When someone says the words ‘English poetry’ names like William Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe come to our minds immediately. However, there are other poets whose works have gained international recognition and are highly appreciated for its literary value. Though many young minds are mostly keen on reading English poetry about love, the genre of English poetry is pretty vast and enchanting.

Some of the poems in English literature are revolutionary while others are thought-provoking. Some of them are the depictions of groundbreaking sad realities of their times while others are more mystical in nature and imply deep wisdom.

There is so much more to English literature than just poems about love and romance. This write up briefly discusses 3 iconic pieces of English poetry which spawn genres other than romance.

Mending Wall

The first one on this list is ‘Mending Wall’. Mending Wall is written by American poet Robert Frost. It was published in 1914 in a postmodernism era where industrialization and urbanization had set its foot and their impact was now showing up in people’s personal lives. Though the poem encompasses many themes, it is highly appreciated for its literary value and thought-provoking concepts. You can read full summary here. Mending Wall is one of the most anthologized works of Robert Frost indicating its popularity in the literary circles.

The Wasteland

Written by T.S. Elliot and published in 1922, the Wasteland is also regarded as one of the most intelligently written poems of the modernist society. It was written in a time when modernism had set its course and just like Mending Wall, it also tries to build on the impact of new culture while reminiscing about the old. Elliot has tied his memories of the historical past to modern society he is experiencing very eloquently.

The poem is of intellectual value to those who wish to draw upon the circumstances and events of the 20th-century Western world. This poem is also regarded highly because it uses words from other languages such as Sanskrit and includes references from other cultures such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Western Canon.

fire and water, fight, hands

The Tyger

Famous for its opening verse ‘Tyger Tyger, burning bright’, The Tyger was published in 1794 by English poet, William Blake. The theme of the poem is about human capabilities and the power of human conviction hidden inside all of us.

It is also one of the most anthologized poems of English literature and is famous for being sister to another of Blake’s poem, ‘The Lamb’. While ‘The Lamb’ explored the innocence of human nature and is categorized in Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence’, The Tyger takes upon its ferocity and power and is categorized in his ‘Songs of Experience’. Both poems explore human nature from 2 different perspectives and compare their origins.

For example, in the second last stanza of the poem, William Blake asks the Tyger ‘Did he who made the Lamb make thee?’

Conclusion

English poetry has so many famous poets with inarguably iconic works that the youth does not know about. This may be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. They do not have an interest in poetry at all.
  2. They have never been told or educated about other genres of poetry except for romance.
  3. They do not have access to resources to enlighten their minds with such eye-opening and mind-expanding works of literary value despite their interest and knowledge.

Regardless of their reason, it is a duty upon teachers to educate young minds about other genres of poetry, especially the motivational ones so that they gain exposure and flex their mind muscles.