There’s an art to penning the perfect love poem — but we have a special place in our hearts for those writers who effortlessly conjure the dank darkness of their danky doom when it comes to lost and unrequited love. This Halloween, wear all black everything and dig into this collection of dark love poems that are heavy on the sadz and will leave you rocking back and forth in a darkened bedroom.
“Never Give All the Heart” by W. B. Yeats
O never give the heart outright, For they, for all smooth lips can say, Have given their hearts up to the play. And who could play it well enough If deaf and dumb and blind with love? He that made this knows all the cost, For he gave all his heart and lost.
“Tonight I Can Write” by Pablo Neruda
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.” The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
“A Love Song” by William Carlos Williams
I am alone. The weight of love Has buoyed me up Till my head Knocks against the sky.
“Ebb” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I know what my heart is like Since your love died: It is like a hollow ledge Holding a little pool
“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
“The Kiss” by Sara Teasdale
I hoped that he would love me, And he has kissed my mouth, But I am like a stricken bird
“Choice” By Angela Morgan
I’d rather have the thought of you To hold against my heart, My spirit to be taught of you With west winds blowing, Than all the warm caresses Of another love’s bestowing, Or all the glories of the world In which you had no part
“The More Loving One” by W. H. Auden
How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me.
“Annabel Lee” By Edgar Allan Poe
And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea.
“I Do Not Love Thee” by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
I do not love thee!—yet, when thou art gone, I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear) Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.