Depression

Poems about Depression

Depression has been around for a very long time and many people suffering from depression have used poetry as a way of coping with the disorder. Here is a list of poems about depression.

Baudelaire by Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz’s ‘Baudelaire’ is an emotional depiction of a poet’s desperation caused by poverty and the vicious cycle of hopelessness.

Baudelaire by Delmore Schwartz Visual Representation

Aviation by Alice Fulton

‘Aviation’ by Alice Fulton is a poem about a single speaker’s highly relatable feelings of isolation in her small town. She sees herself as separate and alienated from those around her.

Aviation by Alice Fulton Visual Representation

The View From Halfway Down (Bojack Horseman)

‘The View From Halfway Down’ is a short poem included in an episode of Bojack Horseman. It provides readers with a unique insight into the mind of someone who is moments from his death and experiences an intense regret for his choice to end his life.

The View from Halfway Down Visual Representation

The Great Society by Robert Bly

Published in Robert Bly’s award-winning collection, The Light Around the Body (1967), ‘The Great Society’ satirizes the set of domestic programs launched by Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964-65 by presenting contrasting imagery from contemporary American society.

The Great Society by Robert Bly Visual Representation

Wanting to Die by Anne Sexton

‘Wanting to Die’ by Anne Sexton is a poem about the poet’s desire to take her own life. It was written close to ten years before she committed suicide. 

Wanting to Die by Anne Sexton Visual Representation

Notice by Robert Lowell

A thought-provoking piece from Robert Lowell’s incredible array of poetry, ‘Notice’ harks for capturing each and every moment of our lives, be it repeated or unbearable. We have to draw inspiration from tiny details in our lives.

Notice by Robert Lowell Visual Representation

Rowing by Anne Sexton

‘Rowing’ by Anne Sexton is a moving and unforgettable poem about depression. It was written two years before Sexton took her life in 1974.

Rowing by Anne Sexton Visual Representation

Sorrow by Edna St. Vincent Millay

‘Sorrow’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay is a lyric poem written about a speaker’s depression. The short piece is filled with evocative depictions of what feeling all-encompassing sorrow is like. 

Sorrow by Edna St. Vincent Millay Visual Representation

Caedmon by Denise Levertov

Levertov’s ‘Caedmon’ retells the story of that night when an Anglo-Saxon simpleton transformed into the most-famous name of Old English literature.

Caedmon By Denise Levertov Visual Representation

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale

‘Moonlight’ is a short lyrical poem by Sara Teasdale that uses various literary devices to depict the sorrows of a troubled youth.

Moonlight by Sara Teasdale Visual Representation

Sonnet 152 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 152,’ also known as ‘In loving thee thou know’st I am forsworn,’ addresses the state of the speaker’s relationship with the Dark Lady. He seems to be willing to address that there’s no future for them.

sonnet 152 by william shakespeare

Sonnet by Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong’s ‘Sonnet’ is not a conventional poem having fourteen lines or a specific structure. This piece is filled with images that collectively tap on the theme of suffering.

Sonnet by Cathy Park Hong Visual Representation

Deportation by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Deportation’ appears in Carol Ann Duffy’s Somerset Maugham Award winner book of poetry “Selling Manhattan” (1987). This piece speaks on themes of exile, linguistic supremacy, and cultural dominance.

Deportation by Carol Ann Duffy Visual Representation

Sonnet 150 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 150,’ also known as ‘O! from what power hast thou this powerful might,’ explores the ways the Dark Lady controls Shakespeare’s speaker. She makes him love her even though she’s cruel to him

Don’t kill yourself today by Hannah Dains

‘Don’t kill yourself today’ by Hannah Dains is a thoughtful and powerful poem about suicide. The poet explores all the reasons someone has to stay alive and expresses her love for those struggling with depression.

Don't kill yourself today by hannah daines visual representation

Bonedog by Eva H.D.

‘Bonedog’ by Eva H.D. is a powerful poem about coming home. It considers what it’s like to make it through life, even when it’s mundane and painful.

To God by Ivor Gurney

‘To God’ is a poem of the early twentieth century. It expresses the plight of the poet persona as he laments to God about his mental illness.

To God by Ivor Gurney Visual Representation

Sonnet 144 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 144,’ also known as ‘Two loves I have of comfort and despair,’ expresses the speaker’s fears in regard to the Fair Youth’s purity. The poem is concerned with how he may be corrupted by the Dark Lady.

Sleep by Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor’s ‘Sleep’ describes how an infant is born in the womb of a woman. This poem describes the journey of life from inanition to entity.

Sleep by Kenneth Slessor Visual Representation

Suburban Sonnet by Gwen Harwood

‘Suburban Sonnet’ by Gwen Harwood is a powerful poem about a woman’s struggles with motherhood. It explores the mundane elements of her life and her lost dreams.

Sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 142,’ also known as ‘Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,’ is one of the sonnets Shakespeare wrote about the Dark Lady. It compares love and sin.

sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

I Am! by John Clare

‘I Am!’ by John Clare is a powerful poem about a speaker’s struggle with depression, loneliness, and a desire to find peace in Heaven. 

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.”

Suicide's Note by Langston Hughes Visual Representation

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