The best poems about pain selected by Dr. Olivier Tearle
Grief is a part of life and we will all know what it means to cry at some point in our lives. And in those moments, many of us turn to the words of the greatest poets, who found a way to express the pain we feel by composing words to express our feelings of sadness and loss. Here are ten of the best poems about the experience of grief and sadness from over 600 years of poetry...
Anonymous,'Why don't you have a route for my son?'This poem is a lament for a lost child: "Rode" is the "cross" or cross, and "routhe" is "ruth" or compassion, which is why one who lacks compassion is considered "unforgiving":
Why don't you have a route for my son?
let me cry;
Tak doun or rode my son Derworth,
¡O pinchame o cabalga con mi derling!
This is how the poem begins, but follow the link above to read the full poem, which ranks sixth on our list of the best medieval poems. It is the oldest poem on this list of funeral poems, dating back at least six centuries to the end of the 14th century, although it may be even older.
Juan Donne,A Farewell: Forbid Suffering'.
How virtuous men walk smoothly,
And whisper to their souls to go
As some of your sad friends say
The breath is gone now, and some say: No:
So let's melt and make no noise,
Rivers of tears do not move, Nor storms of sighs;
'Twere desecration of our joys
Tell our love to the laity.
As the title of this poem suggests, it is a farewell poem that Donne wrote for his wife Anne in 1611-12 before leaving England for a mission to Europe. “A Valediction” uses metaphors of cardinal points and alchemical processes to describe the relationship between man and woman and is one of the best examples of metaphysical poetry, but also something that could be described as an anti-mourning poem; Follow the link above to read the full (much longer) poem.
Roberto Herrick, 'The bad season makes the poet sad'.Robert Herrick (1591-1674) was a royalist who, after the English Civil War and the execution of King Charles I in 1649, wrote this poem of mourning over the loss of the King: 'All / Here seem to be mourned'. The whole country seems to be in mourning for HerrickCharles and the loss to the kingdom of his death:
Boring for me and almost dead for this one
My many fresh and fragrant lovers;
Lost to all music now like everything
It gives the appearance of distress here.
The earth is sick to heart, and remains
Most dangerous swoon from your desperate cure.
Although the poem deals with Herrick's own sense of loss, the opening lines (quoted here) express a more general sense of sadness and sadness.
Alfred Tennyson,In Memoriam A.H.H..Written over sixteen years, between 1833 and 1849,In Memoriam A.H.H.it was published in 1850, the year Tennyson became the British Poet Laureate. Over 133 songs with many more rhyming quatrainsabbot, Tennyson explores and documents the grief he felt in response to the sudden death of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam. The poem begins by asking the Lord's forgiveness for the intense pain Tennyson felt for his friend:
Forgive my pain for one removed,
Your creature I found so beautiful.
I trust it lives within you, and there
I think he's more likable.
Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
confusion of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they actually fail,
And in your wisdom make me wise.
Emily Dickinson, 'pain is a mouse'.Although this poem by Emily Dickinson explores a variety of metaphors for grief, its opening analogy is with a mouse choosing "Wainscot in the Breast / For His Shy House". The idea is that pain is felt deeply but hidden: like a mouse on a dashboard, we are constantly aware of it but never (or rarely) see it. The poem goes on to say:
Pain is a juggler, bolder in the game
So you don't twitch that eye like that
Jump on your bruises, say one or three
Kummer is a gourmet - in addition to its luxury -
The best duel is tongueless - before he says -
Burn him in the public square –
Your ashes - will be
How can you tell if they refuse?
A shelf could not coax a syllable
See the link given above to read the entire poem.
Cristina Rossetti, 'A tomb by the sea'.This short poem, written in 1853 and published in 1884, contains many of the features and themes we find elsewhere in Rossetti's poem: sadness, death, memory, love. Here, of course, mourning and death are more significant (possibly a pun).boughtin the last line of the first stanza of the poem cited here):
without thinking about the roses
Without thinking about the thorn
A reaper rests weary
Enter your collected corn:
Me too, see you tomorrow morning!
Edna St Louis Louis Vincent Wicked, 'Time brings no relief'.Time is a healer, they say. Words of comfort and reassurance, but what if timenodoes it seem to ease the pain of grief? This sonnet conveys such an idea: that the speaker's pain increased with time, instead of being relieved by the passage of days, weeks, months. Ironically, reading such a poem canHelppity (asFound Sheila Hancockfollowing her husband John Thaw) because it expresses something we feel as we try to find a way out of the grieving process.
W. H. Auden, 'stop all clocks'.Also known as the "Funeral Blues", this poem reached a whole new audience when it was recited by John's character Hannah in the 1994 film.Four marriages and one death🇧🇷 What good is the world if it doesn't contain the one we love? When they are gone, everything becomes useless, useless, colorless. Auden's poem captures this sense of pain and despair so well, thoughas we reveal hereThe poem surprisingly began as a parody of sentimental poetic homage to public figures.
Dylan Thomas,Refusing to mourn the death of a child in a London fire'.Written during World War II, when London was frequently bombed by the Germans, this poem, as the title makes clear, rejects the usual reaction to death, particularly the death of a young girl. What sounds like a heartless premise is quite the opposite: Thomas argues in the poem that it is strange and inappropriate to mourn a specific death (especially when the "mourning" itself serves no purpose) when there is so much suffering in the world that it doesn't exist. , and always has been. Listen to Thomas read this poem.here.
Tony Harrison, 'long haul II'.Stephenspender (1909-1995) said of Tony Harrison's series of elegies for his parents that they were the kind of poetry he had been waiting for all his life. In this poem, the poet reflects on his father's grief following the death of Harrison's mother, before reflecting on Harrison's reaction to his father's death. With 16 lines instead of the usual 14, these Harrison sonnets are among the best poems of the 20th century about the grieving process and deserve to be read in full.
Explore classical poetry further with theseshort poems about death and dying, It ismoving farewell poems, this is itunrequited love poems🇧🇷 We also recommendDas Oxford Book of English Verse– perhaps the best poetic anthology on the market (we offer ourSelection of the best poetry collectionshere).
The author of this article, Dr. Oliver Tearle is a literary critic and professor of English at Loughborough University. Among other things, he is the author ofThe Secret Library: A Book Lover's Journey Through Historical TriviajThe Great War, the Desert and the Long Modernist Poem.
“Spring and Fall,” written by Gerard Manley Hopkins in September, 1880, and collected in his Poems and Prose, is the saddest poem ever written.What are the 10 most popular poem? ›
- Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.
- Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare.
- O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman.
- The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
- Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas.
- i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings.
- Power by Audre Lorde.
- The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
- So, we'll go no more a roving by Lord Byron.
- Selected by Judi Dench: ...
- I took my Power in my Hand by Emily Dickinson.
- Selected by Elena Ferrante: ...
- I am by John Clare.
- Selected by Helen Pankhurst: ...
- When you Are Old by W.B. Yeats.
- Selected by Mariella Frostrup:
- 1 Darkness by Lord Byron.
- 2 The Dark by Carol Ann Duffy.
- 3 The Dark Forest by Edward Thomas.
- 4 Gretel in Darkness by Louise Glück.
- 5 The Vampire by Conrad Aiken.
- 6 The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
- 7 Storm Fear by Robert Frost.
- 8 The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde.
- William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow” ...
- T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land” ...
- Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken” ...
- Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool” ...
- Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” ...
- Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death –” ...
- Langston Hughes, “Harlem”
- Pablo Neruda, “Nothing But Death”
- Karinna Alves Gulias, “Forgetfulness”
- Dunya Mikhail, “Bag of Bones”
- Reginald Dwayne Betts, “For the City That Nearly Broke Me”
- Louise Glück, “The Myth of Innocence”
- Sara Teasdale, “If Death is Kind”
- #1. From 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes (1906) ...
- #2. 'A Red, Red Rose' by Robert Burns (1794) ...
- #3. 'Crossing the Bar' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1889) ...
- #4. From 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe (1845) ...
- #5. From 'Howl' by Allan Ginsberg (1956) ...
- #6. ...
- #7. ...
- Sir Edward Dyer, 'My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is'. ...
- 2. Walt Whitman, 'Song of Myself'. ...
- Emily Dickinson, '“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers'. ...
- W. E. Henley, 'Invictus'. ...
- Rudyard Kipling, 'If—'. ...
- Max Ehrmann, 'Desiderata'. ...
- Langston Hughes, 'Dreams'. ...
- Philip Larkin, 'Coming'.
A 7-line poem is called a Septet.How do I make myself cry ASAP? ›
- Avoid Blinking. One of the easiest ways to make yourself cry is by not blinking. ...
- Engage In Breathwork. ...
- Go For A Walk. ...
- Listen To Music. ...
- Move Your Body. ...
- Read A Sad Story. ...
- Take A Shower. ...
- Talk To Someone.
Empathy, compassion, physical pain, attachment pain, and moral and sentimental emotions can trigger these tears. They communicate your emotions to others. Emotional tears make you feel more vulnerable, which could improve your relationships.What are some good poems about life? ›
- "Risk", by Anaïs Nin. ...
- "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", by Robert Frost. ...
- “Hope is the thing with feathers", by Emily Dickinson. ...
- "The Peace of Wild Things", by Wendell Berry. ...
- "The Summer Day", by Mary Oliver. ...
- "The Guest House", by Rumi.
Elegies are almost always a way of honouring, celebrating or memorialising. someone. One of the most well-known and enduring examples is Thomas Gray's poem, 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'. While the churchyard could potentially be identified.Who is America's most loved poet? ›
Edgar Allan Poe is the most popular poet in America | YouGov.Who is the greatest female poet of all time? ›
- Sappho, The Lyric Poetess.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning And Romanticism.
- Elizabeth Bishop, The Travelling Poet.
- Gwendolyn Brooks, A Poetic Genius.
- Maya Angelou, The Heart Of Modern America.
- Sylvia Plath.
- Emily Dickinson.
- Rupi Kaur.
A remembrance poem or funeral reading can be a wonderful way of saying your final goodbyes to a loved one. It's often considered an important part of any funeral service, religious or not, and can bring comfort at this difficult time.Who are the saddest poets? ›
Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, to name a few, are all almost as famous for their struggles with depression as they are for their gift of poetry.What is the most difficult poem to write? ›
Also known as “the little sonnet,” the [décima] is one of the most complex forms of popular poetry, consisting of ten-line stanzas with a difficult rhyme scheme.What poems should I read? ›
- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
- The Anthology of Really Important Modern Poetry by Kathryn and Ross Petras.
- the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur.
- Collected Poems by Edna St. ...
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
- View with a Grain of Sand by Wisława Szymborska.
The Mahabharata is one of the longest epic poems ever written. It has over 200,000 verse lines, 1.8 million words and it is believed that it could have taken over 600 years to write!
The Most Beautiful Forms of Poetry: Haiku, ZaniLa Rhyme, Magic 9, Rondel Prime, and Stave Stanza.What is a 10 word poem? ›
A 10 word poem has no restrictions other than it can only have 10 words.What is a deep poem? ›
Glossary of Poetic Terms
A term originally coined by poets Jerome Rothenberg and Robert Kelly to describe stylized, resonant poetry that operated according to the Symbolist theory of correspondences, which posited a connection between the physical and spiritual realms.
Emotional Slam Poetry and Spoken Word Poems
These spoken word poems were written in or about the heat of a particular moment. Whether the feeling incurred was anger, sadness, fear, love, lust, bewilderedness, or joy, this is my attempt at encapsulating that emotion and giving it life through prose.
Tercets are any three lines of poetry, whether as a stanza or as a poem, rhymed or unrhymed, metered or unmetered. The haiku is a tercet poem.What is a poem with 24 lines called? ›
The roundelay is a 24 line poem written in trochaic tetrameter. What they have in common is that they both only use two rhyme sounds, and make use of refrains. Rondelet is the diminutive of rondel, a similar, longer verse form.What is a poem with 23 lines called? ›
The "Kiln" (Ancient Greek: Κάμινος, Kaminos), or "Potters" (Κεραμεῖς, Kerameis), is a 23-line hexameter poem that was variously attributed to Homer or Hesiod during antiquity, but is not considered the work of either poet by modern scholars.How to cry easily in 30 seconds? ›
- Yawn before having to cry on cue. Taking a few big yawns in a row will lift your soft palate and elicit a physical reaction in your eyes, causing them to glisten. ...
- Drink lots of water. ...
- Keep your eyes open for thirty seconds. ...
- Use a menthol tear stick. ...
- Breathe. ...
- Cut onions.
Menthol tear sticks and menthol tear-producing sprays are products designed specifically to generate tears and are often used by film and TV actors. Simply apply them lightly under the eyes, and the residue will let off menthol vapors that make your eyes water.What is a sad poem called? ›
An elegy is a sad poem, usually written to praise and express sorrow for someone who is dead.
The poet felt that the life and character of Ernest were nobler strain of poetry that he had ever written. His eyes filled with tears and he said to himself that never was there so worthy a sage as that thoughtful face, with the glim of white hair diffused about it.What is the shortest poem and who wrote it? ›
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the world's shortest poem is a one-letter poem by Aram Saroyan comprising a four-legged version of the letter "m".