Poem Sampler

Unrequited Love Poems

Well, at least there’s chocolate, and these poems.

by Chris Richards

1. “They Flee from Me” by Sir Thomas Wyatt
A poem about being surrounded by love yet never actually receiving it. Wyatt recalls the many lovers who used to visit his bed, but no more! A stark sadness permeates the lines of the poem.

2. “I Dreamed That I Was Old” by Stanley J. Kunitz
Kunitz, like many of us, is afraid of getting older. He seems to believe that youth is more precious than wisdom. As the poem goes on, it also becomes clear that he is afraid of losing someone close to him. By the end, he seems sorry for his own situation and for ours as well.

3. “Take, O Take Those Lips Away” by William Shakespeare
A short poem about not quite trusting love but wanting it anyway.

4. “From Doctor Drink” by J. V. Cunningham
The narrator of this poem is not fed up with love. He simply does not need it to be happy. If you are satisfied without a relationship on this Valentine’s Day, then this poem is for you.

5. “The Dream” by John Donne
This poem is for those of us who really do love the idea of love but distrust it as well. The poem has a hopeful ending, so if you like to temper your fears with optimism, this poem is perfect for you.

6. “The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator” by Anne Sexton
The narrator of this poem does not have that “special someone.” Luckily, she doesn’t seem to need anyone! Is she lonely—or lucky?

Originally Published: February 13, 2007


On March 21, 2007 at 6:19pm KASSANDRA wrote:
OH MY GOSH I LOVE THESE POEM!!!!!!! I am a big fan and I write alot of poems to so i thought that you could come and i can share some with you.If you can come i will SO SO SO LOVE IT .I'll make a cake and drinks so that we can chat bye bye kiss kiss

On April 23, 2007 at 11:36pm Erin wrote:
I really love the closing lines in the first poem:

"But since that I so kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved."

It's so typical to feel concern and intrest for lost loves, wonder where they are and how they are being treated.

Could I be better for them? Are they being treated the way they deserve?

Anyways, just thought it was great.

On January 16, 2009 at 11:44am Brianna wrote:
Love these poems thats why i choose this topic

On January 16, 2009 at 11:45am Chandele wrote:
i love these poems and i wish to see all of your poems

On January 16, 2009 at 11:47am chantrice wrote:
I love these poems

On January 16, 2009 at 11:48am Shardarious wrote:
i hate poems

On July 11, 2013 at 1:23pm Enter your name wrote:
I couldn't really find one that related to mine but i guess only the right
song can do that for you.....


Poetryfoundation.org welcomes comments that foster dialogue and cultivate an open community on the site. Comments on articles must be approved by the site moderators before they appear on the site. By submitting a comment, you give the Poetry Foundation the right to publish it. Please note: We require comments to include a name and e-mail address. Read more about our privacy policy.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.