3 Poems for Loneliness
Loneliness: a feeling we are all familiar with but often have to suffer through alone. We have all experienced varying levels of loneliness throughout the past year. Spending time in isolation has caused many of us to feel more and more distanced from loved ones and community.
Loneliness presents its own type of grief as we struggle with our loss of connection and interaction. It reminds us how desperately we need relationships with one another. It has been a comfort to me to read the words of poets who described this pain so beautifully, and I hope that it also comforts you and reminds you that you’re not alone in this. We can share in that pain together as we reach out to one another in community and in poetry.
the irony of loneliness
is we all feel it
at the same time
Our hardship is unique to us, but the root of so much pain is loneliness. As Kaur so profoundly states, there’s an irony to this because when we feel alone, it often makes us feel completely isolated, even though there are so many other people who feel the same way. Our loneliness may look different in different seasons, but it is a shared experience that is better walked through with the love and support of others. We don’t have to feel ashamed of our loneliness. It’s something that so many of us silently struggle with.
Mary Oliver — Loneliness
I too have known loneliness.
I too have known what it is to feel
rejected, and suddenly
not at all beautiful.
Oh, mother earth,
your comfort is great, your arms never withhold.
It has saved my life to know this.
Your rivers flowing, your roses opening in the morning.
Oh, motions of tenderness!
Mary Oliver often drew upon nature for comfort and solace, and her words have such a soothing effect on the soul. She brings to light so many emotions that stem from loneliness, showing how despite those feelings, there is evidence all around us that we are not alone. We may be separated by distance and circumstance, but we are all here, sharing in this experience together. Nature welcomes us into this bigger story. The comfort we find in the rhythms of nature are just an echo of the solace we can find in community with one another. We’re under the same skies trying to figure out our different stories, and there’s immense comfort in that.
on my open
and promise me
we will find a
This piece acknowledges that loneliness is a condition we all experience and that the best way forward is together. When we feel isolated, the best thing we can do is find ways to connect with each other, even if that has to be from a distance. In a pandemic, connection may look different, but we can still reach into that darkness and bring the light of understanding into another hurting heart.
If you’re experiencing loneliness, I hope these poets help you feel seen and understand that loneliness is a reality so many of us are facing. You’re not alone, even in the isolating effects of a pandemic. There’s such strength in shedding light on what you’re feeling, and there’s solace in sharing in these hardships together. We combat loneliness through community, through reaching out, and through the support of friends, counselors, and family.
From one hurting heart to another, you’re not alone. From one lonely heart to another, you’re never alone.