Grief Poems

Popular Grief Poems
Duino Elegies: The First Elegy
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels'
hierarchies? and even if one of them suddenly
pressed me against his heart, I would perish
in the embrace of his stronger existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure and are awed
because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Each single angel is terrifying.
And so I force myself, swallow and hold back
the surging call of my dark sobbing.


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For Grief
by John O'Donohue

When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.


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The Kaleidoscope
by Douglas Dunn

To climb these stairs again, bearing a tray,
Might be to find you pillowed with your books,
Your inventories listing gowns and frocks
As if preparing for a holiday.
Or, turning from the landing, I might find
My presence watched through your kaleidoscope,
A symmetry of husbands, each redesigned
In lovely forms of foresight, prayer and hope.
I climb these stairs a dozen times a day
And, by the open door, wait, looking in


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September On Jessore Road
by Allen Ginsberg

Millions of babies watching the skies
Bellies swollen, with big round eyes
On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts
Noplace to shit but sand channel ruts

Millions of fathers in rain
Millions of mothers in pain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of sisters nowhere to go


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by Nâzım Hikmet

I was born in 1902
I never once went back to my birthplace
I don't like to turn back
at three I served as a pasha's grandson in Aleppo
at nineteen as a student at Moscow Communist University
at forty-nine I was back in Moscow as the Tcheka Party's guest
and I've been a poet since I was fourteen
some people know all about plants some about fish
I know separation
some people know the names of the stars by heart


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Recent Grief Poems
You should pray
by Aparupa Sinha

The hope you keep taking from them
Makes a woman a murderer.
And when they set this country
On fire and you look
At their faces devoid of fear
You should pray. But be known
No God you created to step
On the necks of your slaves
Will come to save His creator
When your genitals are contorted


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Inevitable (unraveling)
by eden cote

He began to grieve something he hadn’t lost


The melancholy in his eyes was haunting,

They said so much that he didn’t need to speak for her to see it coming


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by Katrina Gray

We’re waiting for dawn
Hovering over midnight
And the minutes creep by
While it turns into early morning

We’re waiting for you
To come back home
After you


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Happy Birthday Homie!
by Awwab Paracha

Yo happy birthday dude! I have no idea how old you are. In fact, I never knew how old you were. All I knew was that you were big and cool. Like tall and muscly and mature and everything that I wanted to be. The privileges, the status, the good looks, and the fireworks that you got to play with and I didn’t cuz I was too damn young. All of that was all that I saw because that is all there was and now that is all that’s left. I don’t remember much of it honestly but why did you leave so soon man? We should have made memories that I could actually remember instead of painting a stupid foggy morning in my 8-year-old head. U still had to teach me how to spin a basketball on my fingers and let me ride my bike on the ramp you have leading up to your home, your soul, your being and your existence. I’m starting to forget your face. I think you had a goatee or something weird like that. Whatever it was I thought it was cool at the time. Times change and people change. Times don’t change and people stay the same. Well, the times have changed but you are the same. Buried by the main road near the lame tree leaving us with just your first and last name. I didn’t even attend ur goddam funeral cuz time kept me busy. It kept me going, it kept me striving. Or was it just slowly killing me? Reminding me that one day you will teach me how to spin a basketball on my fingers. I hate basketball now by the way. Not everybody is as good at it as you. Do they celebrate birthdays in heaven? I don’t know. I haven’t really understood anything I read in the Quran. It sounds so wrong coming outta false mouths looking for false benefits and salvation while putting up with the damnation of the racist world we live in, live on, and die under. It’s filled with shooters and hooters who act like they have never seen a pretty girl before while they steal her soul and bury her by the road. The same people who keep splitting nations to create absolutions, indignations. They wanna define each man and woman by the machine of their soul. Well, ur machine is already rusting somewhere under the ground. The ground that you were supposed to play monkey in the middle with me on with the new frisbee that I bought cuz the toy shop stopped selling soccer balls. Due to the fact that the country we lived in got involved in brawls with politics, religion, rape, and molestation. They don’t care about no soccer balls. People make things so complicated. It’s kinda stupid to talk with you if you're not gonna say anything back. Sorry, I just wanna hear your voice cuz I don’t know what it sounds like anymore. I see ur face in pictures and try to imagine the creation of the vibrations of your vocal cords like I do with my favourite songs. There’s this new singer named Shawn. I never tell my friends that I listen to his music cuz I know they would just lose it. I mean I only listened to like one or two of his songs. Well, maybe 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 but it’s not too late to turn back to some good old Kendrick Lamar. Sorry, I know you don’t know any of these people. You don’t know these stories. I hate how you gave me this story. The details are burned into my skull like the devil’s choir of death. I remember after you left. My mom went to your house. She didn’t even cry, she just talked to your mom about how you were taken too soon and all of that cliche BS that I have seen her do at every funeral. But this time, she was broken and losing function. The air around her became the suction of her tears and the white hair on her head started to fall melting into the Niagra Falls cuz that’s where we were when we got the news of your awakening. It came in like a wet blanket of tears waterboarding my nose my mouth and at that moment I didn’t have a single doubt about my mortality and my life and my growing body. I knew that one day I would also be buried by the same lame tree near the same main road leaving behind a rotting pile of grief that would only be visible in the eyes of my mother and the silence of my brother and the Malboro cigarette packets of my father. If you can die then I can die too I’m sure. You even left your baby boy alone in this world, he was only four. Did you know we moved to Canada? Man nobody here has a goatee. In fact, people who have goatees are either living in a crappy basement or in a jail cell. Just kidding, some are listening to the sounds of Heaven’s bells.

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Detested Catastrophe
by Disha Shree

The sorrowful casket that consumed her,
Was illuminated by the trail of light behind,
The glistening halo of her messed white hair raised over,
She suffered the grief of the darkest kind.

The soft silk danced among her legs,
Growing smoother each second,
Each thread resembled the perfection of her mother,
But she was finally at a dead end.


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Popular Poetry Topics
Popular Famous Poets about Grief
  • George Herbert
    George Herbert (15 poems about Grief)
    3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633 / Montgomery, Wales
  • Phillis Wheatley
    Phillis Wheatley (12 poems about Grief)
    1753 – 5 December 1784 / Gambia
  •  Ovid
    Ovid (9 poems about Grief)
    43 BCE - 17 CE / Rome / Italy
  • Charlotte Brontë
    Charlotte Brontë (7 poems about Grief)
    21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855 / Yorkshire, England
  •  Owen Suffolk
    Owen Suffolk (6 poems about Grief)
    Born: 1829 / Australia
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar
    Paul Laurence Dunbar (4 poems about Grief)
    1872-1906 / Ohio / United States
  • Anne Killigrew
    Anne Killigrew (4 poems about Grief)
    1660- 16 June 1685 / London
  • Hermann Hesse
    Hermann Hesse (3 poems about Grief)
    2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962 / Calw, Württemberg
  •  Mary Colborne-Veel
    Mary Colborne-Veel (3 poems about Grief)
    New Zealand
  • Alfred Austin
    Alfred Austin (2 poems about Grief)
    30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley
Popular Poets about Grief From Members