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Famous Suicide Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Chesterton, G K
...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. 
...Read more of this...

by Brackenridge, Hugh Henry
...n with ceremony dire, 
And rites abhorr'd, denied the wish'd success. 
Reason is dark, else why heroic deem'd 
Fell suicide, as if 'twere fortitude 
And higher merit to recede from life, 
Shunning the ills of poverty, or pain, 
Or wasting sickness, or the victor's sword, 
Than to support with patience fully tried 
As Job, thence equall'd with him in renown. 

Shut from the light of revelation clear 
The world lay hid in shades, and reason's lamp 
Serv'd but to show h...Read more of this...

by Bukowski, Charles for the lovers who had
hurt and forgotten you. I wrote back but never
heard again. a friend wrote me of your suicide
3 or 4 months after it happened. if I had met you
I would probably have been unfair to you or you
to me. it was best like this....Read more of this...

by Graves, Robert
Thus the hazards of their love-bed
Were none of our damned business - 
Till as jurymen we sat on 
Two deaths by suicide....Read more of this...

by Ginsberg, Allen
...embered my name I loved 
 him anyway, true artist"
"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me 
 from suicide hospitals"
"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my 
 studio guest a week in Budapest"
Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"
"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "
"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas 
"Kaddish made me weep for ...Read more of this...

by Plath, Sylvia
My mother said: you died like any man.
How shall I age into that state of mind?
I am the ghost of an infamous suicide,
My own blue razor rusting at my throat.
O pardon the one who knocks for pardon at
Your gate, father -- your hound-*****, daughter, friend.
It was my love that did us both to death....Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne

In here,
it's the same old crowd,
the same ruined scene.
The alcoholic arrives with his gold culbs.
The suicide arrives with extra pills sewn
into the lining of her dress.
The permanent guests have done nothing new.
Their faces are still small
like babies with jaundice.

they carried out my mother,
wrapped like somebody's doll, in sheets,
bandaged her jaw and stuffed up her holes.
My father, too. He went out on the rotten blood
h...Read more of this...

by Ginsberg, Allen
...nd subsequently presented themselves on the 
 granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads 
 and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding in- 
 stantaneous lobotomy, 
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin 
 Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psycho- 
 therapy occupational therapy pingpong & 
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic 
 pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia, 
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of 
 ...Read more of this...

by Zaran, Lisa
...dark spirit, 
the meaning unfolds... 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 
and in each chamber of my heart 
i pray. 

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006...Read more of this...

by Service, Robert William
...I've often wondered why
Old chaps who choose to die
In evil passes,
Before themselves they slay,
Invariably they
Take off their glasses?

As I strolled by the Castle cliff
An oldish chap I set my eyes on,
Who stood so singularly stiff
And stark against the blue horizon;
A poet fashioning a sonnet,
I thought - how rapt he labours on it!

And then I blinked ...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...with your handsome gentle hands.
Then you deliberately take your
forefinger and point it at my temple,
saying, "You suicide *****!
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....Read more of this...

by Whitman, Walt

The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bushy hill; 
I peeringly view them from the top. 

The suicide sprawls on the bloody floor of the bed-room; 
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair—I note where the pistol has

The blab of the pave, the tires of carts, sluff of boot-soles, talk of the
The heavy omnibus, the driver with his interrogating thumb, the clank of the
 shod horses on the granite floor; 
The snow-s...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
..."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

despite the worms talking to 
the mare's hoof in the field; 
despite the season of young girls 
dropping their blood; 
better somehow 
to drop myse...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
Massachusetts. And this is how I came
to catch at her; and this is how I lost her.
I cannot forgive your suicide, my mother said.
And she never could. She had my portrait
done instead.

I lived like an angry guest,
like a partly mended thing, an outgrown child.
I remember my mother did her best.
She took me to Boston and had my hair restyled.
Your smile is like your mother's, the artist said.
I didn't seem to care. I had my portr...Read more of this...

by Pushkin, Alexander
...led, ugly, frightening,
Blue and swollen on each side...
Has he fished in storm and lightning,
Or committed suicide?
Could this be a careless drunkard,
Or a mermaid-seeking monk,
Or a merchandizer, conquered
By some bandits, robbed and sunk?

To the peasant, what's it matter!
Quick: he grabs the dead man's hair,
Drags his body to the water,
Looks around: nobody's there:
Good... relieved of the concern he
Shoves his paddle at a loss,
While the stiff res...Read more of this...

by Bukowski, Charles to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked. 
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?" 
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday." 
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone? 
"Her sisters buried her." 
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?" 
"She cut her throat." 
"I see. Give me another drink." 
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful ...Read more of this...

by Kay, Jackie
...Cuttings about adoption
She says her head's an encyclopedia
Of sob stories: the ones that were never
Told and committed suicide on their wedding nights

I always believed in the telling anyhow
You can't keep something like that secret
I wanted her to think of her other mother
Out there thinking that child I had will be
Eight today nine today all the way up to
God knows when. I told my daughter;
I bet your mother's never missed your birthday
How could she

Now when people ...Read more of this...

by St Vincent Millay, Edna
..."Curse thee, Life, I will live with thee no more!
Thou hast mocked me, starved me, beat my body sore!
And all for a pledge that was not pledged by me,
I have kissed thy crust and eaten sparingly
That I might eat again, and met thy sneers
With deprecations, and thy blows with tears,—
Aye, from thy glutted lash, glad, crawled away,
As if spent passion were a...Read more of this...

by Crowley, Aleister
By the hangman's hands is thrust 
Through the wet and writhing dust, 
Never black and never dried 
Heart's blood of a suicide. 

He had plucked the hazel rod 
From the rude and goatish god, 
Even as the curved moon's waning ray 
Stolen from the King of Day. 
He had learnt the elvish sign; 
Given the Token of the Nine: 
Once to rave, and once to revel, 
Once to bow before the devil, 
Once to swing the thurible, 
Once to kiss the goat of hell, 
Once to dance the aspen...Read more of this...

by Lehman, David
and pace back and forth "like a caged tiger. 
On arrival, he would announce that when
he left he would commit suicide. So, in spite 
of getting sleepy, I did not like to turn him out." On 
such a night, after hours of dead silence, Russell said, 
"Wittgenstein, are you thinking about logic or about 
yours sins?" "Both," he said, and resumed his silence.


Philosophy was an activity, not a doctrine. 
"Solipsism, when its implications are follo...Read more of this...

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