- “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke
This is one of my favorite poems because of the various different interpretations it has. This poem about a child “waltzing” with their father in the kitchen can either be seen as a happy poem about a child who actually gets to dance with their father who is a little drunk and smells like alcohol, or it can be taken a completely different way and take it as a intense poem about a child getting abused by an alcoholic and comparing it to “waltzing” around the kitchen with him. The way that Roethke uses phrases and language like “At every step you missed/ My right ear scraped a buckle” and “You beat time on my head” that can be interpreted in such extremely different ways gives this poem so much mystery and makes it extremely intriguing.
2. “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop
I like this poem so much because of the detail and imagery. The vivid details used throughout the poem to describe the characteristics of the fish like “his brown skin hung in strips like ancient wallpaper” and “course white flesh packed in like feathers” gives the poem so much more depth and meaning. Also, the way that Bishop was able to take such a mundane activity like catching a fish in a boat and then throwing it back in the ocean and turn it into such a suspenseful beautiful poem really drew me in and kept me extremely engaged through until the end of the poem. The beautify imagery and her ability to turn this simple activity into an incredible poem makes this one of my favorites.
3. “Batter my Heart (Holy Sonnet 14)” by John Donne
This is one of my favorite poems because of the language that is used and just the beauty of it. Throughout this poem about the narrators conversation with or requests from the “three-person God” he asked for many different unusual things. One thing that really interested me about this poem is its form. Even though the wording in the poem and even the title of the poem is very harsh and cold, the poem is set up as a sonnet which shows that it is actually like a love poem from the narrator to God, giving the poem a whole new, interesting meaning. Also, the harsh language that is used like “batter my heart” when the author is talking about how he wants to get close to God again but needs to be struck down first gives the poem a lot more depth by showing the internal anger struggle that the narrator is feeling. The unique use of language and the form of the poem is what makes this one of my favorites.