Suggested Poetry to Analyze

Where to Find Poems to Analyze

My main priority is that you find a poem on your own – maybe one that someone in your family really likes, or one that was featured in one of your favorite movies… the possibilities are wide open. But I also understand that not everyone has a go-to favorite poem or poet. So here are some resources to help you find a poem that you might enjoy unpacking…

There is a substantial collection of excellent poetry you can peruse at

Many of the poems listed below are pretty famous. I strongly discourage you from looking up some website’s interpretation of your poem. That’s plagiarism, as it consists of you writing someone else’s interpretation of what really matters in your poem. Remember, what matters is that you come up with your own interpretation – I’d rather read an interpretation that doesn’t quite work, or that misses some significant parts, but is definitely yours. Turning over someone else’s thoughts adds nothing to your ability to think critically.

POEM POET # of lines It is “about”…
All You Who Sleep Tonight Seth, Vikram 8 Ode to Life
Anthem For Doomed Youth Owen, Wilfred 14 War and Youth
Annabel Lee Poe, Edgar Allan 41 Creepy love
Another Feeling Stone, Ruth 18 Regret
Archaic Torso of Apollo Rilke, Rainer Maria 14 What we know
Argument in a Restaurant Rathburn, Chelsea 32 Trials of love
Death, Be Not Proud Donne, John 14 Mortality
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Thomas, Dylan 19 Father’s death
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep Frye, Mary 14 Death/Immortality
Domestic Violence Boland, Eavan 48 Silence & Guilt
Dover Beach Arnold, Matthew 37 Eternity
Dulce Et Decorum Est Owen, Wilfred 28 War is Hell
Emperor of Ice-Cream, The Stevens, Wallace 16 Weird
Funeral Blues Auden, W. H. 16 Mourning / Loss
God’s Grandeur Hopkins, Gerard Manley 14 Piety
Hand That Signed The Paper, The Thomas, Dylan 16 Fate & Power
Ice Mazur, Gail 24 Love and Youth
If Kipling, Rudyard 32 Life Advice
Invictus Henley, W. E. 16 Self-pride
Irish Airman Forsees his Death, An Yeats, W. B. 16 War / Mortality
Jabberwocky Carroll, Lewis 28 Nonsense / Heroes
Jenny Kissed Me Hunt, Leigh 8 Cute
Kubla Khan Coleridge, Samuel T. 36 Trippy / Paradise
Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds Shakespeare, William 14 Eternal love
London Blake, William 16 Life is horrible
Man He Killed, The Hardy, Thomas 20 War/Circumstance
Miniver Cheevy Robinson, E. A. 32 Chivalry / Sadness
mother, the Brooks, Gwendolyn 32 Motherhood /Loss
My Last Duchess Browning, Robert 56 Revenge & Hatred
My Mistress’s Eyes Are Nothing Like The Sun Shakespeare, William 14 Individual Love
Not Marble, Nor the Gilded Monuments Shakespeare, William 14 Immortality
Not Waving But Drowning Smith, Stevie 12 Misunderstanding
On the Eve of His Execution Tichborne, Chidiock 18 Facing death
On My First Son Jonson, Ben 16 Mourning & Loss
Orange, The Cope, Wendy 12 Being in love
Oxen, The Hardy, Thomas 16 Faith
Passionate Shepherd to his Love, The Marlowe, Christopher 24 Love / Persuasion
Pied Beauty Hopkins, Gerard 11 Religion
Poison Tree, A Blake, William 16 Vengeance
Psalm of Life, A Longfellow, H. W. 28 Inspirational
Red, Red Rose, A Burns, Robert 16 Scottish
Road Not Taken, The Frost, Robert 20 Choices
Second Coming, The Yeats, WB 22 Things fall apart
She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways Wordsworth, William 12 Death / love
She Walks in Beauty Lord Byron 18 Love / Worship
Soldier, The Brooke, Rupert 14 War / Patriotism
Sorrows of Werther Thackeray, William 16 Dry Humor/Death
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening Frost, Robert 16 Nature / Death?
Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever, A Keats, John 13 Beauty
To An Athlete Dying Young Housman, A. E. 28 Fame and Death
To Celia Jonson, Ben 16 Love
Unknown Citizen, The Auden, W. H. 30 Bureaucracy
We Wear the Mask Dunbar, Paul 15 Image & Honesty
What We Might Be, What We Are Kennedy, X. J. 16 Foolish / Love
When I Was One-and-Twenty Housman, A.E. 16 Love / Youth / Irony
When You Are Old Yeats, W.B. 12 Beauty / age

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