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Best Famous Goodbye Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Goodbye poems. This is a select list of the best famous Goodbye poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Goodbye poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of goodbye poems.

Search for the best famous Goodbye poems, articles about Goodbye poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Goodbye poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

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Written by Shel Silverstein |

A Boy Named Sue

 Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him because he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did was before he left he went and named me Sue.
Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke, and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks, it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red and some guy would laugh and I'd bust his head, I tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame, but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars, I'd search the honky tonks and bars and kill that man that gave me that awful name.
But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had just hit town and my throat was dry.
I'd thought i'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon in a street of mud and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me Sue.
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad from a worn-out picture that my mother had and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old and I looked at him and my blood ran cold, and I said, "My name is Sue.
How do you do? Now you're gonna die.
" Yeah, that's what I told him.
Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down but to my surprise he came up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth.
And we crashed through the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I tell you I've fought tougher men but I really can't remember when.
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laughin' and then I heard him cussin', he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.
And he said, "Son, this world is rough and if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough and I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said 'Goodbye'.
I knew you'd have to get tough or die.
And it's that name that helped to make you strong.
" Yeah, he said, "Now you have just fought one helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you've got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But you ought to thank me before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye because I'm the nut that named you Sue.
" Yeah, what could I do? What could I do? I got all choked up and I threw down my gun, called him pa and he called me a son, and I came away with a different point of view and I think about him now and then.
Every time I tried, every time I win and if I ever have a son I think I am gonna name him Bill or George - anything but Sue.

Written by Mark Twain |

To Jennie

 Good-bye! a kind good-bye,
I bid you now, my friend,
And though 'tis sad to speak the word,
To destiny I bend

And though it be decreed by Fate
That we ne'er meet again,
Your image, graven on my heart,
Forever shall remain.
Aye, in my heart thoult have a place, Among the friends held dear,- Nor shall the hand of Time efface The memories written there.
Goodbye, S.

Written by Tupac Shakur |


Im going in 2 this not knowing what i"ll find
but I've decided 2 follow my heart and abandon my mind
and if there be pain i know that at least i gave my all
and it's better to have loved and lost than 2 not love at all
in the morning i may wake 2 smile or maybe 2 cry
but first to those of my past i must say goodbye 

More great poems below...

Written by Spike Milligan |

Have A Nice Day

 'Help, help, ' said a man.
'I'm drowning.
' 'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore.
'Help, help, ' said the man.
'I'm not clowning.
' 'Yes, I know, I heard you before.
Be patient dear man who is drowning, You, see I've got a disease.
I'm waiting for a Doctor J.
So do be patient please.
' 'How long, ' said the man who was drowning.
'Will it take for the Doc to arrive? ' 'Not very long, ' said the man with the disease.
'Till then try staying alive.
' 'Very well, ' said the man who was drowning.
'I'll try and stay afloat.
By reciting the poems of Browning And other things he wrote.
' 'Help, help, ' said the man with the disease, 'I suddenly feel quite ill.
' 'Keep calm.
' said the man who was drowning, ' Breathe deeply and lie quite still.
' 'Oh dear, ' said the man with the awful disease.
'I think I'm going to die.
' 'Farewell, ' said the man who was drowning.
Said the man with the disease, 'goodbye.
' So the man who was drowning, drownded And the man with the disease past away.
But apart from that, And a fire in my flat, It's been a very nice day.

Written by Barry Tebb |


 (or ‘Huddersfield the Second Poetry Capital of England Re-visited’)

What was it Janice Simmons said to me as James lay dying in Ireland?

“Phone Peter Pegnall in Leeds, an ex-pupil of Jimmy’s.
He’s organising A benefit reading, he’d love to hear from you and have your help.
” ‘Like hell he would’ I thought but I phoned him all the same At his converted farmhouse at Barswill, a Lecturer in Creative Writing At the uni.
But what’s he written, I wondered, apart from his CV? “Well I am organising a reading but only for the big people, you understand, Hardman, Harrison, Doughty, Duhig, Basher O’Brien, you know the kind, The ones that count, the ones I owe my job to.
” We nattered on and on until by way of adieu I read the final couplet Of my Goodbye poem, the lines about ‘One Leeds Jimmy who could fix the world’s.
Duhigs once and for all/Write them into the ground and still have a hundred Lyrics in his quiver.
’ Pete Stifled a cough which dipped into a gurgle and sank into a mire Of strangulated affect which almost became a convulsion until finally He shrieked, “I have to go, the cat’s under the Christmas tree, ripping Open all the presents, the central heating boiler’s on the blink, The house is on fucking fire!” So I was left with the offer of being raffle-ticket tout as a special favour, Some recompense for giving over two entire newsletters to Jimmy’s work: The words of the letter before his stroke still burned.
“I don’t know why They omitted me, Armitage and Harrison were my best mates once.
You and I Must meet.
” A whole year’s silence until the card with its cryptic message ‘Jimmy’s recovering slowly but better than expected’.
I never heard from Pegnall about the reading, the pamphlets he asked for Went unacknowledged.
Whalebone, the fellow-tutor he commended, also stayed silent.
Had the event been cancelled? Happening to be in Huddersfield on Good Friday I staggered up three flights of stone steps in the Byram Arcade to the Poetry Business Where, next to the ‘closed’ sign an out-of-date poster announced the reading in Leeds At a date long gone.
I peered through the slats at empty desks, at brimming racks of books, At overflowing bin-bags and the yellowing poster.
Desperately I tried to remember What Janice had said.
“We were sat up in bed, planning to take the children For a walk when Jimmy stopped looking at me, the pupils of his eyes rolled sideways, His head lolled and he keeled over.
” The title of the reading was from Jimmy’s best collection ‘With Energy To Burn’ with energy to burn.

Written by Jorge Luis Borges |

We are the time. We are the famous

 We are the time.
We are the famous metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.
We are the water, not the hard diamond, the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.
We are the river and we are that greek that looks himself into the river.
His reflection changes into the waters of the changing mirror, into the crystal that changes like the fire.
We are the vain predetermined river, in his travel to his sea.
The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.
Memory does not stamp his own coin.
However, there is something that stays however, there is something that bemoans.

Written by Natasha Trethewey |

Letter Home

 --New Orleans, November 1910

Four weeks have passed since I left, and still
I must write to you of no work.
I've worn down the soles and walked through the tightness of my new shoes calling upon the merchants, their offices bustling.
All the while I kept thinking my plain English and good writing would secure for me some modest position Though I dress each day in my best, hands covered with the lace gloves you crocheted--no one needs a girl.
How flat the word sounds, and heavy.
My purse thins.
I spend foolishly to make an appearance of quiet industry, to mask the desperation that tightens my throat.
I sit watching-- though I pretend not to notice--the dark maids ambling by with their white charges.
Do I deceive anyone? Were they to see my hands, brown as your dear face, they'd know I'm not quite what I pretend to be.
I walk these streets a white woman, or so I think, until I catch the eyes of some stranger upon me, and I must lower mine, a negress again.
There are enough things here to remind me who I am.
Mules lumbering through the crowded streets send me into reverie, their footfall the sound of a pointer and chalk hitting the blackboard at school, only louder.
Then there are women, clicking their tongues in conversation, carrying their loads on their heads.
Their husky voices, the wash pots and irons of the laundresses call to me.
I thought not to do the work I once did, back bending and domestic; my schooling a gift--even those half days at picking time, listening to Miss J--.
How I'd come to know words, the recitations I practiced to sound like her, lilting, my sentences curling up or trailing off at the ends.
I read my books until I nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field, I repeated whole sections I'd learned by heart, spelling each word in my head to make a picture I could see, as well as a weight I could feel in my mouth.
So now, even as I write this and think of you at home, Goodbye is the waving map of your palm, is a stone on my tongue.

Written by Billy Collins |


 The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag, and even now as you memorize the order of the planets, something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps, the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember, it is not poised on the tip of your tongue, not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall, well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

Gamblers All

 sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, 
I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside 
remembering all the times you've felt that way, and 
you walk to the bathroom, do your toilet, see that face 
in the mirror, oh my oh my oh my, but you comb your hair anyway, 
get into your street clothes, feed the cats, fetch the 
newspaper of horror, place it on the coffee table, kiss your 
wife goodbye, and then you are backing the car out into life itself, 
like millions of others you enter the arena once more.
you are on the freeway threading through traffic now, moving both towards something and towards nothing at all as you punch the radio on and get Mozart, which is something, and you will somehow get through the slow days and the busy days and the dull days and the hateful days and the rare days, all both so delightful and so disappointing because we are all so alike and so different.
you find the turn-off, drive through the most dangerous part of town, feel momentarily wonderful as Mozart works his way into your brain and slides down along your bones and out through your shoes.
it's been a tough fight worth fighting as we all drive along betting on another day.

Written by Linda Pastan |

To A Daughter Leaving Home

 When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving

Written by Leonard Cohen |

Hey Thats No Way To Say Goodbye

 I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, 
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, 
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new, 
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, 
but now it's come to distances and both of us must try, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time, walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me, it's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea, but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie, your eyes are soft with sorrow, Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new, in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie, your eyes are soft with sorrow, Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.

Written by Sergei Yesenin |

Goodbye my friend goodbye

Goodbye, my friend, goodbye
My love, you are in my heart.
It was preordained we should part And be reunited by and by.
Goodbye: no handshake to endure.
Let's have no sadness — furrowed brow.
There's nothing new in dying now Though living is no newer.

Written by Jennifer Reeser |

Imagining you'd come to say goodbye...

 Imagining you’d come to say goodbye,
I made a doll of raffia and string.
I gave her thatch hair, and a broomstick skirt of patchwork satin rags.
Around each eye I stitched thick lashes.
Such a touching thing she was! That even you could not debate – impassive, undemanding and inert.
Yes, surely she’d cause you yourself to sigh.
Around her breast, I sewed a loden ring to guard her cotton heart from being hurt, then sat down in the fabric scraps to wait, between the rafters and the furnace grate, needle in hand, and never so aware no craft on earth is master to despair.

Written by David Lehman |

Eleventh Hour

 The bloom was off the economic recovery.
"I just want to know one thing," she said.
What was that one thing? He'll never know, Because at just that moment he heard the sound Of broken glass in the bathroom, and when he got there, It was dark.
His hand went to the wall But the switch wasn't where it was supposed to be Which felt like déjà vu.
And then she was gone.
And now he knew how it felt to stand On the local platform as the express whizzes by With people chatting in a dialect Of English he couldn't understand, because his English Was current as of 1968 and no one speaks that way except In certain books.
So the hours spent in vain Were minutes blown up into comic-book balloons full Of Keats's odes.
"Goodbye, kid.
" Tears streamed down The boy's face.
It was a great feeling, Like the feeling you get when you throw things away After a funeral: clean and empty in the morning dark.
There was no time for locker-room oratory.
They knew they were facing a do-or-die situation, With their backs to the wall, and no tomorrow.

Written by Paul Muldoon |

Promises Promises

 I am stretched out under the lean-to
Of an old tobacco-shed
On a farm in North Carolina.
A cardinal sings from the dogwood For the love of marijuana.
His song goes over my head.
There is such splendour in the grass I might be the picture of happiness.
Yet I am utterly bereft Of the low hills, the open-ended sky, The wave upon wave of pasture Rolling in, and just as surely Falling short of my bare feet.
Whatever is passing is passing me by.
I am with Raleigh, near the Atlantic, Where we have built a stockade Around our little colony.
Give him his scallop-shell of quiet, His staff of faith to walk upon, His scrip of joy, immortal diet— We are some eighty souls On whom Raleigh will hoist his sails.
He will return, years afterwards, To wonder where and why We might have altogether disappeared, Only to glimpse us here and there As one fair strand in her braid, The blue in an Indian girl's dead eye.
I am stretched out under the lean-to Of an old tobacco-shed On a farm in North Carolina, When someone or other, warm, naked, Stirs within my own skeleton And stands on tip-toe to look out Over the horizon, Through the zones, across the Ocean.
The cardinal sings from a redbud For the love of one slender and shy, The flight after flight of stairs To her room in Bayswater, The damson freckle on her throat That I kissed when we kissed Goodbye.