Pain

Poems about Pain

Here by R.S. Thomas

‘Here’ by R.S. Thomas is delivered from the perspective of a man who, while looking back on his life, finds himself self regretting acts of violence he committed.

Here by R.S. Thomas Visual Representation

Dream Boogie by Langston Hughes

‘Dream Boogie’ by Langston Hughes is a poem about jazz, creativity, and the oppression of Black Americans. It was written during the Harlem Renaissance. 

Dream Boogie by Langston Hughes

Flash Crimson by Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg’s ‘Flash Crimson’ is an emotionally charged, devotional poem where a speaker is eager to ask God for more hardships. It deals with the themes of devotion, morality, legacy, and the afterlife.

Flash Crimson by Carl Sandburg Visual Representation

Poem at Thirty by Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez’s ‘Poem at Thirty’ describes a speaker’s journey from being wounded to growing stronger. The pain reminds her of the metaphorical “midnight” of her life and her community.

Poem at Thirty by Sonia Sanchez Visual Representation

Quinceañera by Judith Ortiz Cofer

‘Quinceañera’ appears in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1991). This coming-of-age poem is about a speaker’s physical and mental changes.

Quinceañera by Judith Ortiz Cofer Visual Representation

Arabic by Naomi Shihab Nye

‘Arabic’, a thoughtful poem by Naomi Shihab Nye appears in Red Suitcase: Poems (1994). This poem features a speaker’s forgetfulness concerning her mother tongue (Arabic) and culture.

Arabic by Naomi Shihab Nye Visual Representation

Triolet by Robert Bridges

‘Triolet’ by Robert Bridges is a short love poem that takes a specific poetic form. It acknowledges that love is a painful experience and personifies the force as a “hard master.” 

Triolet by Robert Bridges Visual Representation

In the Desert by Stephen Crane

‘In the Desert’ by Stephen Crane is a popular short poem that presents readers with a strange scenario. The poem speaks on human nature through a disturbing image of self-destruction.

In the Desert by Stephen Crane 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

Origin of the Marble Forest by Gregory Orr

‘Origin of the Marble Forest’ by Gregory Orr is an interesting and moving poem about someone’s past relationships. The speaker declares them “stone,” solidifying them in their life forever. 

Origin of the Marble Forest by Gregory Orr Visual Representation

Everything I touch by Kobayashi Issa

‘Everything I touch’ by Kobayashi Issa is a beautiful Japanese haiku written by one of the four great haiku masters. This piece speaks on what one might receive in return when they reach out with tenderness.

everything i touch by Kobayashi Issa

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper

Have you ever imagined what it felt like observing innocent lives being traded at the slave auction? It is vividly portrayed through the eyes of Frances Harper in her poem ‘The Slave Auction’.

The Slave Auction by Frances Harper Visual Representation

Rhyme of the Dead Self by A.R.D. Fairburn

‘Rhyme of the Dead Self’ by A.R.D. Fairburn is a captivating poem in which the poet speaks about youth and coming of age through images of violence and religion.

Duplex by Jericho Brown

‘Duplex’ by Jericho Brown explores physical and mental abuse, looking at how memory can impact a person.

Myxomatosis by Philip Larkin

‘Myxomatosis’ by Philip Larkin is about a disease of the same name. It was introduced to the wild rabbit population in Britain in the mid-1900s.

I look into my glass by Thomas Hardy

‘I look into my glass’ by Thomas Hardy describes the painful process of aging and how one’s mental age is not always in line with one’s physical. 

The Gun by Vicki Feaver

‘The Gun’ by Vicki Feaver tells of the changes that came over a relationship after a gun and hunting were introduced to a household. 

Wild Oats by Philip Larkin

‘Wild Oats’ by Philip Larkin depicts the difficulties in a specific relationship he had with two women.

The Pig by Roald Dahl

‘The Pig’ by Roald Dahl describes the thought process of an intelligent pig that realizes he is being raised to become a meal for humans. 

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer is a poem about relationships. In this piece, the speaker defines what it is she’s looking for and everything she doesn’t care about.

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