Core Learning Poems

61 to 76 of 76 Poems
  • By Gwendolyn Brooks
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Gwendolyn Brooks grew up on Chicago’s South Side in a house her father bought shortly after the poet and her younger brother were born. Located at 4332 South Champlain, it was a comfortable home with a large front porch and...

  • By George Herbert
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Should poets have a project? Should books of poetry? It’s a question that generated some heat a few years back, when Dorothea Lasky published her chapbook Poetry Is Not a Project (2010). Lasky objected to the term as not having...

  • By Mina Loy
    Poem Guide Synopsis


    Mina Loy is not Myrna Loy. While the actress Myrna Loy starred in the “The Thin Man” films, the Modernist poet Mina Loy was busying herself with the avant gardes of Italian Futurism, Dada, and to a lesser extent American...

  • By Robert Hass
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Imagine a young married professor ensconced in the library on a sunny afternoon. He began his day listening to people argue against the war in Vietnam, and then, perhaps, he met his wife and three small children for lunch. It’s...

  • By Stevie Smith
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    I’m not that interested in the lives of poets. Lord Byron may have been “mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” but as any product of an MFA program can tell you, a poet’s life is typically short on titillating details....

  • By Robert Duncan
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    I first read Robert Duncan’s “Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow” on a beautifully permissive afternoon in the spring shade of leafy deciduous trees on the campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. It was 1989. I...

  • By Robert Frost
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Robert Frost wrote “The Road Not Taken” as a joke for a friend, the poet Edward Thomas. When they went walking together, Thomas was chronically indecisive about which road they ought to take and—in retrospect—often lamented that they should, in...

  • By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s exciting and excited sonnet takes part in the centuries-old tradition of amorous sonnets and sonnet sequences (as old as the sonnet form, as Dante and Petrarch), but also draws on the new Victorian kind of poem called...

  • By John Donne
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    John Donne (1572-1631) wrote a prose work called Paradoxes and Problems, and his life presents plenty of both: he was born a Catholic, gained notoriety for sacrilegious verse, and later in life became an Anglican priest. Though some of his...

  • By Louise Bogan
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Louise Bogan
    “That woman will be able to do anything,” declared Robert Frost after reading Louise Bogan’s “A Tale,” the opening poem in her first book, Body of This Death. At the time of the book’s publication in 1923, Bogan was...

  • By Robert Hayden
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    If there were a Top of the Pops for poetry, Robert Hayden’s "Those Winter Sundays" would be on it. Ten years ago, based on a Columbia University Press survey, the poem was ranked the 266th most anthologized poem in English....

  • By John Clare
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    Some poets use verse to praise relatives who share their first or last names: John Dryden’s “To My Honored Kinsman, John Driden,” for example, begins “How blessed is he, who leads a Country Life, / Unvexed with anxious Cares, and...

  • By Anne Bradstreet
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    On an icy November afternoon in 1637, in the thatch-roofed Cambridge meetinghouse of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 40 magistrates sat ready to pass judgment on a woman whom they believed posed the gravest threat yet to the fragile social and...

  • By John Donne
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    John Donne probably wrote “A Valediction: of Weeping” after he met his future wife, Ann More, and before he took holy orders and turned most of his authorial energies to sermons and spiritual meditations. We can’t be sure about the...

  • By Hart Crane
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    “Love you!”
    “Mean it!”
    —Exchange overheard in a West Hollywood SafewayIn 1923, Hart Crane (1899–1932) met a blond, blue-eyed Danish sailor named Emil Opffer. He fell crazily, blissfully in love. Like any wordsmith worth a red cent, he...

  • By Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Poem Guide Synopsis

    I fell in love with “The Windhover” when I was a teenager, recognizing right away the rapture of a love poem directed not at a particular person (though the poem is dedicated “To Christ our Lord”) but to life itself....

61 to 76 of 76 Poems

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