Henrietta Eghan’s Words for the Mind and Soul: “Some Words for the Lonely”

loneliness
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Hello JFR Blog Readers,

This is my first blog; forgive me for I am but a simple being trying to emote the daily feelings that all of us often feel through poetry. Sometimes the poetry of choice will be mellow, sometimes a little sad, and rarely cheerful. But I can’t help it as I find myself drawn to poetry to find solace and to find comfort. Poetry helps me better understand my experiences—as well as the experiences of those who deal with life in ways that don’t mirror mine at all. Found below is a wide range of lonely poems, from a broad range of contemporary pieces, classics, well-known poets, and emerging poets. I hope these poems will resonate with you.

Our first poem by Dionisio D. Martinez is a salute to lonely people. It acknowledges most of the things lonely people do so that it can inspire them to keep on moving through life. Sometimes we lonely people need a reminder that we’re not alone and we have our community, this poem serves that purpose while at the same time uniting people.

Flood: Years of Solitude by Dionisio D. Martinez

To the one who sets a second place at the table anyway.

To the one at the back of the empty bus.

To the ones who name each piece of stained glass projected on a white wall.

To anyone convinced that a monologue is a conversation with the past.

To the one who loses with the deck he marked.

To those who are destined to inherit the meek.

To us.

Vachel Lindsay’s poem illustrates how loneliness can be a strength. Loneliness is a shared human experience, it is inescapable. But loneliness doesn’t have to purely be a negative feeling, it can be a source of strength. It is often when we’re alone when the truth comes out, where we hear our real voices and where we find our strength to stand tall.

The Strength of the Lonely by Vachel Lindsay

(What the Mendicant Said )

The moon’s a monk, unmated,

Who walks his cell, the sky.

His strength is that of heaven-vowed men

Who all life’s flames defy.

 

They turn to stars or shadows,

They go like snow or dew—

Leaving behind no sorrow—

Only the arching blue.

Alexander Pope’s poem is about the desire for solitude by choice and not design. Choosing to be alone can sometimes be a form of escape. In this poem that concept is heavily present. Sometimes we all want to escape to a place unseen, unknown, and undisturbed, a perfect place of peace and solitude.

Ode to Solitude by Alexander Pope

Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,

Content to breathe his native air,

In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire,

Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away,

In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,

Together mixed; sweet recreation;

And innocence, which most does please,

With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;

Thus unlamented let me die;

Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

Maya Angelou’s poem “Alone” perfectly captures the human reason why we need each other to survive. People often end up alone by choice or by design, but even by choice when we’re alone we often think of the people we want or wish were by our sides. “Alone” is a poem that emulates our sometimes desperate desire for someone, anyone in this world to fill the void in this lonely world.

Alone by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking

Last night

How to find my soul a home

Where water is not thirsty

And bread loaf is not stone

I came up with one thing

And I don’t believe I’m wrong

That nobody,

But nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires

With money, they can’t use

Their wives run round like banshees

Their children sing the blues

They’ve got expensive doctors

To cure their hearts of stone.

But nobody

No, nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely

I’ll tell you what I know

Storm clouds are gathering

The wind is gonna blow

The race of man is suffering

And I can hear the moan,

‘Cause nobody,

But nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

Can make it out here alone.

Sources referenced:  “Poems.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems.

— Henrietta Eghan, Blogger


Henrietta Eghan’s Bio:

henrietta-masthead_orig
Henrietta O. Eghan

Henrietta O. Eghan is a Ghanaian geek, a book nerd, an otaku, and a sophomore at Lewis University. She is an English major with a minor in Computer Science with the goal of becoming a technical writer. Eghan writes for the Lewis Flyer Newspaper and works in the English department. She loves to read literature and watch films from around the world and across genres. Eghan loves to read Japanese, Chinese, African, Mexican and American books. Whether it is as a novel, a movie, Korean-drama, a manga, fanfiction or a literary magazine, her favorite past time is to read and explore different cultures.


 

 

 

 

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