9 poems about anxiety

Anxiety is a natural response to threat and fear that can affect an individual in various ways.

Poems on anxiety represented by various poets is an effort towards depicting the various states of anxiety in a myriad fashion.

Many poets use dramatic monologues to present the panic and fears experienced by people suffering from anxiety.

1.   ‘Remember’ by Joy Harjo


Remember the sky that you were born under,

know each of the star’s stories.

Remember the moon, know who she is.

Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the

strongest point of time. Remember sundown

and the giving away to night.

Remember your birth, how your mother struggled

to give you form and breath. You are evidence of

her life, and her mother’s, and hers.

Remember your father. He is your life, also.

Remember the earth whose skin you are:

red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth

brown earth, we are earth.

Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their

tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,

listen to them. They are alive poems.

Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the

origin of this universe.

Remember you are all people and all people

are you.

Remember you are this universe and this

universe is you.

Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.

Remember language comes from this.

Remember the dance language is, that life is.


2.   ‘The New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

3.   ‘Up-Hill’ by Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?

Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?

From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?

A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.

May not the darkness hide it from my face?

You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?

Those who have gone before.

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?

They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?

Of labour you shall find the sum.

Will there be beds for me and all who seek?

Yea, beds for all who come.

4.   ‘little prayer’ by Danez Smith

let ruin end here

let him find honey

where there was once a slaughter

let him enter the lion’s cage

& find a field of lilacs

let this be the healing

& if not   let it be

5.   ‘Hymn to Time’ by Ursula K. Le Guin

Time says “Let there be”

every moment and instantly

there is space and the radiance

of each bright galaxy.

And eyes beholding radiance.

And the gnats’ flickering dance.

And the seas’ expanse.

And death, and chance.

Time makes room

for going and coming home

and in time’s womb

begins all ending.

Time is being and being

time, it is all one thing,

the shining, the seeing,

the dark abounding.

6.   Interrogation of the Hanged Man’ by Monica Youn

What is your face?

       A house, of sorts.

What is your foot?

       A chipped stone blade.

What did you dream?

       A rain-washed road.

What did it mean?

       It meant nothing.

What have you learned?

       The sky forgives.

What does it forgive?

       Each jet its wake.

What do you want?

       A smile, of sorts.

No, what do you want?

       I want nothing.

What’s in your hand?

       A leafless twig.

No. Show me. What’s that in your hand? 

7.   ‘Untitled [No One’s Awake]’ by Rose Styron

No one’s awake

but us, and a bird.

The day’s too beautiful

to speak a word.

8.   This Is What Makes Us Worlds by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

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This Is What Makes Us Worlds

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Like light but

in reverse we billow.

We turn a corner

and make the hills


You rearrange

my parts until no

more hurting.

No more skin-sunk

nighttime fear.

No more blameless death.

My hair loses its atoms.

My body glows

in the dark.

Planets are smashed

into oblivion,

stripped of their power

to name things.

Our love fills the air.

Our love eats

the deadly sounds men

make when they see

how much magic

we have away

from them.

9.   ‘Turn of a Year’ by Joan Houlihan

This is regret: or a ferret. Snuffling,

stunted, a snout full of snow.

As the end of day shuffles down

the repentant scurry and swarm—

an unstable contrition is born.

Bend down. Look into the lair.

Where new-born pieties spark and strike

I will make my peace as a low bulb

burnt into a dent of snow. A cloth to keep me

from seeping. Light crumpled over a hole.

Why does the maker keep me awake?

He must want my oddments, their glow.

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It has been globally reported that anxiety is becoming a part of many individuals’ life. As anxiety is a natural response to fear and threat experiencing it during day-to-day activities is looked at as a normal and predictable response.

However, the problem begins when this anxiety builds up over days and is exhibited in its worst form that is an anxiety attack.

The symptoms of an anxiety attack are a culmination of all the minor symptoms that were experienced or suppressed over some time without being dealt with effectively in a healthy manner.

Anxiety attacks can involve extreme feelings of lack of control, difficulty breathing, sense of impending doom, nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate.

Anxiety though is short-lived with regard to each episode that might overwhelm an individual with a sense of fear and panic.

considering the characteristic symptoms and signs of anxiety attacks it is best suggested that individuals are well equipped with methods and strategies to deal effectively with anxiety attacks.

in cases managing anxiety attacks and their frequency or intensity is beyond one’s control it is best advised to seek professional assistance for long-term adaptive outcomes.