Poetry about Missing Friends

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Old And New

Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not.
Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own.
Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.

I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter;
I forget that there abides the old in the new,
and that there also thou abidest.

Through birth and death, in this world or in others,
wherever thou leadest me it is thou, the same,
the one companion of my endless life
who ever linkest my heart with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.

When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut.
Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose
the bliss of the touch of the one
in the play of many.

Rabindranath Tagore

the missing

the way loss seeps
into neck hollows
and curls at temples
sits between front teeth
cavity
empty and waiting
for mourning to open
the way mourning stays
forever shadowing vision
shaping lives with memory
a drawer won't close
sleep elusive
smile illusive
the only real is grief
forever counting the days
minutes missing without knowing
so that one day
you find yourself
showering tears
missing that love
like sugar
aches teeth

Suheir Hammad

Drinking Alone

I take my wine jug out among the flowers
to drink alone, without friends.

I raise my cup to entice the moon.
That, and my shadow, makes us three.

But the moon doesn't drink,
and my shadow silently follows.

I will travel with moon and shadow,
happy to the end of spring.

When I sing, the moon dances.
When I dance, my shadow dances, too.

We share life's joys when sober.
Drunk, each goes a separate way.

Constant friends, although we wander,
we'll meet again in the Milky Way.

Li Po

On A Friends Absence

Come, come, I faint: thy heavy stay
Doubles each houre of the day:
The winged hast of nimble love
Makes aged Time not seeme to move:
Did not the light,
And then the night
Instruct my sight
I should believe the Sunne forgot his flight.


Show not the drooping marygold
Whose leaves like grieving amber fold:
My longing nothing can explain
But soule and body rent in twain:
Did I not moane,
And sigh and groane,
And talk alone,
I should believe my soul was gone from home.


She's gone, she's gone, away she's fled,
Within my breast to make her bed,
In me there dwels her tenant woe,
And sighs are all the breath I blow:
Then come to me,
One touch of thee
Will make me see
If loving thee I live or dead I be.

William Strode

The Two Friends

AXIOCHUS, a handsome youth of old,
And Alcibiades, (both gay and bold,)
So well agreed, they kept a beauteous belle,
With whom by turns they equally would dwell.

IT happened, one of them so nicely played,
The fav'rite lass produced a little maid,
Which both extolled, and each his own believed,
Though doubtless one or t'other was deceived.

BUT when to riper years the bantling grew,
And sought her mother's foot-steps to pursue,
Each friend desired to be her chosen swain,
And neither would a parent's name retain.

SAID one, why brother, she's your very shade;
The features are the same-:-your looks pervade.
Oh no, the other cried, it cannot be
Her chin, mouth, nose, and eyes, with your's agree;
But that as 'twill, let me her favours win,
And for the pleasure I will risk the sin.

Jean de La Fontaine

The Sad Day

O THE sad day!
When friends shall shake their heads, and say
Of miserable me--
'Hark, how he groans!
Look, how he pants for breath!
See how he struggles with the pangs of death!'
When they shall say of these dear eyes--
'How hollow, O how dim they be!
Mark how his breast doth rise and swell
Against his potent enemy!'
When some old friend shall step to my bedside,
Touch my chill face, and thence shall gently slide.

But--when his next companions say
'How does he do? What hopes?'--shall turn away,
Answering only, with a lift-up hand--
'Who can his fate withstand?'

Then shall a gasp or two do more
Than e'er my rhetoric could before:
Persuade the world to trouble me no more!

Thomas Flatman

Algernon

Who played with a Loaded Gun, and, on missing his Sister was reprimanded by his Father.

Young Algernon, the Doctor's Son,
Was playing with a Loaded Gun.
He pointed it towards his Sister,
Aimed very carefully, but
Missed her!
His Father, who was standing near,
The Loud Explosion chanced to Hear,
And reprimanded Algernon
For playing with a Loaded Gun.

Hilaire Belloc

The Gardener XLIII: No, My Friends

No, my friends, I shall never be an
ascetic, whatever you may say.
I shall never be and ascetic if she
does not take the vow with me.
It is my firm resolve that if I
cannot find a shady shelter and a
companion for my penance, I shall
never turn ascetic.
No, my friends, I shall never leave
my hearth and home, and retire into
the forest solitude, if rings no merry
laughter in its echoing shade and if
the end of no saffron mantle flutters
in the wind; if its silence is not
deepened by soft whispers.
I shall never be an ascetic.

Rabindranath Tagore

Friends

Now must I these three praise --
Three women that have wrought
What joy is in my days:
One because no thought,
Nor those unpassing cares,
No, not in these fifteen
Many-times-troubled years,
Could ever come between
Mind and delighted mind;
And one because her hand
Had strength that could unbind
What none can understand,
What none can have and thrive,
Youth's dreamy load, till she
So changed me that I live
Labouring in ecstasy.
And what of her that took
All till my youth was gone
With scarce a pitying look?
How could I praise that one?
When day begins to break
I count my good and bad,
Being wakeful for her sake,
Remembering what she had,
What eagle look still shows,
While up from my heart's root
So great a sweetness flows
I shake from head to foot.

William Butler Yeats

Enoch Dunlap

How many times, during the twenty years
I was your leader, friends of Spoon River,
Did you neglect the convention and caucus,
And leave the burden on my hands
Of guarding and saving the people's cause? --
Sometimes because you were ill;
Or your grandmother was ill;
Or you drank too much and fell asleep;
Or else you said: "He is our leader,
All will be well; he fights for us;
We have nothing to do but follow."
But oh, how you cursed me when I fell,
And cursed me, saying I had betrayed you,
In leaving the caucus room for a moment,
When the people's enemies, there assembled,
Waited and watched for a chance to destroy
The Sacred Rights of the People.
You common rabble! I left the caucus
To go to the urinal.

Edgar Lee Masters

From Sunset to Star Rise

Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not:
I am no summer friend, but wintry cold,
A silly sheep benighted from the fold,
A sluggard with a thorn-choked garden plot.
Take counsel, sever from my lot your lot,
Dwell in your pleasant places, hoard your gold;
Lest you with me should shiver on the wold,
Athirst and hungering on a barren spot.
For I have hedged me with a thorny hedge,
I live alone, I look to die alone:
Yet sometimes, when a wind sighs through the sedge,
Ghosts of my buried years, and friends come back,
My heart goes sighing after swallows flown
On sometime summer's unreturning track.

Christina Rossetti

The Winds Out of the West Land Blow

The winds out of the west land blow,
My friends have breathed them there;
Warm with the blood of lads I know
Comes east the sighing air.

It fanned their temples, filled their lungs,
Scattered their forelocks free;
My friends made words of it with tongues
That talk no more to me.

Their voices, dying as they fly,
Thick on the wind are sown;
The names of men blow soundless by,
My fellows' and my own.

Oh lads, at home I heard you plain,
But here your speech is still,
And down the sighing wind in vain
You hollo from the hill.

The wind and I, we both were there,
But neither long abode;
Now through the friendless world we fare
And sigh upon the road.

A. E. Housman

For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid

There is a country to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot--air far
down, a snap that might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That's the world, and we all live there.

William Stafford

The Learner

I've learned--Of all the friends I've won
Dame Nature is the best,
And to her like a child I run
Craving her mother breast
To comfort me in soul distress,
And in green glade to find
Far from the world's unloveliness
Pure peace of mind.

I've learned--the worth of simple ways,
And though I've loved to roam,
I know the glow of hearth ablaze,
The bliss of coming home.
I'd rather wear old clothes than new,
I'd rather walk than drive,
And as my wants are oh so few
I joy to be alive.

I've learned--that happiness is all,
A sweetness of the mind;
And would you purge your heart of gall,--
Try being kind.
Then when some weaker one you aid,
Believe it true
'Tis God Himself will make the grade
Less hard for you.

Robert W. Service

The Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do --
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Perry Zoll

My thanks, friends of the County Scientific Association,
For this modest boulder,
And its little tablet of bronze.
Twice I tried to join your honored body,
And was rejected,
And when my little brochure
On the intelligence of plants
Began to attract attention
You almost voted me in.
After that I grew beyond the need of you
And your recognition.
Yet I do not reject your memorial stone,
Seeing that I should, in so doing,
Deprive you of honor to yourselves.

Edgar Lee Masters

With Rue My Heart Is Laden

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

A. E. Housman

The Three Sorts of Friends (fragment)

Though friendships differ endless in degree ,
The sorts , methinks, may be reduced to three.
Ac quaintance many, and Con quaintance few;
But for In quaintance I know only two--
The friend I've mourned with, and the maid I woo!

Samuel Coleridge

Meeting

Dogs take new friends abruptly and by smell,
Cats' meetings are neat, tactual, caressive.
Monkeys exchange their fleas before they speak.
Snakes, no doubt, coil by coil reach mutual knowledge.

We then, at first encounter, should be silent;
Not court the cortex but the epidermis;
Not work from inside out but outside in;
Discover each other's flesh, its scent and texture;
Familiarize the sinews and the nerve-ends,
The hands, the hair - before the inept lips open.

Instead of which we are resonant, explicit.
Our words like windows intercept our meaning.
Our four eyes fence and flinch and awkwardly
Wince into shadow, slide oblique to ambush.
Hands stir, retract. The pulse is insulated.
Blood is turned inwards, lonely; skin unhappy ...
While always under all, but interrupted,
Antennae stretch ... waver ... and almost ... touch.

A. S. J. Tessimond

The Gardener LXIX: I Hunt for the Golden Stag

I hunt for the golden stag.
You may smile, my friends, but I
pursue the vision that eludes me.
I run across hills and dales, I wander
through nameless lands, because I am
hunting for the golden stag.
You come and buy in the market
and go back to your homes laden with
goods, but the spell of the homeless
winds has touched me I know not when
and where.
I have no care in my heart; all my
belongings I have left far behind me.
I run across hills and dales, I wander
through nameless lands--because I am
hunting for the golden stag.

Rabindranath Tagore
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