Suffering Poems

an afternoon nap

by Arthur Yap

‘an afternoon nap’ by Arthur Yap explores the lacunae in the modern education system and how it results in anxiety and stress in students.

This poem narrates the suffering of a boy caused by his strict mother and her tough actions.

Death of a Young Woman

by Gillian Clarke

Explore ‘Death of a Young Woman,’ where Clarke depicts how a loved one’s death lets a person free from their inward, endless suffering.

In 'Death of a Young Woman,' Clarke depicts how prolonged suffering makes one numb to the inevitable final blow of life.

Two Armies

by Stephen Spender

‘Two Armies’ by Stephen Spender describes two armies on a devastating battlefield where every individual is suffering. Their common humanity is highlighted. 

The men in this poem suffer in every way imaginable. It's that suffering that unifies both sides of the army.


by Stevie Smith

‘Parrot’ is a moving exploration of imprisonment and suffering set against the backdrop of the modern, urban world.

The titular parrot is alone and dying far from the place it belongs.

Gacela of Unforseen Love

by Federico Garcia Lorca

‘Gacela of Unforseen Love’ explores the relationship between love and despair through a remembered romance which has run its course.

Lorca's narrator suffers greatly as a result of his isolation from his lover. It is unclear whether the time they spent together would outweigh the narrator's present despair.

Go to Ahmedabad

by Sujata Bhatt

‘Go to Ahmedabad’ shows the psychological struggle of an immigrant dealing with disturbing past events and contemporary issues with newly developed views.

Throughout the poem, the speaker presents the suffering of deprived people and women in a patriarchal society. The speaker also expresses her personal anguish due to her migration.

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

by Emily Dickinson

‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’ by Emily Dickinson is a popular poem. In it, she depicts a very unusual idea of life after death.

The speaker conveys an inescapable sorrow about their suffering in this poem.


by Joaquin Miller

‘Columbus’ by Joaquin Miller is a perfectly rhymed poem that narrates a few moments in Columbus’ voyage to the new world. It focuses on the hardship the crew had to endure. 

The crew's suffering is a major topic in this 20th-century poem. The poet describes, with sensory imagery, the ways that the crew was contending with the terrible conditions on the ship. Things were getting so bad that the crew was about to mutiny.

The Miracle of Morning

by Amanda Gorman

‘The Miracle of Morning’ by Amanda Gorman is a direct message of hope in the face of suffering. Specifically, Gorman uses this poem to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and its outcome. 

Suffering is an important part of this poem. It is juxtaposed with the hopeful future Gorman presents. She writes about the many ways people struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic and the many ways, as she saw them, that people would come together after.

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. 

Suffering is the main theme of the poem's last stanza, something that sets this octave apart from the previous. The poet briefly describes the way that many people struggle on a day-to-day basis.

A Broken Appointment

by Thomas Hardy

Hardy’s poetry focuses on themes such as disappointment, thwarted love, and pessimism. ‘A Broken Appointment’ provokes empathy towards the lyrical voice.

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 of Death

by William Butler Yeats

‘A Dream of Death’ is a poem about one such dream that uses strong imagery to build an image that is touching both with and without its historic context.

A Hero

by Robert Service

Oftentimes, simplicity is the best approach to take for the expression of ideas. There’s no sense, after all, in explaining

A Hot Noon in Malabar

by Kamala Das

The poem, ‘A Hot Noon in Malabar’, is taken from the collection of poems titled ‘Summer in Calcutta” (1965). It

a man who had fallen among thieves

by E.E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings’ ‘a man who had fallen among thieves’ is a modern retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped a robbed man lying unconscious on the road. In this poem, the speaker helps one such person who faced a similar accident.

A Prayer For My Son

by William Butler Yeats

‘A Prayer for my Son,’ written from the perspective of a father who wants to protect his son against all odds during the brewing war in Ireland. Read the poem with a complete analysis.

A Requiem

by Elizabeth Jennings

When you read Elizabeth’s poetry, you never know what kind of theme you are going to read in her poetry.

A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map

by Stephen Spender

‘A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map’ by Stephen Spender explores the Spanish Civil War through the lyrical depiction of one man’s death. It is marked by a stopwatch, the olive trees, and the continued conflict around him. 

A Wife in London

by Thomas Hardy

This poem, ‘A Wife in London’, by Thomas hardy has a unique way of presenting a tragedy. The words are light


by Elizabeth Jennings

‘Admonition’ by Elizabeth Jennings describes how one should maintain control over their own life rather than designate their responsibilities to others. 


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.


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.

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.

An Army Corps on the March

by Walt Whitman

Whitman’s ‘An Army Corps on the March’ is a moving depiction of soldiers marching forward tirelessly during the Civil War. No matter how exhausted they were, they had a goal to fulfill and a dream to achieve!

An Arundel Tomb

by Philip Larkin

‘An Arundel Tomb’ by Philip Larkin muses on themes of life, death, and the passage of time. The speaker alludes to the strength of love and how affecting a demonstration of it can be.

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