What Are Some Comforting Short Poems on Loss?


Quick Answer

Philip Larkin's "The Trees" is a short, moving meditation on about rebirth and renewal even in the face of death. The poem observes that the trees' greenness "is a kind of grief," and that they die too. But they begin again each year, "afresh," suggesting redemption.

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What Are Some Comforting Short Poems on Loss?
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Full Answer

"Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye is one of the most popular poems to address grief and loss. The poem is comforting if fierce in its rejection of the idea that something is lost. The "I" of the poem (the object, experience, or person that is lost) is not lost but is in fact all around us, in the snow, in the morning silences, in the rain.

"One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop is comforting in its observation that loss is all around us. We lose door keys, watches, and fellow humans. Perhaps the "art of losing" is one that can be mastered over time. Perhaps in doing so the loss hurts less, she seems to suggest.

Death isn't the only kind of loss. "Love After Love" by Derek Walcott is a brief, beautiful reminder to those coming to terms with lost love. The poem nudges the reader towards self-love as a mode of healing, to "give back your heart/to itself."

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