Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Heartbroken poems. Poetry is how we say to the world, and to each other, “I am here.” Some of my most beloved poets — Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Billy Collins and Naomi Shihab Nye — talk about poetry as a way to document the world and our common experiences, to say what needs to be said in a direct, powerful and beautiful way.
Someone asked Billy Collins why that phenomenon was happening and he said: “Because poetry tells the story of the human heart.”
These are examples of famous A Broken Heart poems written by famous poets.
- The White Cliffs – Miller, Alice Duer
- The Ballad Of Reading Gaol – Wilde, Oscar
- Alastor: or the Spirit of Solitude – Shelley, Percy Bysshe
- The Italian In England – Browning, Robert
- Autobiography – Hikmet, Nazim
- Malmaison – Lowell, Amy
- At Ease – de la Mare, Walter
- Feast Of Victory – Schiller, Friedrich von
- You Cant Can Love – Service, Robert William
- In the Droving Days – Paterson, Andrew Barton
- Doctor Meyers – Masters, Edgar Lee
- Unto a broken heart – Dickinson, Emily
- A New Being – Russell, George William
- Dream Song 134: Sick at 6 and sick again at 9 – Berryman, John
- 320. Lines to Sir John Whitefoord Bart Burns, Robert
- The Things We Dare Not Tell – Lawson, Henry
- Last Week – Paterson, Andrew Barton
- Psalm 51 part 3 – Watts, Isaac
- The Broken Heart – William Barnes
At Ease by Walter de la Mare
Most wounds can Time repair;
But some are mortal — these:
For a broken heart there is no balm,
No cure for a heart at ease —
At ease, but cold as stone,
Though the intellect spin on,
And the feat and practiced face may show
Nought of the life that is gone;
But smiles, as by habit taught;
And sighs, as by custom led;
And the soul within is safe from damnation,
Since it is dead.
Autobiography by Nazim Hikmet
I was born in 1902
I never once went back to my birthplace
I don’t like to turn back
at three I served as a pasha’s grandson in Aleppo
at nineteen as a student at Moscow Communist University
at forty-nine I was back in Moscow as the Tcheka Party’s guest
and I’ve been a poet since I was fourteen
some people know all about plants some about fish
I know separation
some people know the names of the stars by heart
I recite absences
I’ve slept in prisons and in grand hotels
I’ve known hunger even a hunger strike and there’s almost no food
I haven’t tasted
at thirty they wanted to hang me
at forty-eight to give me the Peace Prize
which they did
at thirty-six I covered four square meters of concrete in half a year
at fifty-nine I flew from Prague to Havana in eighteen hours
I never saw Lenin I stood watch at his coffin in ’24
in ’61 the tomb I visit is his books
they tried to tear me away from my party
it didn’t work
nor was I crushed under the falling idols
in ’51 I sailed with a young friend into the teeth of death
in ’52 I spent four months flat on my back with a broken heart
waiting to die
I was jealous of the women I loved
I didn’t envy Charlie Chaplin one bit
I deceived my women
I never talked my friends’ backs
I drank but not every day
I earned my bread money honestly what happiness
out of embarrassment for others I lied
I lied so as not to hurt someone else
but I also lied for no reason at all
I’ve ridden in trains planes and cars
most people don’t get the chance
I went to opera
most people haven’t even heard of the opera
and since ’21 I haven’t gone to the places most people visit
mosques churches temples synagogues sorcerers
but I’ve had my coffee grounds read
my writings are published in thirty or forty languages
in my Turkey in my Turkish they’re banned
cancer hasn’t caught up with me yet
and nothing says it will
I’ll never be a prime minister or anything like that
and I wouldn’t want such a life
nor did I go to war
or burrow in bomb shelters in the bottom of the night
and I never had to take to the road under diving planes
but I fell in love at almost sixty
in short comrades
even if today in Berlin I’m croaking of grief
I can say I’ve lived like a human being
and who knows
how much longer I’ll live
what else will happen to me
This autobiography was written
in east Berlin on 11 September 1961
You Cant Can Love by Robert William Service
I don’t know how the fishes feel, but I can’t help thinking it odd,
That a gay young flapper of a female eel should fall in love with a cod.
Yet – that’s exactly what she did and it only goes to prove,
That’ what evr you do you can’t put the lid on that crazy feeling Love.
Now that young tom-cod was a dreadful rake, and he had no wish to wed,
But he feared that her foolish heart would break, so this is what he said:
“Some fellows prize a woman’s eyes, and some admire her lips,
While some have a taste for a tiny waist, but – me, what I like is HIPS.
“So you see, my dear,” said that gay tom-cod, “Exactly how I feel;
Oh I hate to be unkind but I know my mind, and there ain’t no hips on an eel.
“Alas! that’s true,” said the foolish fish, as she blushed to her finny tips:
“And with might and main, though it gives me pain, I’ll try to develop hips.
So day and night with all her might she physical culturized;
But alas and alack, in the middle of her back no hump she recognized.
So – then she knew that her love eclipse was fated from the start;
For you never yet saw an eel with hips, so she died of a broken heart.
Oh you’ve gotta hand it out to Love, to Love you can’t can Love
You’ll find it from the bottom of the briny deep to the blue above.
From the Belgin hare to the Polar Bear, and the turtle dove,
You can look where you please, But from elephant to fleas,
You’ll never put the lid on Love.
You can look where you choose, But from crabs to kangaroos,
You’ll never put the lid on Love.
You can look where you like, But from polywogs to pike,
You’ll never put the lid on Love.
You can look where you please, But from buffalo to bees,
You’ll never put the lid on Love.
In the Droving Days by Andrew Barton Paterson
“Only a pound,” said the auctioneer,
“Only a pound; and I’m standing here
Selling this animal, gain or loss —
Only a pound for the drover’s horse?
One of the sort that was ne’er afraid,
One of the boys of the Old Brigade;
Thoroughly honest and game, I’ll swear,
Only a little the worse for wear;
Plenty as bad to be seen in town,
Give me a bid and I’ll knock him down;
Sold as he stands, and without recourse,
Give me a bid for the drover’s horse.
Loitering there in an aimless way
Somehow I noticed the poor old grey,
Weary and battered and screwed, of course;
Yet when I noticed the old grey horse,
The rough bush saddle, and single rein
Of the bridle laid on his tangled mane,
Straighway the crowd and the auctioneer
Seemed on a sudden to disappear,
Melted away in a kind if haze —
For my heart went back to the droving days.
Back to the road, and I crossed again
Over the miles of the saltbush plain —
The shining plain that is said to be
The dried-up bed of an inland sea.
Where the air so dry and so clear and bright
Refracts the sun with a wondrous light,
And out in the dim horizon makes
The deep blue gleam of the phantom lakes.
At dawn of day we could feel the breeze
That stirred the boughs of the sleeping trees,
And brought a breath of the fragrance rare
That comes and goes in that scented air;
For the trees and grass and the shrubs contain
A dry sweet scent on the saltbush plain.
for those that love it and understand
The saltbush plain is a wonderland,
A wondrous country, were Nature’s ways
Were revealed to me in the droving days.
We saw the fleet wild horses pass,
And kangaroos through the Mitchell grass;
The emu ran with her frightened brood
All unmolested and unpursued.
But there rose a shout and a wild hubbub
When the dingo raced for his native scrub,
And he paid right dear for his stolen meals
With the drovers’ dogs at his wretched heels.
For we ran him down at a rattling pace,
While the pack-horse joined in the stirring chase.
And a wild halloo at the kill we’d raise —
We were light of heart in the droving days.
‘Twas a drover’s horse, and my hand again
Made a move to close on a fancied rein.
For I felt a swing and the easy stride
Of the grand old horse that I used to ride.
In drought or plenty, in good or ill,
The same old steed was my comrade still;
The old grey horse with his honest ways
Was a mate to me in the droving days.
When we kept our watch in the cold and damp,
If the cattle broke from the sleeping camp,
Over the flats and across the plain,
With my head bent down on his waving mane,
Through the boughs above and the stumps below,
On the darkest night I could let him go
At a racing speed; he would choose his course,
And my life was safe with the old grey horse.
But man and horse had a favourite job,
When an outlaw broke from the station mob;
With a right good will was the stockwhip plied,
As the old horse raced at the straggler’s side,
And the greenhide whip such a weal would raise —
We could use the whip in the droving days.
“Only a pound!” and was this the end —
Only a pound for the drover’s friend.
The drover’s friend that has seen his day,
And now was worthless and cast away
With a broken knee and a broken heart
To be flogged and starved in a hawker’s cart.
Well, I made a bid for a sense of shame
And the memories of the good old game.
“Thank you? Guinea! and cheap at that!
Against you there in the curly hat!
Only a guinea, and one more chance,
Down he goes if there’s no advance,
Third, and last time, one! two! three!”
And the old grey horse was knocked down to me.
And now he’s wandering, fat and sleek,
On the lucerne flats by the Homestead Creek;
I dare not ride him for fear he’s fall,
But he does a journey to beat them all,
For though he scarcely a trot can raise,
He can take me back to the droving days.
Doctor Meyers by Edgar Lee Masters
No other man, unless it was Doc Hill,
Did more for people in this town than l.
And all the weak, the halt, the improvident
And those who could not pay flocked to me.
I was good-hearted, easy Doctor Meyers.
I was healthy, happy, in comfortable fortune,
Blest with a congenial mate, my children raised,
All wedded, doing well in the world.
And then one night, Minerva, the poetess,
Came to me in her trouble, crying.
I tried to help her out — she died —
They indicted me, the newspapers disgraced me,
My wife perished of a broken heart.
And pneumonia finished me.
A New Being by George William Russell
I KNOW myself no more, my child,
Since thou art come to me,
Pity so tender and so wild
Hath wrapped my thoughts of thee.
These thoughts, a fiery gentle rain,
Are from the Mother shed,
Where many a broken heart hath lain
And many a weeping head.
Dream Song 134: Sick at 6 and sick again at 9 by John Berryman
Sick at 6 & sick again at 9
was Henry’s gloomy Monday morning oh.
Still he had to lecture.
They waited, his little children, for stricken Henry
to rise up yet once more again and come oh.
They figured he was a fixture,
nuts to their bolds, keys to their bloody locks.
One day the whole affair will fall apart
with a rustle of fire,
a wrestle of undoing, as of tossed clocks,
and somewhere not far off a broken heart
He had smoked a pack of cigarettes by 10
& was ready to go.
Peace to his ashes then,
with all this gas & shit blowing through it
four times in 2 hours, his tail ached.
He arose, benign, & performed.
320. Lines to Sir John Whitefoord Bart by Robert Burns
THOU, who thy honour as thy God rever’st,
Who, save thy mind’s reproach, nought earthly fear’st,
To thee this votive offering I impart,
The tearful tribute of a broken heart.
The Friend thou valued’st, I, the Patron lov’d;
His worth, his honour, all the world approved:
We’ll mourn till we too go as he has gone,
And tread the shadowy path to that dark world unknown.
The Things We Dare Not Tell by
The fields are fair in autumn yet, and the sun’s still shining there,
But we bow our heads and we brood and fret, because of the masks we wear;
Or we nod and smile the social while, and we say we’re doing well,
But we break our hearts, oh, we break our hearts! for the things we must not tell.
There’s the old love wronged ere the new was won, there’s the light of long ago;
There’s the cruel lie that we suffer for, and the public must not know.
So we go through life with a ghastly mask, and we’re doing fairly well,
While they break our hearts, oh, they kill our hearts! do the things we must not tell.
We see but pride in a selfish breast, while a heart is breaking there;
Oh, the world would be such a kindly world if all men’s hearts lay bare!
We live and share the living lie, we are doing very well,
While they eat our hearts as the years go by, do the things we dare not tell.
We bow us down to a dusty shrine, or a temple in the East,
Or we stand and drink to the world-old creed, with the coffins at the feast;
We fight it down, and we live it down, or we bear it bravely well,
But the best men die of a broken heart for the things they cannot tell.
Last Week by
Oh, the new-chum went to the backblock run,
But he should have gone there last week.
He tramped ten miles with a loaded gun,
But of turkey of duck saw never a one,
For he should have been there last week,
There were flocks of ’em there last week.
He wended his way to a waterfall,
And he should have gone there last week.
He carried a camera, legs and all,
But the day was hot and the stream was small,
For he should have gone there last week,
They drowned a man there last week.
He went for a drive, and he made a start,
Which should have been made last week,
For the old horse died of a broken heart;
So he footed it home and he dragged the cart —
But the horse was all right last week,
He trotted a match last week.
So he asked all the bushies who came from afar
To visit the town last week
If the’d dine with him, and they said “Hurrah!”
But there wasn’t a drop in the whisky jar —
You should have been here last week,
I drank it all up last week!
Psalm 51 part 3 by
The backslider restored.
O Thou that hear’st when sinners cry,
Though all my crimes before thee lie,
Behold them not with angry look,
But blot their mem’ry from thy book.
Create my nature pure within,
And form my soul averse to sin:
Let thy good Spirit ne’er depart,
Nor hide thy presence from my heart.
I cannot live without thy light
Cast out and banished from thy sight:
Thine holy joys, my God, restore,
And guard me that I fall no more.
Though I have grieved thy Spirit, Lord,
His help and comfort still afford;
And let a wretch come near thy throne,
To plead the merits of thy Son.
A broken heart, my God, my King,
Is all the sacrifice I bring;
The God of grace will ne’er despise
A broken heart for sacrifice.
My soul lies humbled in the dust,
And owns thy dreadful sentence just:
Look down, O Lord, with pitying eye,
And save the soul condemned to die.
Then will I teach the world thy ways;
Sinners shall learn thy sovereign grace;
I’ll lead them to my Savior’s blood,
And they shall praise a pard’ning God.
O may thy love inspire my tongue!
Salvation shall be all my song;
And all my powers shall join to bless
The Lord, my strength and righteousness.
Unto a broken heart by
Unto a broken heart
No other one may go
Without the high prerogative
Itself hath suffered too.
The Broken Heart by William Barnes
News o’ grief had overteaken
Dark-eyed Fanny, now vorseaken;
There she zot, wi’ breast a-heaven,
While vrom zide to zide, wi’ grieven,
Vell her head, wi’ tears a-creepen
Down her cheaks, in bitter weepen.
There wer still the ribbon-bow
She tied avore her hour ov woe,
An’ there wer still the hans that tied it
Or wringen tight,
In ceare that drowned all ceare bezide it.
When a man, wi’ heartless slighten,
Mid become a maiden’s blighten,
He mid cearelessly vorseake her,
But must answer to her Meaker;
He mid slight, wi’ selfish blindness,
All her deeds o’ loven-kindness,
God wull waigh ’em wi’ the slighten
That mid be her love’s requiten;
He do look on each deceiver,
He do know
What weight o’ woe
Do break the heart ov ev’ry griever.