Poems About Loneliness That Everyone Can Relate To

By Danni Peck

Updated May 09, 2019

Reviewer Deborah Horton

Source: pixabay.com

It is ironic that the more connected we get to each other via social media, the less we connect face to face, and there's a lot to be said for that face-to-face connection. For one thing, you can't hug someone on Facebook, and there's a lot that simply cannot be said, and that is better conveyed through body language. Even a look can mean everything when a person can't find the words.

The less we see of our friends and family, the lonelier we become, even if we're staying up to date with everything they post to social media. Worse still sometimes is when they're having a great time. We wish we could be there, having that great time with them, but instead, we're only able to look at their fun-filled posts before we go back to our own stressful or humdrum lives.

A Poem About Loneliness

When we're feeling lonely, it's often a comfort to know that we're not alone. And the best way for another person to convey that to us is often through their art. On that note, here are some loneliness poems that may ironically help you feel a little less alone.

The first is "Night" by Michael Hofmann. In this poem, Hofmann is describing how we don't even think twice about doing our normal, day-to-day activities like laundry or shopping unless we are lonely or otherwise conflicted. Being in an upset state of mind makes it all the more difficult to accomplish these otherwise mundane tasks:

Night

By: Michael Hofmann

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.

Source: Poetry (June 2008)

This next poem, by Dionisio D. Martinez, is entitled "Flood: Years of Solitude," and it is so relatable that anyone who reads it probably says to themselves: "I could have written this." The writing here is brilliant in that the narrator notes with only two simple words that make up the very last line that he understands how we are all in this together:

Flood: Years of Solitude

By: Dionisio D. Martinez

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.

Source: pixabay.com

The next poem, "On Broadway" by Claude McKay, perfectly exemplifies what it feels like to be alone in a crowd. And how much more of a crowd can you get than Broadway? If you're going to be lonely in a crowd, then this is the perfect place for such an occurrence to happen:

On Broadway

By: Claude McKay

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 "lonely" since we are simply by ourselves. It's nice to be alone sometimes, to enjoy the quiet and to take the time to reflect. It can be incredibly healthy for our mental state to be able to be alone with our thoughts.

Some of us love to be alone, so much so that we write poetry about it. Such is the poem "Ode on Solitude" by Alexander Pope:

Ode to Solitude

By: Alexander Pope

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.

Perhaps one of the most well-known poems celebrating solitude is William Wordsworth's poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud." This poem is so sweet because it starts off sad, but then the narrator becomes positively gleeful upon discovering these beautiful daffodils. Now, whenever he feels that familiar tinge of loneliness again, he simply remembers those flowers, which puts a new, positive spin on the idea of being lonely:

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

By: William Wordsworth

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 About Others

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

When we're lonely, we often reflect on the people that we like and love and wish they were by our side. But what about those people who have no one? It can be a sad and scary place for those who are forced to go through life alone, either by choice or design. This next poem from Maya Angelou, entitled "Alone," details just why humans are creatures who need each other to survive this crazy thing we call life:

Alone

By: Maya Angelou

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.

But nobody

No, 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.

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

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

Those Winter Sundays

Robert Hayden

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?

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Do you struggle with loneliness? Have you recently lost someone close to you, or do you feel like there's never anyone around when you need someone to be there for you? Our counselors are available anytime you need a shoulder to cry on or some friendly advice, and they can also offer safe suggestions to help you connect and make friends with more people in your local area.

Sources:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/collections/101598/poems-about-loneliness-and-solitude

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poems-about-anonymity-and-loneliness


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