Get Your Premium Membership

Famous Absence Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Absence poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous absence poems. These examples illustrate what a famous absence poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

See also:

by Shakespeare, William
...constrained gyves?
She that her fame so to herself contrives,
The scars of battle 'scapeth by the flight,
And makes her absence valiant, not her might.

''O, pardon me, in that my boast is true:
The accident which brought me to her eye
Upon the moment did her force subdue,
And now she would the caged cloister fly:
Religious love put out Religion's eye:
Not to be tempted, would she be immured,
And now, to tempt, all liberty procured.

''How mighty then you are, O, hear...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
..., at the forge, by the
 furnace-blaze, or
 at the corn-shucking; 
In Virginia, the planter’s son returning after a long absence, joyfully welcom’d
 kiss’d by the aged mulatto nurse; 
On rivers, boatmen safely moor’d at night-fall, in their boats, under shelter of high
Some of the younger men dance to the sound of the banjo or fiddle—others sit on the
 smoking and talking;
Late in the afternoon, the mocking-bird, the American mimic, singing in the Great...Read More

by Rich, Adrienne
...beneath the unsaid word 


The technology of silence
The rituals, etiquette 

the blurring of terms
silence not absence 

of words or music or even
raw sounds 

Silence can be a plan
rigorously executed 

the blueprint of a life 

It is a presence
it has a history a form 

Do not confuse it
with any kind of absence 


How calm, how inoffensive these words
begin to seem to me 

though begun in grief and anger
Can I break through this film of the abstract 

with...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord

Ev'n to the last dip of the vanishing sail
She watch'd it, and departed weeping for him;
Then, tho' she mourn'd his absence as his grave,
Set her sad will no less to chime with his,
But throve not in her trade, not being bred
To barter, nor compensating the want
By shrewdness, neither capable of lies,
Nor asking overmuch and taking less,
And still foreboding `what would Enoch say?'
For more than once, in days of difficulty
And pressure, had she sold her wares for less
Tha...Read More

by Keats, John
...good morrow:
"Ah! what if I should lose thee, when so fain
"I am to stifle all the heavy sorrow
"Of a poor three hours' absence? but we'll gain
"Out of the amorous dark what day doth borrow.
"Good bye! I'll soon be back."--"Good bye!" said she:--
And as he went she chanted merrily.

So the two brothers and their murder'd man
Rode past fair Florence, to where Arno's stream
Gurgles through straiten'd banks, and still doth fan
Itself with dancing bulrush, ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...near his dwelling lay; 
But there he was not, and with coming day 
Came fast inquiry, which unfolded nought 
Except the absence of the chief it sought. 
A chamber tenantless, a steed at rest, 
His host alarm'd, his murmuring squires distress'd: 
Their search extends along, around the path, 
In dread to met the marks of prowlers' wrath: 
But none are there, and not a brake hath borne 
Nor gout of blood, nor shred of mantle torn; 
Nor fall nor struggle hath defaced the gras...Read More

by Marvell, Andrew
...ts before 
(Their public acts) obliged them still to more. 
For chimney's sake they all Sir Pool obeyed, 
Or in his absence him that first it laid. 
Then comes the thrifty troop of privateers, 
Whose horses each with other interfered. 
Before them Higgons rides with brow compact, 
Mourning his Countess, anxious for his Act. 
Sir Frederick and Sir Solomon draw lots 
For the command of politics or sots, 
Thence fell to words, but quarrel to adjourn; 
Their frien...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone. 

                               These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye;
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perha...Read More

by Milton, John
...what deny, and call 
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires 
Into her private cell, when nature rests. 
Oft in her absence mimick Fancy wakes 
To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes, 
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams; 
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late. 
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find 
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream, 
But with addition strange; yet be not sad. 
Evil into the mind of God or Man 
May come and go, so u...Read More

by Milton, John wide 
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long 
Assist us; But, if much converse perhaps 
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield: 
For solitude sometimes is best society, 
And short retirement urges sweet return. 
But other doubt possesses me, lest harm 
Befall thee severed from me; for thou knowest 
What hath been warned us, what malicious foe 
Envying our happiness, and of his own 
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame 
By sly assault; and somewhere ni...Read More

by Milton, John
...ew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
While I at home sate full of cares and fears
Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;
Here I should still enjoy thee day and night
Mine and Loves prisoner, not the Philistines,
Whole to my self, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love. 
These reasons in Loves law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps:
And Love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much wo,
Yet always pity or...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
The door whence the son left home, confident and puff’d up; 
The door he enter’d again from a long and scandalous absence, diseas’d, broken down,
 innocence, without means. 

Her shape arises,
She, less guarded than ever, yet more guarded than ever; 
The gross and soil’d she moves among do not make her gross and soil’d; 
She knows the thoughts as she passes—nothing is conceal’d from her; 
She is none the less considerate or friendly therefor; 
She is the...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...he worst! 
That grief — though deep — though fatal — was thy first! 
Thrice happy! ne'er to feel nor fear the force 
Of absence, shame, pride, hate, revenge, remorse! 
And, oh! that pang where more than madness lies! 
The worm that will not sleep — and never dies; 
Thought of the gloomy day and ghastly night, 
That dreads the darkness, and yet loathes the light, 
That winds around, and tears the quivering heart! 
Ah! wherefore not consume it — and depart! 
Woe to thee, rash a...Read More

by Blake, William
...when I pray’d in the Garden; 
I wish’d to take with Me a bodily pardon.’ 
Can that which was of woman born, 
In the absence of the morn, 
When the Soul fell into sleep, 
And Archangels round it weep, 
Shooting out against the light 
Fibres of a deadly night, 
Reasoning upon its own dark fiction, 
In doubt which is self-contradiction? 
Humility is only doubt, 
And does the sun and moon blot out, 
Rooting over with thorns and stems 
The buried soul and all its gems. 
Th...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...only fair. 
Farewell, yet think not such farewell a change
From tenderness, tho' once to meet or part
But on short absence so could sense derange
That tears have graced the greeting of my heart;
They were proud drops and had my leave to fall,
Not on thy pity for my pain to call. 

When sometimes in an ancient house where state
From noble ancestry is handed on,
We see but desolation thro' the gate,
And richest heirlooms all to ruin gone;
Because maybe some fancied ...Read More

by Eluard, Paul
...primal waters 
The final toilet of time 

Hardly a memory remains 
the dried-up well of virtue 
In the long, oppressive absences 
One surrenders to tender flesh 
Under the spell of weakness 

III. As deep as the silence 

As deep as the silence 
Of a corpse under ground 
With nothing but darkness in mind 

As dull and deaf 
As autumn by the pond 
Covered with stale shame 

Poison, deprived of its flower 
And of its golden beasts 
out its night onto man 

IV. Patience ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...In prison? nay certes, in paradise.
Well hath fortune y-turned thee the dice,
That hast the sight of her, and I th' absence.
For possible is, since thou hast her presence,
And art a knight, a worthy and an able,
That by some cas*, since fortune is changeable, *chance
Thou may'st to thy desire sometime attain.
But I that am exiled, and barren
Of alle grace, and in so great despair,
That there n'is earthe, water, fire, nor air,
Nor creature, that of them maked is,
T...Read More

by Warton, Thomas
...Or heifers rustling through the brake, alarms
Th' illuded sense, and mars the golden dream.
These are delights that absence drear has made
Familiar to my soul, e'er since the form
Of young Sapphira, beauteous as the Spring,
When from her violet-woven couch awaked
By frolic Zephyr's hand, her tender cheek
Graceful she lifts, and blushing from her bower
Issues to clothe in gladsome-glistering green
The genial globe, first met my dazzled sight:
These are delights unknown to ...Read More

by Strand, Mark
The rugs, the furniture,
seem almost imaginary now.
"She continued to read.
She seemed to consider his absence
of no special importance,
as someone on a perfect day will consider
the weather a failure
because it did not change his mind."
You narrow your eyes.
You have the impulse to close the book
which describes my resistance:
how when I lean back I imagine
my life without you, imagine moving
into another life, another book.
It describes your dep...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale

1. Among the evidences that Chaucer's great work was left
incomplete, is the absence of any link of connexion between the
Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, and what goes before. This
deficiency has in some editions caused the Squire's and the
Merchant's Tales to be interposed between those of the Man of
Law and the Wife of Bath; but in the Merchant's Tale there is
internal proof that it was told after the jolly Dame's. Severa...Read More

Dont forget to view our wonderful member Absence poems.