27+ Best Poems About Loneliness And Solitude

In This Article

If you are enshrouding in your thoughts about someone you were close to, our list of poems about loneliness can help you feel better. The feeling can be consuming in itself. For example, realizing that though you are surrounded by a room full of people, no one can connect with you can make you feel low. In such a situation, reading poems or quotes related to the same situation you are dealing with can help you process those feelings better and help you understand that you are not alone in this. So read along and find the one that suits you the best.

Poems About Being Alone

Whether you have separated from your partner, moved away from family, or lost a dear friend, these poems about loneliness echo what you feel in your heart.

1. Night

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.

Michael Hofmann

2. Shy Boy

I wait for my shadow to forget me,
to take that one phantom step that I keep
from taking. I wait for the simple flash
of a dancer’s spat upon this one moon
of stage-light, the mind’s lonely oval
illuminated on the surface of some
windless pond or slew. And the old soft-shoe
practices to get it right, husha-husha-hush
in its constant audition of sawdust.
Even this choreography of useless
wishing is not enough to keep tonight
from becoming nothing more than some floor’s
forgotten routine where faded, numbered
dance-steps silently waltz themselves away.
The orchestra’s now ready to Fauré
into the evening’s last song while I try
to convince myself to cross this room
for the first time all night and rinse
what’s left in some débutante’s silver
sequined waterfall, hope keeling hopelessly
ever closer to the edge. Across the floor
other couples sashay on. A tin flask empties
itself from asking, the shadow’s last chance
now wasted in some chandelier’s dim lust.

Greg Sellers

3. American Solitude

Hopper never painted this, but here
on a snaky path his vision lingers:
three white tombs, robots with glassed-in faces
and meters for eyes, grim mouths, flat noses,
lean forward on a platform, like strangers
with identical frowns scanning a blur,
far off, that might be their train.
Gas tanks broken for decades face Parson’s
smithy, planked shut now. Both relics must stay.
The pumps have roots in gas pools, and the smithy
stores memories of hammers forging scythes
to cut spartina grass for dry salt hay.
The tanks have the remove of local clammers
who sink buckets and stand, never in pairs,
but one and one and one, blank-eyed, alone,
more serene than lonely. Today a woman
rakes in the shallows, then bends to receive
last rays in shimmering water, her long shadow
knifing the bay. She slides into her truck
to watch the sky flame over sand flats, a hawk’s
wind arabesque, an island risen, brown
Atlantis, at low tide; she probes the shoreline
and beyond grassy dunes for where the land
might slope off into night. Hers is no common
emptiness, but a vaster silence filled
with terns’ cries, an abundant solitude.
Nearby, the three dry gas pumps, worn
survivors of clam-digging generations,
are luminous, and have an exile’s grandeur
that says: In perfect solitude, there’s fire.
One day I approached the vessels
and wanted to drive on, the road ablaze
with dogwood in full bloom, but the contraptions
outdazzled the road’s white, even outshone
a bleached shirt flapping alone
on a laundry line, arms pointed down.
High noon. Three urns, ironic in their outcast
dignity—as though, like some pine chests,
they might be prized in disuse—cast rays,
spun leaf—covered numbers, clanked, then wheezed
and stopped again. Shadows cut the road
before I drove off into the dark woods.

Grace Schulman

4. Bryant Park at Dusk

Image: iStock

Floodlights have flared on behind and above
Where I sit in my public chair.
The lawn that had gradually darkened has brightened.
The library windows stare.

I’m alone in a crowd—e pluribus plures.
Far from a family I miss.
I’d almost say I’m lonely, but lonely
Is worse, I recall, than this.

Loneliness is a genuine poverty.
I’m like a man who is flush
But forgot his wallet on the nightstand
When he left for work in a rush,

And now must go without food and coffee
For a few hours more than he’d wish.
That’s all. He still has a wallet. It’s bulging.
It floats through his brain like a fish…

Money for love: a terrible simile,
But maybe it’s fitting here,
A couple of blocks from Madison Avenue
Where commodities are dear,

Where all around me, rich skyscrapers
Woo the impoverished sky,
Having sent on their way the spent commuters
Who stream, uncertain, by—

And as for this whole splurge of a city,
Isn’t money at its heart?
But I’m blathering now. Forgetting my subject.
What I meant to say at the start

Is that I noticed a woman reading
In a chair not far from mine.
Silver-haired, calm, she stirred a hunger
Hard for me to define,

Perhaps because she doesn’t seem lonely.
And what I loved was this:
The way, when dusk had darkened her pages,
As if expecting a kiss,

She closed her eyes and threw her head back,
Book open on her lap.
Perhaps she was thinking about her story,
Or the fall air, or a nap.

I thought she’d leave me then for pastimes
More suited to the dark.
But she is on intimate terms, it seems,
With the rhythms of Bryant Park,

For that’s when the floodlights came on, slowly,
Somewhere far above my need,
And the grass grew green again, and the woman
Reopened her eyes to read.

Geoffrey Brock

5. Danse Russe

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,—
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
“I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!”
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,—

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

William Carlos Williams

6. Solitude

Image: iStock

It’s something they carry with them
– explorers night shifts seamen –
like a good pair of binoculars
or a camera case
perfectly and deeply compartmented.
It has a quiet patina
that both absorbs and reflects
like a valuable instrument
you have to sign for
– contract with alone –
and at the end of the voyage
you get to keep.
Sometimes it’s very far away.
Sometimes so close
at first you think the person next to you
is picking up putting down
a personal cup
a book in another language
before you realise what
– when talk has moved off
leaning its arms
on someone else’s table –
is being
handed to you.

Caroline Caddy

7. The Lonely Soul

The lonely soul wanders
Alone in the walks of life
No other soul as his companion
The lonely soul wanders

Alone in the daybreak
He does his duties
In the walks of life
The lonely soul wanders
Alone in the life
He meets many other souls
Who comes to be
Unfit for the lonely soul
The lonely soul wanders

As the days pass by
The lonely soul became
More lonely, with no other
souls as his companion
The lonely soul wanders

Alone in the walks of life
The lonely soul decides
Not to die, but to face
Life in all its hardships
The lonely soul wanders

Anto Thermadam

8. O Solitude!

O SOLITUDE! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

John Keats

9. Vers de Société

My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps
To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps
You’d care to join us? In a pig’s arse, friend.
Day comes to an end.
The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed.
And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I’m afraid—

Funny how hard it is to be alone.
I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,
Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted
Over to catch the drivel of some bitch
Who’s read nothing but Which;
Just think of all the spare time that has flown

Straight into nothingness by being filled
With forks and faces, rather than repaid
Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind,
And looking out to see the moon thinned
To an air-sharpened blade.
A life, and yet how sternly it’s instilled

All solitude is selfish. No one now
Believes the hermit with his gown and dish
Talking to God (who’s gone too); the big wish
Is to have people nice to you, which means
Doing it back somehow.
Virtue is social. Are, then, these routines

Playing at goodness, like going to church?
Something that bores us, something we don’t do well
(Asking that ass about his fool research)
But try to feel, because, however crudely,
It shows us what should be?
Too subtle, that. Too decent, too. Oh hell,

Only the young can be alone freely.
The time is shorter now for company,
And sitting by a lamp more often brings
Not peace, but other things.
Beyond the light stand failure and remorse
Whispering Dear Warlock-Williams: Why, of course—

Philip Larkin

Famous Poems About Loneliness

The most renowned poets have written some verses about the pain of being alone. Take a look at a few gems.

10. Ode on Solitude

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.

Alexander Pope

11. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed

If God compel thee to this destiny,
To die alone, with none beside thy bed
To ruffle round with sobs thy last word said
And mark with tears the pulses ebb from thee,–
Pray then alone, ‘ O Christ, come tenderly!
By thy forsaken Sonship in the red
Drear wine-press,–by the wilderness out-spread,–
And the lone garden where thine agony
Fell bloody from thy brow,–by all of those
Permitted desolations, comfort mine!
No earthly friend being near me, interpose
No deathly angel ‘twixt my face aud thine,
But stoop Thyself to gather my life’s rose,
And smile away my mortal to Divine! ‘
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning

12. Speak of the North! A Lonely Moor

Speak of the North! A lonely moor
Silent and dark and tractless swells,
The waves of some wild streamlet pour
Hurriedly through its ferny dells.

Profoundly still the twilight air,
Lifeless the landscape; so we deem
Till like a phantom gliding near
A stag bends down to drink the stream.

And far away a mountain zone,
A cold, white waste of snow-drifts lies,
And one star, large and soft and lone,
Silently lights the unclouded skies.

Charlotte Brontë

13. The Loneliness One Dare Not Sound

Image: iStock

The Loneliness One dare not sound—
And would as soon surmise
As in its Grave go plumbing
To ascertain the size—

The Loneliness whose worst alarm
Is lest itself should see—
And perish from before itself
For just a scrutiny—

The Horror not to be surveyed—
But skirted in the Dark—
With Consciousness suspended—
And Being under Lock—

I fear me this—is Loneliness—
The Maker of the soul
Its Caverns and its Corridors
Illuminate—or seal—

Emily Dickinson

Short Poems About Loneliness

The fewest of words can make the most impact when wielded by a master poet. Here are a few examples.

14. I’m Nobody! Who are you?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson

15. On Broadway

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.

Claude McKay

16. Flood: Years of Solitude

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.

Dionisio D. Martínez

17. Those Winter Sundays

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 angers 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?

Robert Hayden

18. Things

What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

Lisel Mueller

19. The Lonely Street

School is over. It is too hot
to walk at ease. At ease
in light frocks they walk the streets
to while the time away.
They have grown tall. They hold
pink flames in their right hands.
In white from head to foot,
with sidelong, idle look–
in yellow, floating stuff,
black sash and stockings—

touching their avid mouths
with pink sugar on a stick–
like a carnation each holds in her hand–
they mount the lonely street.

William Carlos Williams

20. One Lonely Afternoon

Since the fern can’t go to the sink for a drink of
water, I graciously submit myself to the task, bringing two
glasses from the sink.
And so we sit, the fern and I, sipping water together.

Of course I’m more complex than a fern, full of deep
thoughts as I am. But I lay this aside for the easy company
of an afternoon friendship.

I don’t mind sipping water with a fern, even though,
had I my druthers, I’d be speeding through the sky for
Stockholm, sipping a bloody mary with a wedge of lime.

And so we sit one lonely afternoon sipping water
together. The fern looking out of its fronds, and I, looking
out of mine . . .

Russell Edson

21. Evening Was Lonely

The evening was lonely for me, and I was reading a book till my
heart became dry, and it seemed to me that beauty was a thing
fashioned by the traders in words. Tired I shut the book and
snuffed the candle. In a moment the room was flooded with
moonlight.
Spirit of Beauty, how could you, whose radiance overbrims the
sky, stand hidden behind a candle’s tiny flame? How could a few
vain words from a book rise like a mist, and veil her whose voice
has hushed the heart of earth into ineffable calm?

Rabindranath Tagore

22. Lonely Am I

Image: iStock

Lonely are the nights
Lonely are the days
Lonely am I, in so many ways

Lonely are the seasons
Lonely are the years
So lonely am I, that it brings tears.

Lonely is this place
Lonely is my life
Lonely am I, that I reach for a knife

Lonely is this court room
Lonely is my sentence
So lonely am I that I ask for repentance.

Jim Foulk

23. Are You Lonely Tonight

Image: iStock

Are you lonely tonight
Because your heart was broken?
Are you lonely tonight,
Shedding tears from all the emotion?
Please don’t be shy.
Just tell me if its okay for me to dropp by.
I’ll be the man you’ve always dreamed of.
I’ll hold you close to me and show you love.
I’ll help you through your pain and sorrow.
And after you wake up tomorrow,
We’ll take a walk near the ocean shore.
As time goes by, I’ll love you more and more.

Jeff Fleischer

Sad Lonely Poems

Having no one to share your pain can be tormenting and these poems capture this state to perfection.

24. In My Own Shire, If I Was Sad

In my own shire, if I was sad,
Homely comforters I had:
The earth, because my heart was sore,
Sorrowed for the son she bore;
And standing hills, long to remain,
Shared their short-lived comrade’s pain
And bound for the same bourn as I,
On every road I wandered by,
Trod beside me, close and dear,
The beautiful and death-struck year:
Whether in the woodland brown
I heard the beechnut rustle down,
And saw the purple crocus pale
Flower about the autumn dale;
Or littering far the fields of May
Lady-smocks a-bleaching lay,
And like a skylit water stood
The bluebells in the azured wood.

Yonder, lightening other loads,
The seasons range the country roads,
But here in London streets I ken
No such helpmates, only men;
And these are not in plight to bear,
If they would, another’s care.
They have enough as ’tis: I see
In many an eye that measures me
The mortal sickness of a mind
Too unhappy to be kind.
Undone with misery, all they can
Is to hate their fellow man;
And till they drop they needs must still
Look at you and wish you ill.

A. E. Housman

25. I Am!

I am! yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death’s oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
And e’en the dearest—that I loved the best—
Are strange—nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil’d or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

John Clare

26. I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone

I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
enough
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
enough
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.

Rainer Maria Rilke

27. Lonely Is Just One Word

Lonely is just one word chosen to represent so much
To tell of feelings inside that the senses cannot touch

Lonely can be in the teardrops on a bereaved person’s cheek
Lonely can be in the silence of sorrows too deep to speak

Lonely can haunt a deserted room that Laughter once made proud
Lonely surrounds you when you’re alone or finds you in a crowd

Lonely is heard in echoed footsteps of a departing friend
Lonely penetrates the solitude of nights that will not end

Lonely will not listen to the pleadings of a broken heart
Lonely stays and torments until new Love shatters it apart

Mary Havran

28. On Broadway

About me young careless feet
Linger along the garish street;
Above, a hundred shouting signs
Shed down their bright fantastic 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.

Claude McKay

Loneliness is a state of mind, and you may even feel lonely in a crowd. However, it can be addictive and make you love your own company better. In such a situation, you may use poetry to express yourself in the most evocative way. These poems about loneliness may help you feel one with yourself or share your inner turmoil with those around you. It ensures that your feelings are conveyed in the most impactful manner. Poetry can be the perfect medium to let out your feelings and help you move on with ease.

Infographic: Writing Poems As A Means To Combat Loneliness

The feelings of loneliness can become overbearing at times. But, with the help of poetry, you might be able to deal with those feelings. Pouring out your emotions in the form of a poem can help you deal with your feelings. We have prepared this infographic to help you know more about the benefits of combating your loneliness with the help of poems. Give it a read and save it to refer to it later.

ways writing poetry helps combat loneliness [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team


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