Poems About Cousins


Rossetti uses this classic approach in “Cousin Kate,” consisting of two traditional 4-line quatrains to narrate his story and draw readers in.

This poem takes place during Britain’s Victorian era, during which gender biases created stringent social expectations between genders. In particular, Cousin Kate has upset her for engaging in acts that undermine Victorian morals and breach familial bonds. The speaker expresses her displeasure with her actions towards her family member.

Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin lived and worked as a librarian in Coventry, England, for much of his life before dedicating time and talent to writing poetry and letters – becoming widely considered one of the most influential British poets during his lifetime.

His poetry often conveys feelings of loss and discontent while being greatly influenced by photography. In this volume, edited by Brian Wilson and Mary Osborn, photographs and poetry combine into an exceptional tribute to Larkin that any serious collector of his works should own.

Larkin was a librarian by profession and, therefore, familiar with many of the poets and writers who worked in his library, often quoting from them in his poetry. Larkin read and appreciated James Joyce, A. E. Housman, and W. H. Auden; their poetic styles can usually be found mirrored in Larkin’s own.

A new edition of Andrew Motion’s Collected Poems will be published this November with an in-depth foreword, original and unpublished material, and organized in chronological order of publication – this unique approach shows how poems have progressed over time.

Two appendices contain more than 30 uncollected poems by Aubade himself; both include his late poetry. This edition is meticulously edited and presented; its index of titles and publication dates is comprehensive.

Larkin’s poetry perfectly expresses our universal need to feel accepted within something larger than ourselves, drawing inspiration from William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, Edward Thomas, and A. E. Housman, who all utilized accessible yet moderate tones of voice when creating their masterpieces.

Larkin’s poems often convey feelings of loss and discontentment but are far from pessimistic. He remains optimistic, believing that life continues long after death has occurred. One influential line in “Deceptions” describes hope and despair being “dragged down Cemetery Road” — a memorable image resonating throughout his work.

Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet found solace through poetry during their early years in the Massachusetts colony. Her poems demonstrated personal trials and hopes that were shared among settlers while simultaneously drawing attention to certain unique aspects of colonial life.

Once Anne and Dudley returned from Boston, she and Dudley relocated from Ipswich to Andover, where more turbulent times lay ahead of them. Being daughter and wife to two prominent magistrates meant constant debate on policy and faith matters that only added fuel to Anne’s already sensitive temperament.

She had an uncanny gift for poetic composition, yet her mind was also highly responsive to any delicate influence that came her way from without. Specifically, she was drawn towards the philosophical movement, which, with Quarles and Withers having overtaken “euphuistic school” writers as its leader, became an influential force of literary thought in England.

Hearing Nathaniel Rogers debate, as well as attending private sessions of her husband’s General Court, must have given her some idea of what was happening outside of New England. Coupled with anxiety over Indian raids on settlements, this exposure likely helped develop her characteristic “morbid conscientiousness,” which defines New England women.

Bradstreet used poetry as an outlet to explore the tension between flesh and spirit – an issue prevalent among Puritans at that time. Her verse provided both comfort and encouragement during their struggles to adjust to life in America.

As the colonial period drew to a close, Bradstreet’s writing became less frequent due to her increased involvement with public affairs of New England as well as changes in her personal beliefs; nonetheless, her poems continued to play an integral part in seventeenth-century New England literary life.

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was an influential poet, fiction writer, playwright, and columnist who helped establish the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. He focused on black American culture and heritage in his writing, being one of the pioneers to incorporate jazz rhythms and vernacular speech into poetry – as well as possessing an uncanny ability to capture African-American poetry idiosyncratically and poetically.

Hughes often addressed relationships between black and white family members in his poetry, such as this poem about the wedding reception of one of Hughes’ cousins. Hughes gives a vision of what could happen if black and white people could unite in love despite differences; though its ending is less than ideal, Hughes’ poem remains a compelling plea for tolerance and understanding in our polarized society.

Hughes wrote and published this classic poem when he was only thirteen, telling the tale of a country girl visiting her snooty city cousins for Thanksgiving dinner and being shocked when one newsboy has no turkey for dinner, an allegory for her second-class status in society.

Hughes Langston was raised primarily by his grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston, who served as a nurse during the Civil War and was close with John Brown (leader of the Harpers Ferry abolitionist raid), whom Langston would later refer to as his inspiration in terms of cultural identity and writing style. She served as his source of guidance.

Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest was a celebrated American poet during the first half of the 20th century. His poems often displayed sentimentality and optimism for everyday life and brought back fond memories of simpler times. Born in Warwickshire, England, and after immigrating with his family in 1891 to America, Guest began working at Detroit Free Press newspaper as a boy reporter in 1895, where he would eventually contribute verse to nearly every edition. Over his six-decade tenure with them, he created an extensive catalog of poetry.

The guest did not start writing poetry until late 1898, when he was employed as the assistant exchange editor of the Free Press newspaper and charged with collecting timeless items from other papers that the Free Press exchanged content with for filler purposes. Many of these clipped items included bits of verse that Guest clipped out from his clippings – inspiring him to submit one of his own to Sunday editor Arthur Mosley; Mosley agreed to print it in December 11 edition of the paper.

As word spread of Guest’s verse, requests grew for more of his works; with help from Harry, who worked as a typesetter, Guest began publishing books of his verse. In 1916 alone, It Takes A Heap O’ Livin’ sold more than one million copies, followed by works such as Rhythms of Childhood, Just Folks, and Life’s Highway.

Guest’s poems often incorporated dialect, while his deliberate misspelling made them sound more country and folksy, creating poetry more relatable to working-class readers. Robert Pinsky served as Poet Laureate from 1952 to 1959 and praised Guest for capturing American life and culture so vividly through poetry.

Edgar Guest was not only a prolific writer but also a caring father and husband, marrying Nellie Crossman in 1906 and having three children with her. Edgar Guest died in 1959 and is buried at Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery. The Michigan Senate honored his contribution by passing a resolution honoring him as its inaugural Poet Laureate, recognizing how “thousands of Michigan residents have turned to Edgar Guest for moral support during difficult times and enjoying his humor and homegrown philosophy.” It noted how Edgar Guest’s poems both captured everyday Michigan life while reflecting American founding principles in one verse!

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