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Best Famous Suicide Poems

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

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Famous poems below this ad
Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

A Word for the Hour

 The firmament breaks up.
In black eclipse Light after light goes out.
One evil star, Luridly glaring through the smoke of war, As in the dream of the Apocalypse, Drags others down.
Let us not weakly weep Nor rashly threaten.
Give us grace to keep Our faith and patience; wherefore should we leap On one hand into fratricidal fight, Or, on the other, yield eternal right, Frame lies of laws, and good and ill confound? What fear we? Safe on freedom's vantage ground Our feet are planted; let us there remain In unrevengeful calm, no means untried Which truth can sanction, no just claim denied, The sad spectators of a suicide! They break the lines of Union: shall we light The fires of hell to weld anew the chain On that red anvil where each blow is pain? Draw we not even now a freer breath, As from our shoulders falls a load of death Loathsome as that the Tuscan's victim bore When keen with life to a dead horror bound? Why take we up the accursed thing again? Pity, forgive, but urge them back no more Who, drunk with passion, flaunt disunion's rag With its vile reptile blazon.
Let us press The golden cluster on our brave old flag In closer union, and, if numbering less, Brighter shall shine the stars which still remain.


Written by Emanuel Xavier | |

WALKING WITH ANGELS

 for Lindsay

AIDS
knows the condom wrapped penetration 
of strangers and lovers, deep inside
only a tear away from risk

knows bare minimum t-cell level counts, 
replacing intoxicating cocktails
with jagged little pills

knows how to avoid a cure thanks to war
how to keep pharmaceutical corporations
and doctors in business

AIDS
knows the weight loss desired 
by supermodels,
knows the fearless meaning of a friends genuine kiss or hug
converts non-believers to religion 
and spirituality

comprehends loneliness
values the support of luminaries
smiles at the solidarity 
of single red ribbons

knows to dim the lights 
to elude detection
how to shame someone into hiding
from the rest of the world
to be grateful for the gift of clothing 
and shelter,
to remain silent, holding back the anger and frustration

AIDS
knows that time on earth 
is limited for all of us
that using lemons to make lemonade is better than drinking the Kool-Aid
but no matter how much you drink
you are always left dehydrated

knows working extensive hours
to pay hospital bills, 
the choice of survival
or taking pleasure in what is left of life

knows the solid white walls
you want to crash through 
and tear down
the thoughts of suicide 
in the back of your head

AIDS
knows the prosperous could be doing more with their wealth
and that everyone still thinks it is a deserving fate- for gays,
drug addicts, prostitutes, 
and the unfortunate children of such
born into a merciless world of posh handbags and designer jewelry

knows how to be used as another percentage to profit politicians
knows it doesn’t only affect humans 
but animals too, without bias
-providing fodder for art and something to be left behind

if there is a God
he has disregarded our prayers
left his angels behind to journey along with us
-none of us knowing exactly 
where we are headed


Written by G K Chesterton | |

A Ballad Of Suicide

 The gallows in my garden, people say,

Is new and neat and adequately tall; 
I tie the noose on in a knowing way

As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours—on the wall— 
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"

The strangest whim has seized me.
.
.
.
After all I think I will not hang myself to-day.
To-morrow is the time I get my pay— My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall— I see a little cloud all pink and grey— Perhaps the rector's mother will not call— I fancy that I heard from Mr.
Gall That mushrooms could be cooked another way— I never read the works of Juvenal— I think I will not hang myself to-day.
The world will have another washing-day; The decadents decay; the pedants pall; And H.
G.
Wells has found that children play, And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall, Rationalists are growing rational— And through thick woods one finds a stream astray So secret that the very sky seems small— I think I will not hang myself to-day.
ENVOI Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal, The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way; Even to-day your royal head may fall, I think I will not hang myself to-day


More great poems below...

Written by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 03: 09: Cabaret

 We sit together and talk, or smoke in silence.
You say (but use no words) 'this night is passing As other nights when we are dead will pass .
.
.
' Perhaps I misconstrue you: you mean only, 'How deathly pale my face looks in that glass .
.
.
' You say: 'We sit and talk, of things important .
.
.
How many others like ourselves, this instant, Mark the pendulum swinging against the wall? How many others, laughing, sip their coffee— Or stare at mirrors, and do not talk at all? .
.
.
'This is the moment' (so you would say, in silence) When suddenly we have had too much of laughter: And a freezing stillness falls, no word to say.
Our mouths feel foolish .
.
.
For all the days hereafter What have we saved—what news, what tune, what play? 'We see each other as vain and futile tricksters,— Posturing like bald apes before a mirror; No pity dims our eyes .
.
.
How many others, like ourselves, this instant, See how the great world wizens, and are wise? .
.
.
' Well, you are right .
.
.
No doubt, they fall, these seconds .
.
.
When suddenly all's distempered, vacuous, ugly, And even those most like angels creep for schemes.
The one you love leans forward, smiles, deceives you, Opens a door through which you see dark dreams.
But this is momentary .
.
.
or else, enduring, Leads you with devious eyes through mists and poisons To horrible chaos, or suicide, or crime .
.
.
And all these others who at your conjuration Grow pale, feeling the skeleton touch of time,— Or, laughing sadly, talk of things important, Or stare at mirrors, startled to see their faces, Or drown in the waveless vacuum of their days,— Suddenly, as from sleep, awake, forgetting This nauseous dream; take up their accustomed ways, Exhume the ghost of a joke, renew loud laughter, Forget the moles above their sweethearts' eyebrows, Lean to the music, rise, And dance once more in a rose-festooned illusion With kindness in their eyes .
.
.
They say (as we ourselves have said, remember) 'What wizardry this slow waltz works upon us! And how it brings to mind forgotten things!' They say 'How strange it is that one such evening Can wake vague memories of so many springs!' And so they go .
.
.
In a thousand crowded places, They sit to smile and talk, or rise to ragtime, And, for their pleasures, agree or disagree.
With secret symbols they play on secret passions.
With cunning eyes they see The innocent word that sets remembrance trembling, The dubious word that sets the scared heart beating .
.
.
The pendulum on the wall Shakes down seconds .
.
.
They laugh at time, dissembling; Or coil for a victim and do not talk at all.


Written by Dorothy Parker | |

Rhyme Against Living

 If wild my breast and sore my pride,
I bask in dreams of suicide;
If cool my heart and high my head,
I think, "How lucky are the dead!"


Written by James Tate | |

Success Comes To Cow Creek

 I sit on the tracks,
a hundred feet from
earth, fifty from the
water.
Gerald is inching toward me as grim, slow, and determined as a season, because he has no trade and wants none.
It's been nine months since I last listened to his fate, but I know what he will say: he's the fire hydrant of the underdog.
When he reaches my point above the creek, he sits down without salutation, and spits profoundly out past the edge, and peeks for meaning in the ripple it brings.
He scowls.
He speaks: when you walk down any street you see nothing but coagulations of shit and vomit, and I'm sick of it.
I suggest suicide; he prefers murder, and spits again for the sake of all the great devout losers.
A conductor's horn concerto breaks the air, and we, two doomed pennies on the track, shove off and somersault like anesthetized fleas, ruffling the ideal locomotive poised on the water with our light, dry bodies.
Gerald shouts terrifically as he sails downstream like a young man with a destination.
I swim toward shore as fast as my boots will allow; as always, neglecting to drown.


Written by Edward Taylor | |

Success Comes To Cow Creek

 I sit on the tracks,
a hundred feet from
earth, fifty from the
water.
Gerald is inching toward me as grim, slow, and determined as a season, because he has no trade and wants none.
It's been nine months since I last listened to his fate, but I know what he will say: he's the fire hydrant of the underdog.
When he reaches my point above the creek, he sits down without salutation, and spits profoundly out past the edge, and peeks for meaning in the ripple it brings.
He scowls.
He speaks: when you walk down any street you see nothing but coagulations of shit and vomit, and I'm sick of it.
I suggest suicide; he prefers murder, and spits again for the sake of all the great devout losers.
A conductor's horn concerto breaks the air, and we, two doomed pennies on the track, shove off and somersault like anesthetized fleas, ruffling the ideal locomotive poised on the water with our light, dry bodies.
Gerald shouts terrifically as he sails downstream like a young man with a destination.
I swim toward shore as fast as my boots will allow; as always, neglecting to drown.


Written by Siegfried Sassoon | |

Suicide In The Trenches

 I knew a simple soldier boy 
Who grinned at life in empty joy, 
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, 
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum, With crumps and lice and lack of rum, He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye Who cheer when soldier lads march by, Sneak home and pray you'll never know The hell where youth and laughter go.


Written by Anne Sexton | |

The Doctor Of The Heart

 Take away your knowledge, Doktor.
It doesn't butter me up.
You say my heart is sick unto.
You ought to have more respect! you with the goo on the suction cup.
You with your wires and electrodes fastened at my ankle and wrist, sucking up the biological breast.
You with your zigzag machine playing like the stock market up and down.
Give me the Phi Beta key you always twirl and I will make a gold crown for my molar.
I will take a slug if you please and make myself a perfectly good appendix.
Give me a fingernail for an eyeglass.
The world was milky all along.
I will take an iron and press out my slipped disk until it is flat.
But take away my mother's carcinoma for I have only one cup of fetus tears.
Take away my father's cerebral hemorrhage for I have only a jigger of blood in my hand.
Take away my sister's broken neck for I have only my schoolroom ruler for a cure.
Is there such a device for my heart? I have only a gimmick called magic fingers.
Let me dilate like a bad debt.
Here is a sponge.
I can squeeze it myself.
O heart, tobacco red heart, beat like a rock guitar.
I am at the ship's prow.
I am no longer the suicide with her raft and paddle.
Herr Doktor! I'll no longer die to spite you, you wallowing seasick grounded man.


Written by Anne Sexton | |

Oh

 It is snowing and death bugs me
as stubborn as insomnia.
The fierce bubbles of chalk, the little white lesions settle on the street outside.
It is snowing and the ninety year old woman who was combing out her long white wraith hair is gone, embalmed even now, even tonight her arms are smooth muskets at her side and nothing issues from her but her last word - "Oh.
" Surprised by death.
It is snowing.
Paper spots are falling from the punch.
Hello? Mrs.
Death is here! She suffers according to the digits of my hate.
I hear the filaments of alabaster.
I would lie down with them and lift my madness off like a wig.
I would lie outside in a room of wool and let the snow cover me.
Paris white or flake white or argentine, all in the washbasin of my mouth, calling, "Oh.
" I am empty.
I am witless.
Death is here.
There is no other settlement.
Snow! See the mark, the pock, the pock! Meanwhile you pour tea with your handsome gentle hands.
Then you deliberately take your forefinger and point it at my temple, saying, "You suicide bitch! I'd like to take a corkscrew and screw out all your brains and you'd never be back ever.
" And I close my eyes over the steaming tea and see God opening His teeth.
"Oh.
" He says.
I see the child in me writing, "Oh.
" Oh, my dear, not why.


Written by Anne Sexton | |

Suicide Note

 "You speak to me of narcissism but I reply that it is 
a matter of my life" - Artaud

"At this time let me somehow bequeath all the leftovers 
to my daughters and their daughters" - Anonymous

Better, 
despite the worms talking to 
the mare's hoof in the field; 
better, 
despite the season of young girls 
dropping their blood; 
better somehow 
to drop myself quickly 
into an old room.
Better (someone said) not to be born and far better not to be born twice at thirteen where the boardinghouse, each year a bedroom, caught fire.
Dear friend, I will have to sink with hundreds of others on a dumbwaiter into hell.
I will be a light thing.
I will enter death like someone's lost optical lens.
Life is half enlarged.
The fish and owls are fierce today.
Life tilts backward and forward.
Even the wasps cannot find my eyes.
Yes, eyes that were immediate once.
Eyes that have been truly awake, eyes that told the whole story— poor dumb animals.
Eyes that were pierced, little nail heads, light blue gunshots.
And once with a mouth like a cup, clay colored or blood colored, open like the breakwater for the lost ocean and open like the noose for the first head.
Once upon a time my hunger was for Jesus.
O my hunger! My hunger! Before he grew old he rode calmly into Jerusalem in search of death.
This time I certainly do not ask for understanding and yet I hope everyone else will turn their heads when an unrehearsed fish jumps on the surface of Echo Lake; when moonlight, its bass note turned up loud, hurts some building in Boston, when the truly beautiful lie together.
I think of this, surely, and would think of it far longer if I were not… if I were not at that old fire.
I could admit that I am only a coward crying me me me and not mention the little gnats, the moths, forced by circumstance to suck on the electric bulb.
But surely you know that everyone has a death, his own death, waiting for him.
So I will go now without old age or disease, wildly but accurately, knowing my best route, carried by that toy donkey I rode all these years, never asking, “Where are we going?” We were riding (if I'd only known) to this.
Dear friend, please do not think that I visualize guitars playing or my father arching his bone.
I do not even expect my mother's mouth.
I know that I have died before— once in November, once in June.
How strange to choose June again, so concrete with its green breasts and bellies.
Of course guitars will not play! The snakes will certainly not notice.
New York City will not mind.
At night the bats will beat on the trees, knowing it all, seeing what they sensed all day.


Written by Stevie Smith | |

Exeat

 I remember the Roman Emperor, one of the cruellest of them,
Who used to visit for pleasure his poor prisoners cramped in dungeons,
So then they would beg him for death, and then he would say:
Oh no, oh no, we are not yet friends enough.
He meant they were not yet friends enough for him to give them death.
So I fancy my Muse says, when I wish to die: Oh no, Oh no, we are not yet friends enough, And Virtue also says: We are not yet friends enough.
How can a poet commit suicide When he is still not listening properly to his Muse, Or a lover of Virtue when He is always putting her off until tomorrow? Yet a time may come when a poet or any person Having a long life behind him, pleasure and sorrow, But feeble now and expensive to his country And on the point of no longer being able to make a decision May fancy Life comes to him with love and says: We are friends enough now for me to give you death; Then he may commit suicide, then He may go.


Written by James Wright | |

In Response To A Rumor That The Oldest Whorehouse In Wheeling West Virginia Has Been Condemned

 I will grieve alone,
As I strolled alone, years ago, down along
The Ohio shore.
I hid in the hobo jungle weeds Upstream from the sewer main, Pondering, gazing.
I saw, down river, At Twenty-third and Water Streets By the vinegar works, The doors open in early evening.
Swinging their purses, the women Poured down the long street to the river And into the river.
I do not know how it was They could drown every evening.
What time near dawn did they climb up the other shore, Drying their wings? For the river at Wheeling, West Virginia, Has only two shores: The one in hell, the other In Bridgeport, Ohio.
And nobody would commit suicide, only To find beyond death Bridgeport, Ohio.


Written by Lisa Zaran | |

Leaves

 I went looking for God 
but I found you instead.
Bad luck or destiny, you decide.
Buried in the muck, the soot of the city, sorrow for an appetite, devil on your left shoulder, angel on your right.
You, with your thorny rhythms and tragic, midnight melodies.
My heart never tried to commit suicide before.
Originally published in Literati Magazine, Winter 2005 Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2005


Written by Lisa Zaran | |

Love Is Believable

 love is believable 
in every moment of exhaustion 
in every heartbroken home 
in every dark spirit, 
the meaning unfolds.
.
.
.
.
.
in every night that sings of tomorrow.
in every suicide i carry deep inside my head.
in every lonely smile that plays across my lips.
love is believable i tell you, in every scrap of history, in every sheen of want.
what can be wrong that some days i have a tough time believing.
and in each chamber of my heart i pray.
Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006