Poems about Hopelessness

Two Women by Marcus Wilcox

‘Two Women’ by Marcus Wilcox is a thoughtful and complex poem about identity. The speaker spends the text discussing the lives of two different women.

two women by marcus wilcox

Middle Passage by Robert Hayden

‘Middle Passage’ by Robert Hayden is a narrative poem written in the 1940s. It describes the happenings of the Atlantic Slave Trade, as told from the perspective of several white narrators.

Middle Passage by Robert Hayden Visual Representation

Sonnet 150 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 150,’ also known as ‘O! from what power hast thou this powerful might,’ explores the ways the Dark Lady controls Shakespeare’s speaker. She makes him love her even though she’s cruel to him

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 daines visual representation

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. 

I Cannot Live With You by Emily Dickinson

‘I cannot live with You’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about marriage. The speaker spends the lines declaring why she can’t “live with you” and her various related concerns.

Futility by Wilfred Owen

Despite Wilfred Owen’s prodigious writing, only five poems were ever published in his lifetime – probably because of his strong anti-war sentiment, which would not have been in line with British policy at the time, particularly in their attempt to gather rather more and more people to sign up for the war.

Futility by Wilfred Owen Visual Representation

Counter-Attack by Siegfried Sassoon

‘Counter-Attack’ is perhaps Siegfried Sassoon’s longest poem that describes a failed counter-attack on the German line. From the very first stanza, a sense of hopelessness lurks in this poem.

Counter-Attack by Siegfried Sassoon Visual Representation
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