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6 best depression poems bring you empathy collected by Depression Open Talks. Depression poems will not only help you comprehend this condition more fully but will also help you express your feelings in order to get through difficult times.

Depression, along with anxiety and other mental health issues, is still considered a topic that people don’t want to talk about or are afraid to do. However, statistics show that about 15% of adults in the world face depression at some point in their lives.

As you can see, depression is not uncommon and it usually occurs when you don’t expect it. Awareness of issues like depression needs to be raised to prevent the situation from worsening. 


Poetry is one of the best ways to express emotions, which is why we should go through the best poems about depression to show you how to deal with this terrible state.

Many famous poets in the world suffer from depression including Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway. All are famous for their struggles with depression poems. Poetry has the power to express a remarkable depth of emotion while bringing the inner darkness to light.

The Relationship Between Depression and Poetry

It seems that a sensitive mind is a creative mind. The ups and downs of life have served as the inspiration for some of the greatest writing and art. It’s right to say that the most prolific writers also experience the most mental illness struggles when it comes to artistic expression.

Poetry has a special way of conveying ideas and emotions associated with depression. When the work allows you to relate to pain, hurt, or despair, it can be arresting, thought-provoking, and heartbreaking.

Many people have discovered that reading or creating poetry can help them cope. However, for those who cannot write poetry, the best thing is to see a doctor and change their way of life for the better.

I’ve compiled six of the most poems about depression ever written below. These timeless pieces tackle the harsh reality of dealing with mental illness. Despite the fact that each person’s experiences are unique, we hope that you can nonetheless draw solace and comfort from their words.

6 Excellent depression poems giving you sympathy

1.’Mirror’ – Sylvia Plath

A brief depression poem with only two stanzas, “Mirror,” was written in 1961. Sylvia Plath was living in England with her husband and their first child, Frieda. Plath experienced stress during this time.

She was on the path to fulfilling her love for her partner as a first-time mother, but she secretly dreaded the idea of getting older and getting married. Let’s take a look at some verses from the song ‘Mirror’ -by Sylvia Plath:

“I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.

Whatever I see I swallow immediately

Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.

I am not cruel, only truthful‚

The eye of a little god, four-cornered.

Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.

It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long

I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.

Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,

Searching my reaches for what she really is.

Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.

I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.

She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.

I am important to her. She comes and goes.

Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.

In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.”

Although the precise motivation behind Plath’s creation of “Mirror” is unknown, it is clear that this poem was different from her other poems in that it sought to express abstract emotions and a mental state that was difficult to pin down.

The author wrote the poem “Mirror” just two years before committing suicide. Despite that, it probably contains many autobiographical details about her trying life. The poem is both an amazing piece of literature and an engrossing work of art.

2. ‘Alone’ – Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s work is so often associated with Gothic horror that we overlook its charm and humanity. This depression poem contains some of the poet’s best verses. The literary genius’s tormented mind is revealed here, and readers get a glimpse into his erratic and troubled life.

‘Alone,’ by Edgar Allan Poe

“From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were-I have not seen

As others saw-I could not bring

My passions from a common spring-

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow-I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone-

And all I lov’d-I lov’d alone-

Then-in my childhood-in the dawn

Of a most stormy life-was drawn

From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still-

From the torrent, or the fountain-

From the red cliff of the mountain-

From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold-

From the lightning in the sky

As it pass’d me flying by-

From the thunder, and the storm-

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view.”

The theme of this depression poem is loneliness, specifically, it is a lack of friendship. Readers of this poem will be able to understand why friends are so unique and should be cherished. They might feel just as depressed as the poem’s author

3. It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up – Emily Dickinson

Many other poems by Emily Dickinson (1830–1866) dealt with death. She wrote frequently and insightfully about depression as well. Her poem “It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up” is a potent depiction of what it is like to be overcome and paralyzed by this crippling emotion.

It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up – Emily Dickinson

“ It was not Death, for I stood up,

And all the Dead, lie down-

It was not Night, for all the Bells

Put out their Tongues, for Noon

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh

I felt Siroccos-crawl-

Nor Fire-for just my Marble feet

Could keep a Chancel, cool-

And yet, it tasted, like them all,

The Figures I have seen

Set orderly, for Burial,

Reminded me, of mine-

As if my life were shaven,

And fitted to a frame,

And could not breathe without a key,

And ’twas like Midnight, some –

When everything that ticked-has stopped-

And Space stares-all around-

Or Grisly frosts-first Autumn morns,

Repeal the Beating Ground-

But, most, like Chaos-Stopless-cool-

Without a Chance, or Spar-

Or even a Report of Land-

To justify-Despair.”

This is a good poem, unique in all of Emily Dickinson’s ones. It was not Death, for I stood up, is one of many negatives listed in the poem’s opening line, which brilliantly alludes to a world devoid of sentiment or meaning.

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4. The Fury of Rainstorms – Anne Sexton

Poetry by Anne Sexton is deeply personal and almost entirely centers on the problematic relationships she had as a result of her mania and depression. Her depression poem “The Fury of Rainstorms” has come to represent her singular ability to expose the turmoil of depression inside.

The Fury of Rainstorms – Anne Sexton

“The rain drums down like red ants,

each bouncing off my window.

The ants are in great pai

and they cry out as they hit

as if their little legs were only

stitched on and their heads pasted.

And oh they bring to mind the grave,

so humble, so willing to be beat upon

with its awful lettering and

the body lying underneath

without an umbrella.

Depression is boring, I think

and I would do better to make

some soup and light up the cave.”

When she reminds us to light up the cave, she adds a bit of humor to her eloquent description of the effects her depression had on her. Everyone experiences depression differently, and at times, it can even be boring. And taking care of ourselves helps us overcome that boredom.

5. OCD – Neil Hilbon

Neil Hilbon is a slam poet who excels at expressing the realities of living with mental illness through his passionate performances. In this poem, Neil talks about finding love, being heartbroken when a relationship ends, and how OCD travels with them everywhere.

OCD – Neil Hilbon

“The first time I saw her…

Everything in my head went quiet.

All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared.

When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don’t really get quiet moments.

Even in bed, I’m thinking:

Did I lock the doors? Yes.

Did I wash my hands? Yes.

Did I lock the doors? Yes.

Did I wash my hands? Yes.

But when I saw her, the only thing I could think about was the hairpin curve of her lips..

Or the eyelash on her cheek —

the eyelash on her cheek —

the eyelash on her cheek.”

We can learn from this depression poem that everyone deserves love and that relationships with people who have mental illnesses can be challenging and call for a lot of patience and understanding. Let’s learn more about the various ways in which you can assist your partner with their mental health.

6. Odeon Melancholy – John Keats

Being depressed is a fact of life. Should we deal with feeling down, as John Keats calls it – ‘melancholy’? ‘Ode on Melancholy’ was written in 1819, the poem gives some advice on how to deal with a dose of the doldrums.

Odeon Melancholy – John Keats

“No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;

Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d

By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;

Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be

Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl

A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;

For shade to shade will come too drowsily,

And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,

That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

And hides the green hill in an April shroud;

Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose

Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,

Or on the wealth of globed peonies;

Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,

Imprison her soft hand, and let her rave,

And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty – Beauty that must die

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips

Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips

Ay, in the very temple of Delight

Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,

Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongu

Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;

His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,

And be among her cloudy trophies hung.”

Keats argues in his poem Ode on Melancholy that experiencing some sadness in life is necessary. It’s a poet’s psychological insight. Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that a poet has a personal opinion about psychiatric treatment. They shouldn’t care too much if they are very depressed and attached to their surroundings. 

This depression poem gives us advice to help us overcome the depression that everyone should avoid attempting to get drunk or jeopardize their life. To ignore the fleeting pain of life is the height of life. When faced with such upsetting aspects of life, people can look for beautiful and artistic things.

Depression poems: Final words

Depression poem reminds us that thoughts and feelings personally should be shared with others. You can relate to any of the emotions expressed like those mentioned above. There are people who understand these emotions and they are willing to help you deal with them and move on to enjoying life again.

If you’re struggling with depression, keep in mind that you don’t have to fight this battle by yourself. Contact your doctor and confide in someone you trust to discuss getting help. You can also get in touch with one of the wonderful charities for mental health that are available.


Erickson, A. (2019, August 22). 19 Raw, Powerful, and Moving Poems About Depression. BookBub. Retrieved August 21, 2022, from https://www.bookbub.com/blog/poems-about-depression

Plant, G. (2021, December 13). 10 Classic Raw and Powerful Poems About Depression. Hooked To Books. Retrieved August 21, 2022, from https://www.hookedtobooks.com/poems-about-depression/

Poe, E. A. (n.d.). 7 Depression Poems: What The World’s Greatest Poets Can Teach Us. BetterHelp. Retrieved August 21, 2022, from https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/7-depression-poems-what-the-worlds-greatest-poets-can-teach-us/

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