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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My Old Football
by John Milton Hayes

YOU can keep your antique silver and your statuettes of bronze,
Your curios and tapestries so fine,
But of all your treasures rare there is nothing to compare
With this patched up, wornout football pal o’ mine.
Just a patchedup wornout football, yet how it clings!
I live again my happier days in thoughts that football brings.
It’s got a mouth, it’s got a tongue,
And oft when we’re alone I fancy that it speaks
To me of golden youth that’s flown.
It calls to mind our meeting,


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The Ballad Of Father Gilligan
by William Butler Yeats

The old priest Peter Gilligan
Was weary night and day
For half his flock were in their beds
Or under green sods lay.

Once, while he nodded in a chair
At the moth-hour of the eve
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.


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The Far Field
by Theodore Roethke


I dream of journeys repeatedly:
Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel
Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula,
The road lined with snow-laden second growth,
A fine dry snow ticking the windshield,
Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic,
And no lights behind, in the blurred side-mirror,
The road changing from glazed tarface to a rubble of stone,


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Recent Grief Poems
by Falling Awake

In just one split of an instant
Life force entirely withdrew
With your vitality vanished
I find myself severed in two

As heavens expand between us
I fear I’ll recall less each day…
So, I think back through the senses
To keep time’s forgetting away


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by patrick verona

Did we see the same stars
when i looked at them reflected in your eyes
the little specks of ancient light
now a memento of that shared night

Did we see the same person
when you stood in front of the mirror
and you bemoaned the pimple on your cheek
but all i saw was a perfect angel pinching your face


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by Keira Lynn

Mother my love for you is more than I can bare
Even when you're right in front of me I wonder of the day you shall perish
You've spent my whole life taking care of me
And I only wish I could do the same
My love for you is undieing
And the day that you shall no longer be with me my heart shall wilt as a flower in fall
All the seasons shall be consumed by your memory
With the summer heat I shall think of the way you smiled reading a book your sun hat just covering your eyes
With the fall breeze I think of the morning car rides eating fast food wishing the car ride could go on forever
With the winter air I think of the holidays Christmas being filled with happy joy, that purple tree foggy in my memory


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The Silent Widow
by Saleh Ben Saleh

Here sits the widow silent and pale, from the heart of darkness her sorrows hail. Mournful eyes, shattered thoughts, bloodless veins and soundless calls.

With her broken heart her mind would plea, her eyes are open but unable to see. A saddened look, and a tired heart, an endless journey that tore her apart.

Entrapped within, avoid of time, where the moaners sing, and misery rhymes. In the kingdom of grief, the widow resides, where the temples are haunted, and pain abides.

In the halls of hope the grievers meet, in search of comfort and a blissful seat. In total humility their hearts would pray, for peace of mind and a happier day.

Saleh Ben Saleh

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on: losses that come with loss
by Elisa Janer

taking inventory, what have I lost?
that desire
to feel warmth in my bones
a craving

and now,
all I long for is cold
I stand outside


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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
  •  Samuel Daniel
    Samuel Daniel (11 poems about Grief)
    1562 - 1620 / England
  •  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
  • Thomas Campbell
    Thomas Campbell (6 poems about Grief)
    1777-1844 / Glasgow / Scotland
  • 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
  • Anna Akhmatova
    Anna Akhmatova (4 poems about Grief)
    23 June 1889 – 5 March 1966 / Odessa
  • Hermann Hesse
    Hermann Hesse (3 poems about Grief)
    2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962 / Calw, Württemberg
Popular Poets about Grief From Members