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What are some poems appropriate for the loss of a friend?

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Quick Answer

Some poems that focus on grief over the loss of a friend include "Consolation," by Robert Louis Stevenson; "Curtains," by Ruth Stone; "Song of Despair," by Pablo Neruda; "Lycidas," by John Milton; and "Grief," by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Poems about death and loss can help those who have lost a friend find the words to express their grief.

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What are some poems appropriate for the loss of a friend?
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Full Answer

Robert Louis Stevenson's "Consolation" consoles an auditor who has lost a life-long friend. The main thrust of "Consolation" is that a friend is never truly gone; he continues on in the afterlife. For Stevenson, true friends meet again after death. "Push gaily on, strong heart!" he writes, encouraging his auditor to persevere bravely through grief, strengthened with the hope of reuniting with lost loved ones.

"Curtains," by Ruth Stone, presents grief in a rawer form. Stone's speaker addresses her dead friend throughout the poem. She is still clearly hurting from the loss, even though her friend died years before. She describes a tear-filled argument with her landlord over his "no-pets" rule, and this seemingly-unrelated event draws forth her old grief over the loss: "I want to dig you up and say, look, / it's like the time, remember, / when I ran into our living room naked, / to get rid of that fire inspector. / See what you miss by being dead?"

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