Many poems reflect human emotion which the writer experienced at one time or another and wants to express through words. The famous poet William Wordsworth once said that poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of feelings” consisting of “emotion recollected in tranquility.” There is no denying that many poems have a strong emotional influence on them, and often relate to the poets inner most feelings about what they are writing about. Here is a selection of emotionally infused poems that express some of the most common and regularly talked about emotions.
William Blake - Poem about love from his book Songs of Experience.
Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.
It’s a short poem that describes his experience, and how love can make even the worse possible life into a wonderful existence. By having love in your heart, and sharing love with another, nothing is demanded and nothing gained. Simply put, Blake tries to describe love as a pure emotion that can transform a person’s life.
William Wordsworth - My Heart Leaps Up
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
In this poem by celebrated British poet William Blake, he describes the emotion of joy. He connects the feeling he had of joy as a child when he witnessed a rainbow in the sky, and relates this to the rest of his life. Whether it is a simple act like going to collect parcels on your birthday, or being presented with an unexpected nice surprise, joy manifests itself in many different ways. Blake also expresses that he doesn’t want the feeling of joy to change as he grows old, and mentions death as opposed to having a life without joy.
Jean Pullman – My Anger
My anger wants to kill.
My anger wants to spill.
My anger wants to smash a wall.
My anger wants to make someone feel small.
My anger makes me carve my skin.
My anger is locked up within.
My anger is fierce and fatal.
My anger isn't stable.
When my anger is out stay away.
Because my anger destroys everything in its way.
This poem was written by Jean Pullman, and illuminates the different urges that the author feels when the emotion of anger fills her body. The author confesses that felt depressed a lot of the time during her early years, and this poem was the result of reflecting on a difficult period in her life. It begins with a strong line stating her anger wants to kill, and the constant theme is of violence and acts that describe taking the anger out on someone or something. It’s a visceral and sometimes brutal poem that illustrates the feeling of anger and the acts that people can be drawn to commit while under the influence of anger.
Dillon Crawford - Leave me be
Sorrow, sorrow why must you take me so
Why have you left me in such a big hole
Sorrow, sorrow when will you leave my soul
And let me finally breath so
There is nowhere to go
If you keep beating on my heart so
Sorrow, sorrow its your time to go
Let your heart leave from my soul
In this poem by Dillon Crawford the emotion of sadness is described. The impression it gives is that sorrow seems to take a hold on the soul of the poet. He refers to it as something that he wants rid of, something that has to go or to leave. The second line also provides the reader with a description of how it feels, being left isolated and alone in a hole. The poem gives a feeling of hopelessness, and living a life of sadness would be unbearable so there is no other option than to discard sadness. The poem also gives the impression that sadness consumes a person, and is something that cannot be simply thrown away, it leaves when it wants to, almost as if the emotion is detached form the body.