Loneliness

Break of Day by John Donne

‘Break of Day’ by John Donne is an aubade told from a female perspective. It conveys a woman’s understanding of her relationship with a busy lover. 

Break of Day by John Donne

I have a Bird in spring by Emily Dickinson

‘I have a Bird in spring’ by Emily Dickinson is dedicated to a close friendship poet was concerned about losing. It uses an extended metaphor created through zoomorphism. 

I have a Bird in spring by Emily Dickinson

Blackberrying 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.

Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath

She rose to His Requirement—dropt by Emily Dickinson

‘She rose to His Requirement – dropt’ by Emily Dickinson speaks to the lack of freedom and respect women had in Dickinson’s time. It emphasizes the confining nature of marriage and society’s expectations for a married woman.

She rose to His Requirement—dropt by Emily Dickinson

Contusion by Sylvia Plath

‘Contusion’ by Sylvia Plath is a memorable, short poem about death and a loss of passion or meaning in one’s life. It is a dramatic monologue written 12 days before the poet’s death. 

Contusion by Sylvia Plath

The Man with the Saxophone by Ai

‘The Man with the Saxophone’ by Ai contains a description of a lonely, quiet New York street and the moments of happiness the narrator experiences while listening to music.

The Man with the Saxophone by Ai

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

Song of the Powers by David Mason

Published in 1996, in David Mason’s award-winning collection, The Country I Remember, ‘Song of the Powers’ uses a children’s game, “stone, paper, scissors,” in order to comment on the futility of power.

Song of the Powers by David Mason

Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning by Richard Wilbur

Published in Wilbur’s award-winning collection Things of This World (1956), ‘Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning’ is about a girl dancing on a serene, lonely morning at the famous Spanish square.

Piazza di Spagna, Early Morning by Richard Wilbur

The Mountain by Elizabeth Bishop

‘The Mountain’ by Elizabeth Bishop is a poem portraying the transience of nature and life from the viewpoint of a personified mountain.

The Mountain by Elizabeth Bishop

Lonely Hearts by Wendy Cope

Wendy Cope’s ‘Lonely Hearts’ appears in her poetry collection “Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis”. This ironic piece talks about a speaker’s desperation over finding a perfect match in a lonely heart’s column.

Lonely Hearts by Wendy Cope

Disabled by Wilfred Owen

A harrowing poem that was written by a WW1 veteran, Wilfred Owen describing the haunting loneliness of life as an injured post-war soldier.

Disabled by Wilfred Owen

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

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 Dains

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.

Bonedog by Eva H.D.

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. 

The Crunch by Charles Bukowski

‘The Crunch’ is a moving poem filled with memorable descriptions of society’s lost men and women and our treatment of one another. 

Solitude by A.A. Milne

‘Solitude’ by A.A. Milne discusses themes of solitude. The poem also evokes feelings of contentment as Milne depicts Christopher’s secret hideaway.

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.

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. 

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