Grief by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless; That only men incredulous of despair, Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air Beat upward to God’s throne in loud access Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness, In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare Of the absolute heavens. Deep-hearted man, express Grief for thy…

On the Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats

The Poetry of earth is never dead:   When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,   And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead   In summer luxury,—he has never done   With his delights; for…

Bloody Men by Wendy Cope

Bloody men are like bloody buses — You wait for about a year And as soon as one approaches your stop Two or three others appear. You look at them flashing their indicators, Offering you a ride. You’re trying to read the destinations, You haven’t much time to decide. If you make a mistake, there…

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by WB Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils…

Comedy of Thirst by Arthur Rimbaud

1. Parents           We are your grandparents, Elders! Bathed in the cold sweats Of the moon and green pasture. Our dry wines had guts! Beneath the ingenious sun What must man do? Drink. Me – Die in barbarous rivers. We are your grandparents, Tillers! Below the osier lies the water: See…

Hokku by Fukuda Chiyo-ni

Fukuda Chiyo-ni was a Japanese poet from the 18th century, during the Edo period. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest female Haiku poets. Haiku were previously called Hokku until Masaoka Shiki changed the name at the end of the 19th century. The first haiku is the most well known of hers, the…

A Consumer’s Report by Peter Porter

The name of the product I tested is Life, I have completed the form you sent me and understand that my answers are confidential. I had it as a gift, I didn’t feel much while using it, in fact I think I’d have liked to be more excited. It seemed gentle on the hands but…

Symptoms by Sophie Hannah

Although you have given me a stomach upset, Weak knees, a lurching heart, a fuzzy brain, A high-pitched laugh, a monumental phone bill, A feeling of unworthiness, sharp pain When you are somewhere else, a guilty conscience, A longing, and a dread of what’s in store, A pulse rate for the Guinness Book of Records…

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—     While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—             Only this…

Sad Steps by Philip Larkin

Groping back to bed after a piss I part thick curtains, and am startled by The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness. Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky. There’s something laughable about this, The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart (Stone-coloured light sharpening…