Pain Poems

Popular Pain Poems
The British
by Benjamin Zephaniah

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,


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Duino Elegies: The Tenth Elegy
by Rainer Maria Rilke

That some day, emerging at last from the terrifying vision
I may burst into jubilant praise to assenting angels!
That of the clear-struck keys of the heart not one may fail
to sound because of a loose, doubtful or broken string!
That my streaming countenance may make me more resplendent
That my humble weeping change into blossoms.
Oh, how will you then, nights of suffering, be remembered
with love. Why did I not kneel more fervently, disconsolate
sisters, more bendingly kneel to receive you, more loosely
surrender myself to your loosened hair? We, squanderers of


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Talking Turkeys!
by Benjamin Zephaniah

Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas
Cos' turkeys just wanna hav fun
Turkeys are cool, turkeys are wicked
An every turkey has a Mum.
Be nice to yu turkeys dis christmas,
Don't eat it, keep it alive,
It could be yu mate, an not on your plate
Say, Yo! Turkey I'm on your side.
I got lots of friends who are turkeys
An all of dem fear christmas time,


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Alexander's Feast; Or, The Power Of Music
by John Dryden

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son—
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne;
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound
(So should desert in arms be crowned);
The lovely Thais by his side
Sate like a blooming eastern bride


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The Death-Bed
by Siegfried Sassoon

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.

Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot


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Recent Pain Poems
Reflections on Resilience
by Samel Yugalin Emrys

I feel sad, oh, I feel sad,
Don’t shun me, for I'm mad, I'm mad.
Yes, I've had my share of strife,
That's why I carry this heavy life.

I lived by the red river's flow,
In a castle where darkness did grow.
Don't judge me for the past I had,
I dwelled with the wastrels, and it was sad.


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Be Gentle, I Humbly Ask
by Leila Colleen Famisan

If my heart was in the palm of your hands
Would you throw it on the ground
Crush it into bits and pieces
Watch as something once full of love and warmth
Become fragments of longing and pain

Or would you hold it
Ever so gentle
Keep it safe and warm
And maybe give it a home


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Sad Reality
by Bame Bame

The sad reality is;
You were at war with yourself
I became collateral
I wanted you to heal
You pretended you weren’t hurt
I felt the pain of watching a beautiful thing easily disintegrate
Maybe it needed elders to invigilate
I gave you everything
You left me with nothing
Were we fighting a battle we couldn’t win?


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descent from zion
by Alexander Palmer

The angels' wings are broken, their halos lie upon the floor,
I gave all I was to the heavens, and still they wanted more,
All I feel is the dread of waiting, all I know is to count my breaths,
I sit upon the cliff's rocky edge and contemplate how many are left.

And today I watched a vulture pick over a rabbit's rotting corpse,
And today my church told me this agony was a gift from the Lord,
Today my doctor told me this was par for the course,
Today I sat on the cliff's edge and considered falling on my sword.


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subway station suicide
by Alexander Palmer

I'm screaming at the eyes buried in the plaster, they're the only ones who listen,
And I jumped onto the subway rails, call that tunnel vision,
I cut my hair and cut my wrists but it never made a difference,
My eyes are shot from crying at the carpet's cruel disinterest.

And, oh, I could write a million suicide notes filled with empty platitudes,
"I can't, I couldn't, I won't," but I know those words won't be true,
God, this music's awful, but what can you expect from a subway station?
And I'm not here for the music, I'm here because I've run out of patience.


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