Passion Poems

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The Woman and the Angel

by Robert Service

‘The Woman and the Angel’ is an allegory by Robert Service that reflects on the evolving nature of ethics and morality in human society.

The woman's desperate desire to be with the angel may evoke longing in the reader. The poem explores the human longing for connection, both with other people and with the divine, and may inspire a sense of yearning or a desire for transcendence.

An angel was tired of heaven, as he lounged in the golden street;

His halo was tilted sideways, and his harp lay mute at his feet;

So the Master stooped in His pity, and gave him a pass to go,

For the space of a moon, to the earth-world, to mix with the men below.

You should appear less often in my dreams

by Anna Akhmatova

‘You should appear less often in my dreams’ by Anna Akhmatova describes the difference between a dream relationship and the one that exists in real life.

This poem relates to passion in the context of desire and longing. The speaker's intense yearning for the desired person in their dreams evokes a passionate longing. The presence of the desired person, even within the realm of dreams, makes this emotion very clear.

You should appear less often in my dreams,

Since we meet so frequently;


by Dennis Scott

‘Marrysong’ by Dennis Scott describes the relationship between a husband and wife whose relationship is constantly shifting.

This poem relates to passion in that it portrays the speaker's intense love for his partner, despite the challenges of navigating a complex relationship. The poem suggests that the speaker's passion is fueled by the constant discovery of new aspects of his partner's personality and the ever-changing nature of their relationship.

He never learned her, quite. Year after year

that territory, without seasons, shifted

under his eye. An hour he could be lost

in the walled anger of her quarried hurt


by Mimi Khalvati

‘Ghazal’ is an ancient Persian form of poetry that makes use of couplets, which are quite similar to sonnets that have been in use by the European poets.

Passion is a very clear emotion in this poem, seen through the poet's description of the speaker's love for another person and how they contrast as people. They also indicate that "If, when it ends, we are just good friends, be my Friend," suggesting that having a connection with this person is their number one concern.

If I am the grass and you the breeze, blow through me.

If I am the rose and you the bird, then woo me.


by Friedrich Schiller 

‘Evening’ by Friedrich Schiller contains a speaker’s plea to Apollo that he allow the sun to set and rest, and love to descend.

The poem hints at the passion between Tethys and Cupid, the brief encounter that takes place within the narrative, illustrating the intensity and transformative power of passion in human lives. The poem also demonstrates the poet's passion for the subject matter on display here.

Oh! thou bright-beaming god, the plains are thirsting,

Thirsting for freshening dew, and man is pining;

Wearily move on thy horses--

Let, then, thy chariot descend!

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee

‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Maggee Jr. is a powerful WWII poem that was written in the weeks prior to the poet’s death. It explores flying, God, and human mortality.

The poem is imbued with a sense of passion, capturing the exhilaration of soaring through the skies and exploring the limits of human potential. The poet's feelings while flying come through very clearly.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things

Summum Bonum

by Robert Browning

‘Summum Bonum’ by Robert Browning is a fairly straightforward and memorable poem about love and how it is far more important, and valuable than any beautiful summer day or shining gemstone. 

The speaker loves the natural world but has a true passion for the woman mentioned in the final line. He feels that her love outweighs everything else of value in the world.

All the breath and the bloom of the year in the bag of one bee:

All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem:

In the core of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea:

To a Butterfly

by William Wordsworth

There are two poems by the title ‘To a Butterfly’ in William Wordsworth’s 1807 poetry collection, “Poems, in Two Volumes.” The first poem is the best-known in comparison to the latter one.

The speaker's passion for the natural world and childhood memories is evident in the poem's vivid imagery and emotional tone. The exclamation marks and exclamatory phrases further emphasize the intensity of the speaker's emotions.

Stay near me - do not take thy flight!

A little longer stay in sight!

Much converse do I find in thee,

Historian of my infancy!

The Peace Pipe

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘The Peace Pipe’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is the second part of the epic poem ‘The Song of Hiawatha.’ 

The passion portrayed in the poem has a dual nature. Initially, the tribes display a fiery passion for their feuds, a fierce loyalty to their grievances. However, upon Gitche Manito's intervention, a newfound passion emerges: a fervent desire for peace, unity, and communal harmony.

On the Mountains of the Prairie,

On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,

Gitche Manito, the mighty,

He the Master of Life, descending,


by Rudyard Kipling

Many people consider ‘If—’ to be one of the most inspirational poems ever written. It is certainly a poem that has garnered a great deal of attention in popular culture.

The poem advises the reader to pursue their dreams and goals with enthusiasm and dedication. It underscores the importance of embracing one's passions and living a life fueled by purpose and conviction.

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;


This Is Not a Small Voice

by Sonia Sanchez

‘This Is Not a Small Voice’ by Sonia Sanchez is a well-loved poem that celebrates the power of Black men, women, and children, as well as their communities. 

The poem describes the love of Black people as a "passion for kissing learning on its face." The use of the word "passion" suggests a strong and intense emotion, conveying the idea that the love of black people is a driving force that motivates and inspires.

This is not a small voice

you hear this is a large

voice coming out of these cities.

This is the voice of LaTanya.


by Giusue Carducci

‘Virgil’ by Giusue Carducci uses nature imagery to evoke historical and mythical themes and events.

The poem is filled with passion in its descriptions of nature and its celebration of poetry. It captures the intense emotions that can be stirred up by both nature and language and how they can provide solace and comfort in difficult times.

As when above the heated fields the moon

Hovers to spread its veil of summer frost,

The brook between its narrow banks half lost

Glitters in pale light, murmuring its low tune;

Populist Manifesto

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti passionately urges poets to break free, engage the world, and speak out for transformative change.

The poem evokes the emotion of passion through Lawrence Ferlinghetti's fervent call for poets to break free from closed worlds and engage with the pressing issues of society. The poem's strong language, vivid imagery, and urgent tone reflect the poet's deep passion for transformative change and social consciousness. Ferlinghetti's powerful message inspires a sense of enthusiasm and zeal, encouraging poets to embrace their craft with unwavering dedication and fervor.

Poets, come out of your closets,

Open your windows, open your doors,

You have been holed-up too long

in your closed worlds.



Romance Sonámbulo

by Federico Garcia Lorca

‘Romance Sonámbulo’ by Federico García Lorca is a mournful and beautiful dream sequence in which the poet longs for something unattainable. 

Desire and passion are driving forces in 'Romance Sonámbulo,' propelling the actions and emotions of the characters. Lorca depicts the burning yearning for connection and fulfillment, exploring the boundaries of desire and its consequences.

Green, how I want you green.

Green wind. Green branches.

The ship out on the sea

and the horse on the mountain.

[love is more thicker than forget]

by E.E. Cummings

‘[love is more thicker than forget]’ by E.E. Cummings conveys the idea that love can be a source of hope, comfort, and joy in times of darkness.

The speaker Cummings uses in this four-stanza poem is incredibly passionate and helps create a passionate and appreciative mood for the reader as well. The speaker is very passionate about love and the many ways it manifests.

love is more thicker than forget

more thinner than recall

more seldom than a wave is wet

more frequent than to fail

I Saw From the Beach

by Thomas Moore

‘I Saw From the Beach’ by Thomas Moore is a thoughtful poem. It considers the soul and passion and how the two things change over time as one ages. 

The poem's central emotion is passion, with the speaker reflecting on the moment when passion first woke a new life through his frame and carrying that feeling throughout the entire poem.

I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,

A bark o’er the waters move gloriously on;

I came when the sun o’er that beach was declining,

The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.

The Light of the World

by Derek Walcott

Through shared journeys, Derek Walcott’s ‘The Light of the World’ unveils beauty, empathy, and privilege, fostering connections amid life’s complexities.

The poem elicits passion through the speaker's intense emotions and desires. His vivid descriptions of the woman's beauty and his longing for intimacy convey a deep and fervent passion. This passion is interwoven with empathy and the speaker's internal struggle, evoking a complex array of emotions that drive the poem's emotional intensity.

Marley was rocking on the transport's stereo

and the beauty was humming the choruses quietly.

I could see where the lights on the planes of her cheek

streaked and defined them; if this were a portrait

All You Have is a Country

by Ha Jin

“All You Have is A Country” by Ha Jin explores patriotism and how it can be negatively ingrained into someone’s personality.

The speaker is very passionate in his allusions to the destructive power of aligning one's identity with a country's culture. The speaker knows that people, like the unnamed person they're describing in the text, connect their lives directly to what a country, in this case, China, tells them to.

You are so poor that all you have is a country.

Whenever you open your mouth

you talk about the country

to which you can no longer return.

Carpe Diem

by William Shakespeare

‘Carpe Diem’ by William Shakespeare is a love song from Twelfth Night, sung by Feste the clown/fool. It’s about love and youth. 

The speaker's language is filled with passion. They love the person they're talking to and feel passionate about the message they're conveying in this poem.

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?

O stay and hear! your true-love's coming

That can sing both high and low;

Trip no further, pretty sweeting,

The Song of Hiawatha Introduction

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘The Song of Hiawatha’ Introduction by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is the first in a series of sections, or cantos, from the long epic poem, ‘The Song of Hiawatha.’

Hiawatha's drive to unite tribes and foster peace is fueled by a deep passion. His love for Minnehaha, his commitment to his people, and his pursuit of wisdom all underline the fervor with which he approaches life.

Should you ask me, whence these stories?

Whence these legends and traditions,

With the odors of the forest

With the dew and damp of meadows,

The Flag Goes By

by Henry Holcomb Bennett

‘The Flag Goes By’ by Henry Holcomb Bennett is a patriotic American poem that focuses on the symbolism of the American flag. It encourages those reading to respect the flag as a symbol. 

The speaker is incredibly passionate about America and what the American flag symbolizes. They implore those around them to take off their hats when the American flag passes by.

Hats off!

Along the street there comes

A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,

A dash of color beneath the sky:

Hats off!

The flag is passing by!

The Things That Are More Excellent

by William Watson

‘The Things that Are More Excellent’ by William Watson is a highly relatable poem that reminds readers to value the truly “excellent” things in life. One should not waste time on societal norms or acquiring material possessions.

Throughout this nine-stanza poem, the poet shares his passion for "excellent" things with the reader. It's clear that Watson cared deeply about the quality of one's life and ensuring that one's days aren't wasted on things that don't matter.

As we wax older on this earth,

Till many a toy that charmed us seems

Emptied of beauty, stripped of worth,

And mean as dust and dead as dreams—

To Speak of Woe That Is In Marriage

by Robert Lowell

‘To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage’ by Robert Lowell is a memorable, confessional poem. In it, lol taps into the life experiences of a wife who is fearful of her lustful husband.

The poem describes the husband's lust in vivid and harsh terms, as a destructive and dangerous force that threatens to harm the speaker. It highlights the darker side of passion, one that is not always positive or healthy.

“The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.

Our magnolia blossoms. Life begins to happen.

My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,

and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,

Christmas Everywhere

by Phillips Brooks

‘Christmas Everywhere’ by Phillips Brooks is an uplifting Christmas and religious poem about the power of the season. The poet implies that if people wanted to, they could carry the same feeling of faithfulness throughout the whole year. 

The speaker is filled with passion, passion for Christmas and passion for Christianity. He also feels strongly about the faithful feelings that Christmas inspires in people worldwide.

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,

Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine,

Christmas where snow-peaks stand solemn and white,

Each In His Own Tongue

by William Herbert Carruth

‘Each In His Own Tongue’ by William Herbert Carruth depicts the world and all its beauty and suffering, attributing the elements to evolution, longing, consecration, or God. 

The speaker describes the world in passionate and interested language, encouraging the readers to look toward their faith or towards any alternate means of understanding the world.

A fire mist and a planet,

A crystal and a cell,

A jellyfish and a saurian,

And caves where the cave men dwell;


by Josiah Gilbert Holland

‘Gradatim’ by Josiah Gilbert Holland is a poem about the lifetime of work it takes to climb the ladder to Heaven. One needs to dedicate themselves to a life of good deeds to reach God. 

The speaker hopes that their passion for Heaven and God will translate to the reader, who, in turn, will focus their life on attaining a position alongside God. The poet uses a confident tone throughout, ensuring that readers trust their assertions about life.

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;

But we build the ladder by which we rise

From the lowly earth, to the vaulted skies,

And we mount to its summit round by round.


by Edgar Guest

‘Home’ by Edgar Guest is a moving and highly relatable poem in which the poet describes the necessity of turning a house into a home and how that process plays out. 

The speaker is passionate about the subject matter they're exploring in this poem. Specifically, the importance of one's home and the many life events that make that house feel impossible to part with.

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,

A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam

Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,

An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

by William Shakespeare

‘How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!’ by William Shakespeare is an excerpt from The Merchant of Venice, a famous Shakespearean play. The lines are found in Act V Scene 1 and are spoken by Lorenzo.

The speaker shows a great deal of passion for the subject matter he's interested in, and it is likely that readers will walk away from this poem feeling something similar.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

Here will we sit and let the sounds of music

Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night

Become the touches of sweet harmony.

Suicide’s Note

by Langston Hughes

‘Suicide’s Note’ is a three-line poem that speaks from the perspective of someone who wants to take their own life. They feel the “cool face” of the river asking them for a “kiss.”

The speaker is tempted by the river's calm and cool demeanor, and the invitation to kiss it suggests a temptation to give in to nature's allure and abandon oneself to the river's embrace.

The calm, 

Cool face of the river

Asked me for a kiss. 

Jenny Kiss’d Me

by Leigh Hunt

‘Jenny Kiss’d Me’ by Leigh Hunt is a powerful declaration of happiness in the face of the passage of time. A great deal of joy can be found in a single happy memory, the speaker suggests. 

The speaker's passion should be easily interpreted by readers, despite the poem's short length. The speaker feels a great deal about the subjects he alludes to, including sorrow about the passage of time and a love for his memory of Jenny.

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in!


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