Unrequited Love

A Jet Ring Sent by John Donne

‘A Jet Ring Sent’ by John Donne describes how a speaker’s beloved returned his promise ring. The speaker meditates on the nature of their relationship and how it is symbolized by the black ring. 

A Jet Ring Sent by John Donne

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

Confessions by Robert Browning

Robert Browning’s dramatic monologue ‘Confessions,’ as the title says, is written in the confessional mode and is about a speaker’s secretive meetings with a girl.

Confessions by Robert Browning

Symptoms of Love by Robert Graves

‘Symptoms of Love’ is a fascinating mediation on the agony that can arise from being in love and whether that suffering is ever worthwhile.

Symptoms of Love by Robert Graves

Good-bye by Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare’s poem ‘Good-bye’ illustrates the impact of the “last of last words” with the help of vivid, pessimistic imagery. It’s all about one’s emotional distress caused by a heart-wrenching “Goodbye.”

Good-bye by Walter de la Mare

On a Certain Lady at Court by Alexander Pope

Written in 1717, Pope’s ‘On a Certain Lady at Court’ is about Catharine Howard, one of the waiting-women of Queen Caroline and a mistress to George II. Pope satirizes the lady’s qualities as she rejects his genuine love.

On a Certain Lady at Court by Alexander Pope

The Poem Unwritten by Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov’s ‘The Poem Unwritten’ revolves around the extended metaphor for unconsummated love that is aptly portrayed in its very title. This piece fuses physicality with spiritual love.

The Poem Unwritten by Denise Levertov

Sonnet 227 by Petrarch

‘Sonnet 227’ is about “Love,” particularly “Unrequited love.” Petrarch expresses his deep love for Laura, her indifference towards his love, and the various contrasting emotions he undergoes in the poem.

Sonnet 227 by Petrarch

Crows in a Strong Wind by Cornelius Eady

‘Crows in a Strong Wind’ appears in the American poet Cornelius Eady’s poetry collection Victims of Latest Dance Craze. This piece captures the crows’ directionless movement in the stormy wind.

Crows in a Strong Wind by Cornelius Eady

Spare by Joanna Klink

‘Spare’ appears in The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry edited by Rita Dove. This poem describes an unfulfilled love affair of a speaker and her feelings concerning the relationship.

Spare by Joanna Klink

10 of the Best Poems about the Heart

Here is a list of 10 heart-to-heart poems from poets ranging from William Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, Emily Dickinson, and Dylan Thomas. These poems explore the nature of love, heartache, and hearty emotions stored within.

10 of the Best Poems about the Heart

Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor! by John Dryden

‘Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor!’ by John Dryden swears off men and relationships. The speaker asserts that men are incapable of being truthful or loving as much as women.

Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor! by John Dryden

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

Sonnet 103 by William Shakespeare

Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 103, ‘Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth,’ with a summary and complete analysis of the poem.

When I Was One-and-Twenty by A. E. Housman

‘When I Was One-and-Twenty’ by A. E. Housman is a relatable poem that explores how easy it is to make mistakes in one’s love life, even when one knows exactly what they should do.

He Is More Than A Hero by Sappho

‘He is more than a hero’ by Sappho describes a speaker’s turbulent emotions in regards to a woman she loves but she cannot have.

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