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Better Names for All the Poems You’ll Have to Read in English Class

Have you ever read a poem before? I’m guessing you have. If you liked it, good news: there’s plenty more where that came from! If you hated it, well, I’ve got some good news for you too: as soon as you finish school, you’ll never have to read another poem again.

Until that time, however, you’ll have to spend your days analyzing poetic imagery and trying to figure out what scansion is. It doesn’t help that poets are always naming their poems things like The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and “Binsey Poplars,” because those are just vague words and I only know what half of them mean. Maybe the poetry we have to read in school would be more bearable if they were just straight with us—you know, if poets named their poems things like…

“Have Fun Googling What Any of This Even Means”
Examples: “Jabberwocky,” The Waste Land, Troilus and Criseyde

“I Climbed a Tree Once and Now I Understand Everything”
Examples: “After Apple-Picking,” “Birches,” “The Shepherd’s Tree”

“My Lover is Dead, But Hey, at Least I Got Some Good Poetry Out of It”
Examples: “Annabel Lee,” “Requiescat,” “My Last Duchess”

“An Ode to Plants”
Examples: “Binsey Poplars,” Sonnet 12, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

“An Ode to Whatever Is Going On with This Bird”
Examples: “A Bird came down on the Walk,” “The Oven Bird,” “Ode to a Nightingale”

“Am I the Only Person Who Still Goes for Walks?”
Examples: “As I Walked Out One Evening,” “The Road Not Taken,” “I wandered lonely as a cloud”

“The Wheelbarrow is Not Actually a Wheelbarrow”
Examples: “Sunflower Sutra,” “At the Fishhouses,” “The Red Wheelbarrow”

“I Hope You’re Interested in Candles, Because I’ve Got Some Thoughts on the Subject”
Examples: “First Fig,” “Meditations Upon A Candle,” “The light of a candle”

“What Happened to Us As a Society? All We Care About Now Are THINGS”
Examples: “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “The World Is Too Much With Us,” “Howl”

“I Am Going on a Journey That No One Can Know About”
Examples: “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “Into My Own,” “I travelled among unknown men”

“No One Has Ever Felt Love Like This Before, and If They Say They Have They Are Lying”
Examples: Sonnet 43, Sonnet 130, “The Good-Morrow”

“Sike! I’m Not Really Dead Because Death is a State of Mind”
Examples: “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep,” “Because I could not stop for Death,” “Death Is Nothing At All”

“Life is Fleeting, So We Should Probably Have Sex”
Examples: “To His Coy Mistress,” “Live Blindly and Upon the Hour,” “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”

“If I Could Marry the Moon, I Totally Would”
Examples: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “To the Moon,” “The Sadness of the Moon”

“Death is Coming For Us Always”
Examples: “Another Elegy,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade”

“Nature is a Big Ol’ Thumbs-Up In My Book”
Examples: “Frost at Midnight,” “Hurrahing in Harvest,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty,” “Patience Taught By Nature,” “Song of Nature,” “To Autumn,” I could go on forever but I’m guessing you have places to be.