The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
Browse the list below for poems about anonymity and loneliness.
In nature, molecules are chiral—they turn in one direction or the other. Naturally then, someone wondered: might sugar, built to mirror itself, be sweet, but pass through the body unnoticed? A dieters’ gold mine. I don’t know why the experiment failed, or how. I think of the loneliness of that man-made substance, like a ghost in a ‘50s movie you could pass your hand through, or some suitor always rejected despite the sparkle of his cubic zirconia ring. Yet this sugar is real, and somewhere exists. It looks for a left-handed tongue.
There is absolutely nothing lonelier than the little Mars rover never shutting down, digging up rocks, so far away from Bond street in a light rain. I wonder if he makes little beeps? If so he is lonelier still. He fires a laser into the dust. He coughs. A shiny thing in the sand turns out to be his.
It comes out of the language of nothing I recognize Though it is something in you, at least as I keep looking at you And you turn back to me. I ought to have guessed From the simple order of the tracks that you knew Without looking what place in the wild night The animal came from, and through which of our windows It has looked into, sometimes with an eye On our waking, other times on our sleeping with the doorways open