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10 of the Best Poems of Farewell

The greatest goodbye poems

Poets are often at their most poignant when saying goodbye – to lovers, to lost loved ones, or to a part of their lives they have left behind. Here are ten of the greatest poems about saying goodbye or farewell…

Michael Drayton, ‘Since There’s No Help, Come Let Us Kiss and Part’. One of the greatest ‘breaking-up’ poems, this sonnet was written by Michael Drayton (1563-1631), a Warwickshire poet born one year before Shakespeare. The poet tells his erstwhile lover that the best thing for them to do is to end their relationship, shake hands, and walk away – though in the closing sestet Drayton dares to dream that the relationship may yet be salvaged. The poem appeared towards the end of Drayton’s sonnet sequence Idea’s Mirror (1594).

John Donne, ‘A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning’. As this poem’s title suggests, it’s a poem of farewell, written by Donne for his wife Anne in 1611-12 before he left England to go on a mission to Europe. Read the rest of this entry

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