Poems About Being Sad

Sad poetry describes sad dark feelings of pain, suffering, and grief. When you feel sad, it is important to give yourself permission to feel the sadness. Only then can you begin to heal.

Sadness is a popular theme in poetry. Getting it “off our chest” makes us feel better, and the sheer volume of poems in this category shows you’re not alone.

When possible, try to incorporate nature themes into your sad poems to make them more approachable and less overwhelming.

We all feel sad at times; come share in our poets’ past sadness and be inspired.

sad poetry

Poems About Sadness – Sadness Poetry

1. Tulips by Sylvia Plath


While in the hospital, Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) wrote “Tulips.” It reveals her struggle with her mental health.

Sylvia wants to die right then and there, but the bright red tulips make her reconsider life and living. She has the impression that the flowers are mocking her. “Tulips” was written in 1961, but it wasn’t published until 1965, a few years after she died.


The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.

Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.

I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly

As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.

I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.

I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses

And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.


They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff

Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.

Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.

The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,

They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,

Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,

So it is impossible to tell how many there are.


My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water

Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.

They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.

Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage——

My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,

My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;

Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.


I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat

stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.

They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.

Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley

I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books

Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.

I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.


I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted

To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.

How free it is, you have no idea how free——

The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,

And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.

It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them

Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.


The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.

Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe

Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.

Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.

They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down,

Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,

A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.


Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.

The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me

Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,

And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow

Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,

And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.

The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.


Before they came the air was calm enough,

Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.

Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.

Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river

Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.

They concentrate my attention, that was happy

Playing and resting without committing itself.


The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.

The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;

They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,

And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes

Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.

The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,

And comes from a country far away as health.



2. We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Paul Laurence Dunbar’s parents were both slaves, and he was born less than a decade after slavery was abolished. In 1896, “We Wear the Mask” was published. Dunbar wrote about what it was like to be an African American in the late 1800s, as well as the pain felt by the black community.

He writes in this poem about how the truth is not always what it appears to be when a mask is worn. In addition to race and society, this poem can be applied to any situation in which someone wears a mask to conceal the truth.


We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.


Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.


We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!



3. Sometimes I Get Lonely by Emily B


Sometimes I get lonely

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Always connecting but not connected


Sometimes I get lonely

Looking to the future

Forgetting to be in the present


Sometimes I get lonely

Thinking someday, one day

Never thinking right here, right now


Sometimes I get lonely

Phone’s on, WiFi’s up

Waiting for it to buzz


Sometimes I get lonely

Just waiting…

Always waiting…



4. Victim of Poverty by Tommy B


This is a look into the mind of someone who is stuck in the hood and how they get stuck in a rut that feels impossible to get out of.


Poverty stricken youth jus trying to make a buck

mom working two jobs and pops don’t give a f**k


daddy never comes around

at night the only sound


that can be heard are the sounds of the ghetto

drug dealing, gang banging the sirens of the po po


he finds himself posted on the corner slangin dope

to him it seems like the only hope


to finally get off the block or stay at a dead end job wit no raise

so on the corner he stays


high school dropout wit no time for class

time at a desk could be spent in the spot making cash


scarface dreams are clouding up his mind

cocaine sales taking up his time


greed has polluted his brain, spirit, and soul

hatred and a heart as black as coal


have takin over him what is he to do

no one gives him an answer looking for a clue


looking to the sky for some kind of sign

all he can see is a life full of crime


until the day the cops get him or his enemies catch him in the wrong hood

wearin the wrong colors, throwin up the wrong signs if he could


change things he’d do anything for a second chance

times up he has a dance


with the devil that’s going to last an eternity

another soul lost, but others see it as another victim of poverty.


Read also:

Harlem by Langston Hughes

Music and Me


Comments (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *