The best poems for friends
Love may be a bigger topic for poets than friendship, but there are nevertheless some classic poems about friends and friendship to be found in English literature. Here are ten of the greatest poems about friendship, and poems for friends, that poets have come up with over the centuries.
Edmund Waller, ‘On the Friendship betwixt Two Ladies’. In this witty poem, Waller, a Cavalier poet of the seventeenth century, celebrates the close friendship between two ladies but also suggests that they are perhaps too close, and deprive themselves of male company (e.g. Waller’s). ‘Why so careless of our care, / Only to yourselves so dear?’ Not so much ‘hoes before bros’ as ‘sisters before misters’?
Katherine Philips, ‘To my Excellent Lucasia, on our Friendship’. Philips (1632-64), also known as ‘the Matchless Orinda’, was an Anglo-Welsh poet and translator in an age where few women had the chance to succeed at either. ‘To my Excellent Lucasia’ (Lucasia being the alter ego of Philips’ friend Anne Owen) is a poem of friendship but might also qualify as a lesbian love poem. Read the rest of this entry