Loneliness Poems

According to John Steinbeck, “All great and precious things are lonely.” Loneliness is a tough emotion, but ultimately, poetry can help us remember that everything we feel, from loneliness to heartbreak, is a normal human emotion that other people are also feeling as we speak.

These poems about loneliness are a great reminder that we all feel lonesome sometimes. Despite the unpleasant feelings that accommodate solitude, something beautiful, such as a great poem, can come from them.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth’s literary classic, ‘Daffodils,’ also known as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,’ is one of the most popular poems in the English language. It is a quintessential poem of the Romantic movement.

'I wandered Lonely as a Cloud' is one of the best poems in the English language, as it is packed with intense emotional meaning. This poem's uplifting, contemplative perspective on loneliness reminds the listener that solitude is not always a bad thing. In many cases, it gives one the space they need to see the beauty in nature, their memories, and other people.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

by T.S. Eliot

‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ is today considered one of T.S. Eliot’s most important contributions to modernism.

This free verse poem captures the difficult emotions associated with loneliness. As the speaker's anxiety impacts his tone and diction, the text explores the tricky nature of how to create and maintain relationships. While this poem is not explicitly uplifting, it is a good reminder that loneliness is a universal emotion that everyone feels sometimes.

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

Sonnet 29

by William Shakespeare

‘When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes’ by William Shakespeare is part of the “Fair Youth” sequence of poems. In these poems, the speaker expresses his love and adoration for a young man.

The speaker of 'When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes’ is consumed by loneliness and self-criticism, invaded by intrusive thoughts. He seems hopeless and depressed. However, he learns how to soothe his sorrow by thinking of a "fair youth" who reminds him that he is fortunate to be himself.

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell

by John Keats

‘O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell’ by John Keats is a fourteen-line sonnet that is contained within one block of text. It expresses the speaker’s intention to find somewhere peaceful, in a valley, amongst trees, bees, and deer to live out his days.

As is immediately evident through the capitalization of solitude, the speaker is going to be addressing the force as a feature of the world with an agency all its own, almost as if it is a person. The speaker, though he feels loneliness, retreats into nature, realizing that he is surrounded by all sorts of life.

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,

Let it not be among the jumbled heap

Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—

Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,


by Maya Angelou

‘Alone’ by Maya Angelou is a moving poem. It explores the topics of solitude and loneliness in a way that all readers should be able to relate to.

Throughout this poem, the speaker repeats the phrase, "no one can get through life alone." The simple power of this verse, in its attempt to capture the despair that goes hand-in-hand with loneliness, reminds the listener that human beings are social animals who sometimes need a shoulder to cry on.

Lying, thinking

Last night

How to find my soul a home

Where water is not thirsty

Danse Russe

by William Carlos Williams

Danse Russe by William Carlos Williams is a lighthearted poem in which the poet dances naked before a mirror. The poet, as he dances, admires himself and his own company, relishing his loneliness.

If loneliness is eating at your heart, 'Danse Russe' is a potent cure. With its laughable subject matter and lighthearted approach to solitude, Williams emphasizes that loneliness can be a good thing if you can learn to keep yourself company.

If I when my wife is sleeping

and the baby and Kathleen

are sleeping

and the sun is a flame-white disc

l(a (A Leaf Falls with Loneliness)

by E.E. Cummings
The lack of completion of words and the use of incomplete phrases in this brief poem allows the reader to feel an absence, reflecting the theme of loneliness. As such, while this poem illustrates the difficult parts of being alone, it also celebrates the complex, beautiful feelings that come with solitude.




Talking in Bed

by Philip Larkin

‘Talking in Bed’ by Philip Larkin depicts the difficulties a speaker has talking in bed with his lover. It’s a poem about how loneliness can invade even the most initmate moments.

In this poem, the speaker expresses their loneliness, even though they are not physically alone. Larkin knows that exposing oneself physically and emotionally to another person should bring out one’s most honest self, but that is not the case. Instead, confusion, distrust, and fear can isolate us - even if we have someone sitting right beside us.

Talking in bed ought to be easiest,

Lying together there goes back so far,

An emblem of two people being honest.

Yet more and more time passes silently.

Acquainted with the Night

by Robert Frost

‘Acquainted with the Night’ by Robert Frost is a personal poem that deals with themes of depression. It’s told, perhaps, from the poet’s own perspective.

At first glance, the diction Frost uses in his title is curious. The word acquainted indicates that the speaker is familiar with the night, but it does not mean that the speaker knows the night well, nor does it indicate that he particularly likes the night. This relationship stresses the speaker's loneliness as he moves through life detached.

I have been one acquainted with the night.

I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.

I have outwalked the furthest city light.

Ode on Solitude

by Alexander Pope

‘Ode on Solitude’ by Alexander Pope is a beautiful and peaceful poem. It asserts a speaker’s desire to live a good, simple life and go unnoticed by the world.

When Pope wrote this celebration of loneliness, he had the idea of solitude in mind, as do a great many poets who express themselves best through the written word, and perhaps less so in the company of others. Solitude itself is an important thing to attain from time to time, and perhaps it makes sense to think of one of Pope’s oldest poems as being about a very basic human desire and its benefits.

Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air,

In his own ground.

Mr. Flood’s Party

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

‘Mr. Flood’s Party’ by Edwin Arlington Robinson describes a man’s later years in life and how lonely he has become. It suggests that a long life is not always a blessing. 

Mr. Flood is alone in the world, having outlived everyone he loved. He gets very little consolation or closure by the end of this poem. However, a glimmer of joy exists in his memories of the past from when his friends were still alive and with him.

Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night

Over the hill between the town below

And the forsaken upland hermitage

That held as much as he should ever know

Explore more poems about Loneliness


by Jean Bleakney

Jean Bleakney’s ‘Consolidation’ is a deeply personal poem about the act of rearranging the cowry shells that the speaker and her children gathered in the past.

This piece revolves around a lonely mother who wishes to consolidate the old memories that pull her back and make her emotional.

The Double Shame

by Stephen Spender

‘The Double Shame’ by Stephen Spender conveys a depiction of what the world feels like when one loses a very important person in their life. Everything is transformed in a way that makes a living from day to day difficult. 

The person referred to as 'you" in the poem is surely lonely and spends their days dwelling in their isolation.

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.

The poem offers a sense of connection and encouragement to the reader. It acknowledges that suicide might seem like the only option, but reminds the reader that they are loved and that their life is important.

Two Lovers and a Beachcomber by the Real Sea

by Sylvia Plath

‘Two Lovers and a Beachcomber by the Real Sea’ by Sylvia Plath explores imagination. Reality, the speaker realizes, doesn’t always live up to what one imagined.

The poem's imagery and atmosphere convey a sense of loneliness and isolation, with the lone beachcomber and the taunting gulls creating an eerie and haunting mood.

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's willingness to kiss the river can also suggest a sense of loneliness or isolation, as if the natural world is the only companion that can offer solace or understanding.

Before She Died

by Karen Chase

‘Before She Died’ by Karen Chase is a poem about how someone’s death, or impending death, changes the way that one understands the world. 

A certain amount of loneliness is felt within the poem's lines, seen through the poet's slow, quiet wanderings through the woods with their dog. This person is expecting a great loss and is very impacted by it.

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

by Amiri Baraka

‘Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note’ (1961) is the titular poem of Amiri Baraka’s first collection of poems. This piece introduces a depressed narrator engrossed with the thoughts of dying.

The mention of counting stars and holes left by missing ones emphasizes a feeling of loneliness and loss. The poem also touches upon the speaker's relationship with their daughter, with the final lines revealing a sense of confusion and perhaps even paranoia.

A Country Life

by Randall Jarrell

‘A Country Life’ by Randall Jarrell gives a deeply felt depiction of the impacts of life, death and loneliness on one’s life before death finally comes. 

A Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

‘A Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe describes a speaker’s waking and dreaming state and the brief moments of light and hope he experiences. 


by Edgar Allan Poe

‘Alone’ by Edgar Allan Poe demonstrates the poet’s best verse. Here, the tormented mind of the literary genius is unveiled and readers get a glimpse into his abrupt and troubled life.

Amethyst Beads

by Eavan Boland

‘Amethyst Beads’ by Eavan Boland alludes to Greek mythology and the suffering of a child, Persephone, after she was separated from her mother, Demeter.


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.


by Sylvia Plath

‘Blackberrying’ by Sylvia Plath explores decaying and flourishing life and human mortality. It was published in 1971 in Crossing the Water, after the poet’s death.

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