A Huge List of Common Poetry Themes (Poem Theme, Topics, Ideas & Examples)

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The theme of a poem delivers the reader an underlying message that the writer wishes to convey through their work of poetry.

A poem can contain a single or multiple themes based on the story of the poem that it tells. The theme is an important part of any work of poetry or literature as it provides meaning to the story.

Related: Examples of Meters in Poetry

Follow the below list to learn different type of themes found in poetry or use them as poem theme ideas or topics for your next poetry.

Related: Iambic Tri, Tetra, & Pentameter Examples in Poetry

Poetry Themes for Poems-

Most of the themes in poetry are often similar to themes in literature but yet some themes fit well only for poetry. Below are the examples of common themes found in poems.

1. Love

2. War

3. Death

4. Nature

5. Beauty

6. Aging

7. Desire

8. Dreams

9. Coming of age

10. Destiny

11. Depression

12. Courage

13. Spirituality

14. Happiness

15. God

16. Friendship

17. Heartbreak

18. Imagination

19. Loss/tragedy

20. Memories

21. Mortality

22. Immortality

23. Marriage

24. Rebirth

25. Seasons

26. Sexuality

27. Religion

28. Secrets

29. Man and nature

30. Peace

list of common poetry themes, poem topics ideas and examples

31. Pain

32. Isolation

33. Eternity

34. Earth

35. Emotions

36. Faith

37. Fear

38. Grief

39. Forgiveness

40. Hatred

41. Afterlife

42. Myth

43. Art

44. Anxiety

45. Defeat

46. Heaven

47. Suffering

48. Joy

49. Life

50. Disappointment

51. Stars

52. Trust

53. Gender

54. History

55. Identity

56. Purpose

57. Regret

58 Encouraging

59. Opportunity

60. Music

61. Roses

62. Innocence

63. Moon

64. Mountains

65. Jealousy

66. Duty and responsibility

67. Supernatural

68. Circle of life

69. Man and masculinity

70. Sunshine

71. Change

72. Flowers

Related: Consonance in Poetry (Examples and Definition)

examples of themes in poetry
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Examples of Themes in Poetry-

Below are examples of themes in poetry from popular poems of all time.

1. The Waste Land 

By T. S Eliot

the wasteland poem theme

Major themes- Love, death, rebirth, history, lust/sexuality, water, religion, seasons.

Read ”The Waste Land” full poem here

2. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost

stopping the woods on a snowy evening poem themes

Major themes- Beauty, man and nature, desire, obligation, secrets, duty and responsibility, isolation.

Read ”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” full poem here

3.  Daddy

By Sylvia Plath

sylvia plath daddy themes

Major themes- Death, gender, oppression, power, history, myth, hatred.

Read ”Daddy” full poem here

4. The Raven

By Edgar Allan Poe

the raven edgar allan poe poem themes

Major themes- Death, afterlife, memory, loss, supernatural, grief, madness, despair. 

Read ”The Raven” full poem here

5. The Second Coming 

By W.B Yeats

the second coming poem themes

Major Themes- Violence, prophecy, meaninglessness, Christianity, Cyclicality.

Read ”The Second Coming” full poem here

6. Because I could not Stop for Death

By Emily Dickinson

because i could not stop for death poem themes

Major Themes- Life and death, mortality, immortality, eternity.

Read ”Because I Could Not Stop for Death” full poem here

7. The Road not Taken

By Robert Frost

the road not take poem themes

Major Themes- Choices, uncertainty, man and nature, indecision, individualism and nonconformity.

Read ”The Road Not Taken” full poem here

8. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 

By T.S Eliot

the love song of j alfred prufrock poem themes

Major themes- Love, anxiety, indecision, alienation, isolation, desire, modernity, disappointment, manipulation, time, aging, appearances. 

Read ”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” full poem here

9. If-

By Rudyard Kipling

rudyard kipling poem if themes

Major Themes- Manhood, courage, man and masculinity, stoicism, defeat.

Read ”If-” full poem here

10. Ode to a Nightingale

By John Keats 

ode to the nightangle poem themes

Major Themes- Death, immortality, mortality, transience, art, nature, beauty, imagination.

Read ”Ode to the Nightingale” full poem here

Related: Assonance in Poetry (Examples and Definition)

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a young adult fiction writer and children’s book author. He is a literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honors in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. His magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.