Bereavement Poems & Articles: Poems about grief 

Sometimes when you are grieving, the only thing that you truly need is to feel understood and there is nothing that does this better than poems. Through poetry, you can get a clearer grasp of what you are experiencing or even help you make yourself feel like you are not alone in your grieving. 

The poems below are some of the best works that we have found.

Why have ye no routhe on my child? By Anonymous 

The author of this wonderful poem is still unidentified, but it touched the heart of many grieving parents who have lost their children. This poem is written in the medieval period when people haven’t yet made progress in medicine and thus, a lot of people die without getting the right treatment.

The word ‘routhe’ in this poem means compassion and the writer of this poem is lamenting how god spared no compassion for her child. Here’s a stanza from the poem that you might appreciate:

Why have ye no routhe on my child?

Have routhe on me ful of mourning;

Tak doun o rode my derworth child,

Or prik me o rode with my derling!

A valedictorian: forbidding mourning by John Donne 

This poem by the revered writer and soldier, John Donne talks about farewell, more specifically to his wife Anne before he went on a mission in Europe. John Donne uses the metaphysical style of poetry in his work.

Instead of parting with his wife sadly, John Donne decided that goodbyes are only an opportunity to say hello again in the future. He wants to fill their last moments with joy and not grieving. Here’s a stanza from the poem:

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

Whilst some of their sad friends do say

The breath goes now, and some say, No:

So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;

‘Twere profanation of our joys

To tell the laity our love.

The bad season makes the poet sad by Robert Herrick 

Robert Herrick is a popular writer that dedicates most of his works to the royal family as a loyal devotee. He wrote the poem ‘the bad season makes the poet sad’ considering the death of King Charles during the Civil War. 

In the eyes of Herrick, the whole world seemed to have gone dark after the king had died. The whole kingdom is grieving and their sadness is expressed in the poem below: 

Dull to myself, and almost dead to these

My many fresh and fragrant mistresses;

Lost to all music now, since everything

Puts on the semblance here of sorrowing.

Sick is the land to th’ heart, and doth endure

More dangerous faintings by her desp’rate cure. 

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