Poem Sampler

Break-Up Poems

Poems to read after you've been dumped

by Leslie Ahlstrand

1. “Ebb” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Short and not so sweet, this is a really refreshing love poem because the message isn’t diluted or confused by complicated syntax or presumptuous language. An evaporating pool of water is the metaphor for the writer’s heart.

2. “Mythmaking on the Merritt Parkway” by G. E. Murray
Murray uses imagery you would never associate with a love poem. It makes breaking up seem supremely romantic.

3. “Of Memory and Distance” by Russell Edson
The poem starts with “scientific fact” and ends with uncertain fiction. The shift is incredibly affecting.

4. “The Self Banished” by Edmund Waller
The first stanza, to me, summarizes this entire poetic category. The intense pain and undercurrent of bitterness introduced at the start runs throughout. Although Waller lived in the seventeenth century, the idea that the mere form of an old lover can cause physical pain transcends time.

5. “Time Does Not Bring Relief: You All Have Lied” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I smile involuntarily every time I read the first line because the statement captures so well the rest of this painfully direct poem. The poet’s everyday routines are interrupted when she can’t go to places that bear memories of her love.

Originally Published: February 13, 2007

COMMENTS (3)

On June 12, 2008 at 8:39pm Jessie wrote:
If anyone can help me I'd really appreciate it....I'm looking for a poem but I can't remember how it goes except for the last line is: slips like water over a stone and is home....its a poem about the souls search for another in this life, mother, brother, sister, lover, child etc and that when you find that person everything clicks into place and you feel like you've found home.....if anyone can help me I'd really appreciate it....I have no idea how else to find this poem?....thanks x

On August 24, 2008 at 3:33pm joe ann waugh wrote:
looking for an old poem I learned as a youngster...I thought the title was "My Playmate" and the first line was "the pines are dark in Rammath Woods" but have not been able to locate it with this info...do not remember authors name. will appreciate any help out there...thanx...

On June 24, 2011 at 2:55pm sarah wrote:
its the poem of justice and peace

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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