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Famous Anxiety Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Milosz, Czeslaw
...ch, had it known,
Would have tended nevertheless toward the candle's flame.

Others would deal with ways to silence anxiety,
The little whisper which, thought it is a warning, is ignored.

I would deal separately with satisfaction and pride,
The time when I was among their adherents
Who strut victoriously, unsuspecting.

But all of them would have one subject, desire,
If only my own -- but no, not at all; alas,
I was driven because I wanted to be like others.
...Read More



by Hall, Donald
...who announces 
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand. 
Another friend of decades estranges himself 
in words that pollute thirty years. 
Let us stifle under mud at the pond's edge 
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything....Read More

by Bronte, Anne
...murmuring.

He dares not enter through the trees
That veil it from his eye;
He listens for some other sound
In deep anxiety.

But vainly -- all is calm and still;
Are his bright day dreams o'er?
Has he thus hoped and longed in vain,
And must they meet no more?

One moment more of sad suspense
And those dark trees are past;
The lonely well bursts on his sight
And they are met at last!...Read More

by Lawrence, D. H.
...o black birds 
Sweep past the window again. 

Along the vacant road, a red
Bicycle approaches; I wait 
In a thaw of anxiety, for the boy 
To leap down at our gate. 

He has passed us by; but is it 
Relief that starts in my breast?
Or a deeper bruise of knowing that still 
She has no rest....Read More

by Piercy, Marge
...g cat under my skirt. 
When I spread out, so do you. You like 
to eat, drink and bang on another belly. 
In anxiety I clutch you with nervous fingers 
as if you were a purse full of calm. 
In my grandmother standing in the fierce sun 
I see your cauldron that held eleven children 
shaped under the tent of her summer dress. 
I see you in my mother at thirty 
in her flapper gear, skinny legs 
and then you knocking on the tight dress. 
We hand you down li...Read More



by Levine, Philip
...t first 
that someone, perhaps your mother, would gradually 
become aware of your absence and feel a sudden seizure 
of anxiety or terror. Of course no one noticed. Mother 
sat for hours beside the phone waiting, and now and then 
gazed at summer sunlight blazing through the parlor curtains 
while below, cool and alone, seated on the damp concrete 
you watched the same sunlight filter through the rising dust 
from the two high windows. Beside the furnace a spider ...Read More

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...member; but I marked 
An unmistakable self-questioning 
And a reticence of unassumed regret. 
The two together made anxiety— 
Not selfishness, I ventured. I should see
No more of him for six or seven months, 
And I was there to tell him as I might 
What humorous provision we had made 
For keeping him locked up in Tilbury Town. 
That finished—with a few more commonplace
Prosaics on the certified event 
Of my return to find him young again— 
I left him neither vexed...Read More

by Carver, Raymond
...r
your back. You were in a dream,
you said later, where you'd arrived
early for the dance. But after
a moment's anxiety you were okay
because it was really a sidewalk
sale, and the shoes you were wearing,
or not wearing, were fine for that.

 *

"Help me," I said. And tried to hoist
my arm. But it just lay there, aching,
unable to rise on its own. Even after
you said, "What is it? What's wrong?"
it stayed put -- deaf, unmoved
by any expression of fear ...Read More

by Keats, John
...en he foams,
And onward to another city speeds.
But this is human life: the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination's struggles, far and nigh,
All human; bearing in themselves this good,
That they are sill the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence, and to shew
How quiet death is. Where soil is men grow,
Whether to weeds or flowers; but for me,
There is no depth to strike in: I can see
Nought earthly worth my compassing; so stand
Upon a m...Read More

by Carver, Raymond
...storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll fe...Read More

by Lawson, Henry
...h the everlastin' worry lest we don't get into graft -- 
There is little left to land for if you cannot travel aft; 
No anxiety abaft, 
They have stuff to land with, aft -- 
Oh, there's little left to land for if you cannot travel aft; 

But it's grand at sea this mornin', an' Creation almost speaks, 
Sailin' past the Bay of Islands with its pinnacles an' peaks, 
With the sunny haze all round us an' the white-caps on the blue, 
An' the orphan rocks an' breakers -- Oh, it's gl...Read More

by Yeats, William Butler
...Earth in beauty dressed
Awaits returning spring.
All true love must die,
Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing.
Prove that I lie.

Such body lovers have,
Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.
Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death.
Prove that I lie....Read More

by Keats, John
...on Saturn's face:
There saw she direst strife; the supreme God
At war with all the frailty of grief,
Of rage, of fear, anxiety, revenge,
Remorse, spleen, hope, but most of all despair.
Against these plagues he strove in vain; for Fate
Had pour'd a mortal oil upon his head,
A disanointing poison: so that Thea,
Affrighted, kept her still, and let him pass
First onwards in, among the fallen tribe.

 As with us mortal men, the laden heart
Is persecuted more, and fever'd ...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
...he naked ages long ago 
When statues were gilded by Apollo, 
When men and women of agility 
Could play without lies and anxiety, 
And the sky lovingly caressed their spines, 
As it exercised its noble machine. 
Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then, 
Would not place on her daughters a burden, 
But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people, 
Would feed creation from her brown nipples. 
Men, elegant and strong, would have the right 
To be proud to have beauty named t...Read More

by Lowell, Amy
...stled in the trailing wind Over the chimney. Close 
they lay and knew
Only that they were wedded. At his 
touch Anxiety she threw
Away like a shed garment, and inclined
Herself to cherish him, her happy mind
Quivering, unthinking, loving overmuch.

LII
Eunice lay long awake in the cool night After 
her husband slept. She gazed with joy
Into the shadows, painting them with bright Pictures of all 
her future life's employ.
Twin gems they were, set to a singl...Read More

by Dunn, Stephen
...eft you standing on the corner.
You see, I want this poem to be nicer 
than life. I want you to look at it
when anxiety zigzags your stomach
and the last tranquilizer is gone
and you need someone to tell you
I'll be here when you want me
like the sound inside a shell.
The poem is saying that to you now.
But don't give anything for this poem.
It doesn't expect much. It will never say more
than listening can explain.
Just keep it in your attache case...Read More

by Lehman, David
...around the sun's delirious clarity. Once you sniff
the aphrodisiac of disaster, you know: there's no reason
for the anxiety--or for expecting to be free of it;
try telling Franz Kafka he has no reason to feel guilty;
or so I say to well-meaning mongers of common sense.
They way I figure, you start with the names
which are keys and then you throw them away
and learn to love the locked rooms, with or without
corpses inside, riddles to unravel, emptiness to possess,
a wo...Read More

by Bronte, Charlotte
...iest hours, aye ! all the time, 
I love to keep in memory, 
Lapsed among moors, ere life's first prime 
Decayed to dark anxiety. 

Sometimes, I think a narrow heart
Makes me thus mourn those far away, 
And keeps my love so far apart 
From friends and friendships of to-day; 
Sometimes, I think 'tis but a dream 
I measure up so jealously, 
All the sweet thoughts I live on seem 
To vanish into vacancy: 
And then, this strange, coarse world around 
Seems all that's palpable a...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...hat homeward he must turn.
And in his way it happen'd him to ride,
In all his care,* under a forest side, *trouble, anxiety
Where as he saw upon a dance go
Of ladies four-and-twenty, and yet mo',
Toward this ilke* dance he drew full yern,** *same **eagerly 10
The hope that he some wisdom there should learn;
But certainly, ere he came fully there,
Y-vanish'd was this dance, he knew not where;
No creature saw he that bare life,
Save on the green he sitting saw a wife,
A fou...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...'Tis well to drink, and leave anxiety
For what is past, and what is yet to be;
Our prisoned spirits, lent us for a day,
A while from season's bondage shall go free!...Read More

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