Theodore Roethke's "Elegy for Jane" (my student, thrown from a horse)
I have lost students to suicides, violence, and accidents over the years, and this poem captures what I've felt. It ends with:
"If only I could nudge you from this sleep,
My maimed darling, my skittery pigeon.
Over this damp grave I speak the words of my love:
I, with no rights in this matter,
Neither father nor lover."
While not a poem of loss, Maya Angelo's "And Still I Rise" seemed to comfort and empower me during the worst phase of loss in my life.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
There is a poem by Stevie Smith that really grabs me. It speaks to me of the struggle to live and be heard - and the fact that so many look at us but don't really see what we go through.
Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith
Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.
Honestly, it would be something that I wrote. It's probably my favorite because it really helped me to process the grief of losing a young person who I was close to by suicide. When I really hurt--I write. It's not exactly a poem--kind of more like free-verse prose or a reflection--really a metaphor. It's called, "Death by Drowning: The Unexpected Light at the Bottom of a Dark River." This is the beginning of it (the rest is a hub on here if you want to read the rest)
The dark river of tears—that twists and turns and churns around boulders named denial, anger, sadness, and pain.
The river races but the banks stand still. Time stands still. I stand on the bank with concrete feet. I gaze at the dark river with expressionless eyes. I do not blink—I cannot swallow.
Past, present, and future have no distinction. Black and grey clouds hover nearby as if they intend to threaten me with a sudden storm. I feel heavy and light all at once. So heavy that I cannot move—and so light that I might float off into the dark storm.
My steady gaze of stillness is interrupted without warning as the river‘s icy fingers grip my neck and pull me in...
I don't remember the name of this poem by Emily Dickenson , but this passage always comes to me when I loose someone :
"There will pass with your great passing
Little of beauty not your own
Only the light from common waters
Only the grace from simple stone"
May God console you on your losses .
Emily Bronte's "Remembrance". Very gothic and angst-filled. I actually knew it by heart at one point. Sad.
This my favorite: When I am gone, Just release me, Let me go-so I can move into my afterglow. You must not tie me down with your tears; Lets be happy that we had so many years. I gave you my love, You can only guess how much you gave me in happiness. I thank you for the love each of you have shown, But now it's time I traveled on Alone. So grieve for me awhile, If grieve you must, Then let your grief be comforted with trust. It's only for awhile that we must part, So bless the memories within your heart. And then, When you must come this way Alone, I'll greet you with a Hug and a "Welcome Home."
JT, never heard that one. Thank you. I love the concept of being happy for years you've had together with someone. The gratitude that we had someone in our life no matter the length of time can be of comfort.
The Final Journey by Juan Ramón Jiménez (Original in Spanish)
.... and I will go away.
And the birds will stay, singing
And my garden will stay
With its green tree
And white water well.
And every afternoon the sky will be blue and peaceful
And the pealing of bells will be like this afternoon’s
Peal of the bell of the high campanile.
They will die, all those who loved me
And every year the town will be revived, again
And in my circle of green white-limed flowering garden
My spirit will dwell nostalgic from tree to well.
And I will go away
And I will be lonely without my home
And without my tree with its green foliage
Without my white water well
Without the blue peaceful sky
And the birds will stay
I can't believe someone hasn't said this one yet - so I'm going to. W.W. Auden's poem Stop All The Clocks is for me, hands down the most emotive poem about personal loss. For me it encapsulates the isolation of those feelings. The strange sense that no-one else can possibly understand what you are going through. I cannot read nor hear it read without tears coming to my eyes. For those of you who don't know it, here it is:
Stop All The Clocks (W.H. Auden)
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
had never heard this poem - it can be applied to death or being left in other ways - of divorce, I wrote "And no one sends flowers and no one cries, it's hard to see hurt behind hiding eyes" (or something like that - I must have deleted it
Just like Seek-n-Find a poem of my own.
'I suffer gracefully', written last December trying to get through Christmas after haviing lost my fiancée after a break up.
It helped me tremendously and I got great comments which helped me too in getting over my loss.
My favourite one is the one l wrote when l was in school..and it was the first one published and a semi finalist..
'When we wondered on the moors,
You said that there will be no tomorrow,
On that night, you were right,
For my heart is now filled with sorrow'.
l made it up, and my teacher loved it...it was my first poem and l loved it...
Congratulations! Clever - "On that night, you were right." Wanna know something funny? I wrote a poem I really loved, knew it by memory, but lost it on the computer, and now I can't remember it. Terrible when you can't remember your own poem !
I want this one read at my own funeral. It's my favorite.
What is dying
I am standing on the seashore, a ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: "She is gone."
Gone from my sight that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone"
there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes!"
and that is dying.
If the seat weren't empty
It would be filled with warmth
coming from a generous heart
that seeks to be loved, once more
kissed, once more
embraced, never ever let go, again
forever filled with blissful memories
before Miss Fortune rang the doorbell
entered with monstrosity
devoured Mr Health and Wealth
leaving treacherous obsessions
binding with delusions
wallowing in and drifting out
reaching the void
ever so close... yet so far
This poem, Remember Me, which I believe has an anonymous author, has touched my heart.
To the living, I am gone. To the sorrowful, I will never return.
But to the happy, I am at peace. And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot speak, but I can listen. I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea, Remember Me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty, Remember Me.
Remember me in your heart; your thoughts and your memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will have never gone.
As this soldier stands in Awe,
And face the Almighty's Throne.
Let those on earth have no doubt,
The Almighty brought him Home.
While not a poem, the acoustic version of the Rise Against song, "Everchanging" is very powerful and it's my all-time favorite song. Just reading the lyrics as a stand alone poem is enough to get the full force of it. It's very articulate and full of sad aesthetics.
by Elizabeth99 11 years ago
Favorite poem of all time? And why?
by Rosina S Khan 2 days ago
Brenda has written a touching poem. Read it from the following link:https://hubpages.com/literature/Poem-Feeling-Lost-AloneHi Brenda,I really feel for you. You must be missing Ron. God always brings about opportunities. Keep having faith in Him and trusting Him. Rely on Him for guidance. I will be...
by Mary Craig 9 years ago
Does anyone have poems that do exceptionally well?I have two poems that are doing very, very well and I have to admit I'm surprised. One is about the computer the other the mother of the groom.
by Eileen Goodall 10 years ago
Which of your Hubs is your favourite and does it still get traffic?Tell me which hub you are most proud of and why and I will promote it and send you more traffic.
by Dedicated Content Curator 8 years ago
Hi I'm here to moan about Bubblews and non payment. Bubblews have not paid me for legitimate payment requests spanning back 6 weeks or so.I am angry, I am bitter - and, as a writer, I am now writing First I wrote a fair article on Hubpages, but that's given me no joy ..... so I am here to...
by Cris A 12 years ago
"nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands" fr somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings
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