5 of the best lockdown poems


01 October 2020
If ever we all need some words of encouragement it's now. Here are five beautiful poems that help put everything into perspective.

Wendy Cope, The Orange

This kind poem teaches us how to make to most of the small, quiet pleasures, such as sharing a fruit with loved ones, that enable us to get through difficult times, and ends with counting the biggest blessings – love, life itself – as a reminder of what is really important.


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Emily Dickinson, Hope is the Thing with Feathers

If ever there was a poem that reminds us not to give up hope, it’s this one – hope can take flight even in the darkest of times, and if that tiny brave bird can keep singing, then so can we.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Maya Angelou, Caged Bird

Which leads us to this stirring poem, about giving expression to the longing for freedom from restrictions and the triumph of the human spirit even in the harshest of circumstances.


Simon Armitage, Lockdown

The Poet Laureate wrote this wonderful poem during the early days of Covid-19 lockdown. Referring to the village of Eyam that was sealed off when plague arrived in 1665, it recalls a previous pandemic and reminds the reader that some processes may be long, and harsh, and seem to drag on, but that change will come.


Jim Carruth, the long bench

A resonant reminder from Glasgow’s Poet Laureate, written in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, that during this period of enforced distancing and isolation we can all be sustained by the thoughts of our loved ones and the shared times we will have when this time is over.


There's more to rhyming than rhythm and timing. Read our top tips on how you can use strong sounds to really bring your poems to life!