationships between family, friends, and love.

an afternoon nap by Arthur Yap

‘an afternoon nap’ by Arthur Yap explores the lacunae in the modern education system and how it results in anxiety and stress in students.

Consolidation by Jean Bleakney

Jean Bleakney’s ‘Consolidation’ is a deeply personal poem about the act of rearranging the cowry shells that the speaker and her children gathered in the past.

The Forsaken Merman by Matthew Arnold

‘The Forsaken Merman’ by Matthew Arnold is a melancholy poem in which the speaker, a merman, grieves the loss of his human wife. He’s left alone with their children without the woman he loves.

My Mother by Ellen Bryant Voigt

‘My Mother’ by Ellen Bryant Voigt explores a speaker’s understanding of her mother and how her mother considered her as she aged.

For Nanabhai Bhatt by Sujata Bhatt

‘For Nanabhai Bhatt’ is about the poet Sujata Bhatt’s grandfather, Nanabhai Bhatt, who was an educationist and activist active during the Indian independence movement.

Blaen Cwrt by Gillian Clarke

‘Blaen Cwrt,’ a poem by Welsh poet Gillian Clarke depicts the pleasant dwelling of the speaker in rural Ceredigion, West Wales.

Void in Law by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Void in Law’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning depicts the scuffle many Victorian women endured after getting married. The woman has been left alone with no real resources by a husband who prefers to spend time with his mistress.

The Need to Recall the Journey by Sujata Bhatt

‘The Need to Recall the Journey’ by Sujata Bhatt is a poem about the past and a speaker’s desire to return to the moment her child was born. It was too fleeting, she feels, and she can’t help but wish she was there again.

Renouncement by Alice Meynell

‘Renouncement’ by Alice Meynell is a passionate poem in which the speaker fights to fend off thoughts of the person she loves. She refuses to allow herself to think about this person during the day.

In the Seventh Year by Jackie Kay

‘In the Seventh Year’ by Jackie Kay is a short, beautiful lyric poem. It describes the timeless and changing nature of a speaker’s relationship.

Muse by Meena Alexander

‘Muse’ by Meena Alexander is a poem about the poet’s muse or source of inspiration. The poet recalls meeting and being positively influenced by a girl in her youth. 

My Grandmother’s Houses by Jackie Kay

‘My Grandmother’s Houses’ by Jackie Kay is a thoughtful recollection of youth and a young speaker’s relationship with her eccentric grandmother, who is forced to move homes.

Got You by Jackie Kay

‘Got You’ by Jackie Kay is an interesting poem about sibling jealousy and the strength of sisterhood. The speaker is a discouraged child who believes her sister is superior to her in every way.

High Windows by Philip Larkin

‘High Windows’ by Philip Larkin discusses the way that relationships, sex, and societal standards change from one generation to the next. 

Missing My Daughter by Stephen Spender

‘Missing My Daughter’ by Stephen Spender is a poem about a speaker’s desire to see his daughter and how he feel trapped in a prison of loneliness. 

Women and Roses by Robert Browning

‘Women and Roses’ by Robert Browning conveys a man’s perspective on women throughout time. They are represented by three apples on his metaphorical apple tree.

Winter Song by Elizabeth Tollett

‘Winter Song’ by Elizabeth Tollett is a poem about steadfast love and devotion to one person. The speaker uses the twenty-four lines to banish any thought from their lover’s mind that they are thinking about being unfaithful.

The Undertaking by John Donne

‘The Undertaking’ by John Donne is a poem about an elevated form of love that makes the speaker’s relationship superior to other people’s. 

Elegy V: His Picture by John Donne

‘Elegy V’ by John Donne is addressed to the poet’s lover. He asks her to accept him when he returns, despite the fact that he’s going to look and act differently.

Divorce by Jackie Kay

‘Divorce’ by Jackie Kay is about parent-child relationships and how children are impacted by adults’ issues. The speaker is a teenager who is struggling to contend with her parent’s relationship with one another. 

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. 

Break of Day by John Donne

‘Break of Day’ by John Donne is an aubade told from a female perspective. It conveys a woman’s understanding of her relationship with a busy lover. 

I have a Bird in spring

‘I have a Bird in spring’ by Emily Dickinson is dedicated to a close friendship poet was concerned about losing. It uses an extended metaphor created through zoomorphism. 

Into My Own by Robert Frost

Robert Frost’s ‘Into My Own’ explores the concepts of maturity and growing up. The poet delves into the exploration of childhood and self.

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