Loneliness In Art: Timeless Poems About Loneliness

Updated January 9, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Ironically, the more connected we are over social media, the less we connect face-to-face. And there's a lot to be said about face-to-face connection! You can't hug someone online or over a text, and there's so much that can only be conveyed through body language. The right facial expression can mean everything when we can't find the words to express our feelings.

When we're feeling isolated, there's comfort in knowing that we're not alone. One of the best ways to find solace is through art, like poetry, which lets us know our feelings are universal. Here are some loneliness poems that may help you feel a little less alone.

Poems About Loneliness

Everyone Feels Lonely Sometimes


In "Night," Michael Hofmann expresses how we don't think twice about doing everyday activities like laundry or shopping unless we are experiencing loneliness or are otherwise burdened and how being upset makes it challenging to accomplish these usually mundane tasks.

It's all right

Unless you're either lonely or under attack.

That strange effortful

Repositioning of yourself. Laundry, shopping,

Hours, the telephone-unless misinformed-

Only ever ringing for you, if it ever does.

The night-yours to decide,

Among drink, or books, or lying there.

On your back, or curled up.

An embarrassment of poverty.

Flood: Years of Solitude

Dionisio D. Martínez's "Flood: Years of Solitude" is relatable to anyone who has experienced loneliness. Note how the narrator conveys in the last line with only two simple words how we are all in this together.

To the one who sets a second place at the table anyway.

To the one at the back of the empty bus.

To the ones who name each piece of stained glass projected on a white wall.

To anyone convinced that a monologue is a conversation with the past.

To the one who loses with the deck he marked.

To those who are destined to inherit the meek.

To us.

On Broadway

"On Broadway" by Claude McKay describes what it feels like to experience loneliness in a crowd. And how much more crowded does it get than on Broadway?

About me young, careless feet

Linger along the garish street;

Above, a hundred shouting signs

Shed down their fantastic bright glow

Upon the merry crowd and lines

Of moving carriages below.

Oh wonderful is Broadway-only

My heart, my heart is lonely.

Desire naked, linked with Passion,

Goes trutting by in brazen fashion;

From playhouse, cabaret, and inn

The rainbow lights of Broadway blaze

All gay without, all glad within;

As in a dream, I stand and gaze

At Broadway, shining Broadway-only

My heart, my heart is lonely.

It's Not All Bad

Sometimes we're alone, and we're okay with it. In these situations, we're not experiencing loneliness. We are simply by ourselves. It's nice to be alone sometimes to enjoy the quiet and take the time to reflect. It can be healthy to be alone with our thoughts. Some of us love to be alone, so much so that we write poems about it. "Ode on Solitude" by Alexander Pope is another poem for loneliness.

Ode On Solitude

Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air,

In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire,

Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away,

In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,

Together mixed; sweet recreation;

And innocence, which most does please,

With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;

Thus unlamented let me die;

Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

One of the best-known poems celebrating solitude is William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." Although the poems start on a sad note, the narrator becomes positively gleeful upon discovering some beautiful daffodils. After this discovery, whenever he feels that familiar tinge of loneliness, he remembers those flowers, which puts a new, positive spin on the idea of being alone.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed-and gazed-but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Poems On Others

When we experience loneliness, we often reflect on the people we care about and wish they were by our side. But what if we have no one to care about? It can be sad and scary for those forced to go through life alone, either by choice or design. One of Maya Angelou's poems, "Alone," details why humans need each other to survive:


Lying, thinking

Last night

How to find my soul a home

Where water is not thirsty

And bread loaf is not stone

I came up with one thing

And I don't believe I'm wrong

That nobody,

But nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires

With money, they can't use

Their wives run round like banshees

Their children sing the blues

They've got expensive doctors

To cure their hearts of stone.

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely

I'll tell you what I know

Storm clouds are gathering

The wind is gonna blow

The race of man is suffering

And I can hear the moan,

'Cause nobody,

But nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Those Winter Sundays

Perhaps we feel most alone when we lose a friend or family, either to death or distance. When someone we love is no longer around, we begin to reflect on the things they did for us, and we often feel guilty with loneliness that we did not do enough in return to show our appreciation.

Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays" perfectly encapsulates what it's like to be an adult, reflecting on what our parents did for us as children and how we were unaware of their love at the time.

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.

When the rooms were warm, he'd call,

and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic anger of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,

who had driven out the cold

and polished my good shoes as well.

What did I know, what did I know

of love's austere and lonely offices?


We will all feel lonely at times, but there are some things you can do that can help you feel better. Here are some suggestions that can help:

  • Practice self-care. Making your alone time relaxing can help you value it more.

  • Think positively. Studies show that lonely people tend to be "glass half empty" types. Being more aware of how your thoughts affect your mood will give you better control of your emotions, too.

  • Find somebody to lean on. The best cure for loneliness is being around others. Rely on your support system to help you through rough times. If you are struggling to meet people, there are apps to help you make friends.

Talk To A Therapist

Everyone Feels Lonely Sometimes

Research shows that loneliness can have a moderate effect on depression. If you struggle with loneliness, help is available. If you feel like there's never anyone around when you need someone to talk to, an in-person or online therapist can offer you a space to explore your feelings of loneliness and help you figure out how to alleviate them. 

Online therapy has many benefits for people experiencing loneliness or any resulting depression. Many people with depression have trouble getting out of bed. With online therapy, you can talk to a qualified professional from the comfort of your home. Plus, you can message your therapist any time you’re feeling lonely, and they’ll get back to you as soon as they can. 

Research shows that online therapy is effective, too. One review concluded that online therapy might be more effective than in-person treatment for depression. If you’re ready to learn more, connect with a BetterHelp therapist to get started. 

Therapist Reviews

"Stephen is extremely professional. He is very helpful and kind. I feel so much better after talking to him. He listens to you and cares for you. And makes you feel like you are not alone."

"Shelley is very accommodating, gentle and encouraging. No matter what place I was in, she tries to make me comfortable exactly where that is. She is the comforting soul that keep me company in a lonely place. I look forward to each of our session, and I'm given weekly takeaways to reflect on that helps tremendously, step by step, week by week. Learning to love yourself, learning to love your time spent, these are not always the easiest thing to do, but it's a lifelong process. Shelley is the perfect guide."


Feeling lonely is universal. Poems express beautifully and poignantly the various emotions you may experience when you are alone. If you are struggling with feeling lonely and want someone to talk to, online therapy can help.

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