Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Thursday Think Tank #57 - Loneliness

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” ~ Orson Welles

Loneliness; over the years the idea or feeling of being alone has influenced many writers and poets in many ways. While some find solace in being alone others absolutely abhor and fear it. What does the idea of being alone mean to you?

I expect the thoughts of being alone to invoke a lot of deep emotions that some folks can’t or do not wish to bring themselves to write about and I understand that.  So we give you an out of sorts here if you can't or dont want to attempt writing from a lonely place. 

From the term loneliness a person can take the word "Alone".  It is not as harsh a concept or as desolate an Idea. I would like to point out that not always is being alone a bad and emotionally draining concept.  It is not loneliness.  Teachers after a long day of screaming five year olds like to be alone. Rock stars, movie stars and even the president take comfort in getting a few moments to themselves. I know my mother was happy when I went off on some adventure because that guaranteed her some “Alone Time”. This usually entailed Tammy Wynette blaring on the record player and half a bottle of wine but she was happy. 

If you dare to actually take the challenge of writing about true loneliness or the feeling of being lonley we cant wait to read your sullen words.  There are some who enjoy the feeling of lonelinees.  The belief that there is no one and nothing out there but you.  Although to me this is huge emotional drain I find some of my best writing comes during those times.  It makes you reflect on life and the many aspects of it we tend to ignore on a regular basis.

So this week we give you the prompt of loneliness. When does it strike you the most, the holidays after the family has left? When someone close to you has passed on? When you move away from your childhood home? When do you feel you’re most alone?

The best thing about Poets United is we are here to ensure you are not alone unless you want to be. Any given day you can reach out and someone in this community will be there for a comment, a smile or just a simple acknowledgment.

We know this prompt may cause you to tug at some deeper heart strings but know that we look forward to reading what you write and share with us.  With your words you may convince yourself and others that we are not alone in what we feel.
If you have a prompt idea (even a Music or Film inspired one) that you would like to suggest or share with us please send it to . We keep a folder set aside with all your suggestions and just might use it one day.

There 3 simple rules:

1. Don’t link to more than 3 poems per week.

2. Please visit some of the other poems linked here when you link to yours.

3. Leave a comment after you have posted your link.


  1. Not so lonely today, but those pictures are sure inspiring.

  2. sheesh, i have a *ton* of poems about being alone and loneliness. no psychoanalyzing, please. :)

  3. hah, Marian, you are not alone (irony!)

  4. In a way isn't poetry inspired by the lonely concept of having no other way to express our thoughts and feelings? :)

  5. I so agree with Marcia. I think of it as a way to communicate, feelings and thoughts one can't share.
    Just like you said... :D

  6. My poem may not be directly related to loneliness, but I think the mood pervades.

  7. We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” ~ Orson Welles

    the illusion...

    Sometimes Facebook and blogging can also bring on the opposite affects too.

    On the other hand, we are never really ever alone in each cosmic breath.

    And what of the tale of the one set of foot prints along the sandy shore?

    Yes, it's quite a mystery at times!

    Nice post!

  8. I agree with several of you and, Marian. No psychoanalyzing, please... We creative writers use so many varying and varieties in degrees of emotions when we create, and poetic expression gives us freedom to express them all in that way.
    I've read prose where I was convinced the author was on the verge of suicide and it turns out it was just all for the art... never know! lol
    Thanks again to Poets United for running a great place to share!

  9. You can psychoanalyze me all you like. My entry is me. It's all I know...thruthiness in the familiar. : )

  10. I think a lot of poets and writers have experienced loneliness a time or two. I know I have.

  11. Poets United,

    The loneliness of being disconnected!


  12. Thanks for the prompt. It helped me find the third part of a three part piece.


  13. My creative mind was feeling kind of blank today, but I tried any way. That seems to be the key for me--just start writing. Thank you as usual for comments. It really is very exciting for me when people from here have read my poems and leave comments.

  14. loneliness...standing in the middle of nowhere

  15. oh, hell, analyze me, that should curb any loneliness :)
    pay attention to me! or, if you read my poem, not budging!

  16. My post includes a tribute to a friend who recently passed on.

  17. i soooo loved this prompt! immediately went to a new version of one of my favorite songs ~ "All by Myself" thanks!

  18.'s the one thing we just can't outrun, no matter how hard we try...just part of being human...

  19. This was kind of scary for me since I haven't dared approach my feelings of loneliness for a while (anger, passion and humour are easier to deal with any fall-out from), but I'm still grateful for the chance. Thank you! *off to put on happy music in headphones*

  20. "This lonely poem" (an old one).

  21. I was never happier than when I was broke and lonely. Now I have money and lots of friends...


  22. Another kind of loneliness :)

  23. What I wrote stemmed from the prompt, thought it has become a tangentially creative piece. Still sharing!

  24. How often sadness and loneliness are connected, it doesn't have to be, but usually is. Nice prompt. Thank you.

  25. The post is certainly evocative and the photographs each a poem in themselves. Interesting that there are cautions here against psychoanalyzing.... I think poetry born of specific or created experience expresses a known, feared, embraced, anticipated or recollected emotion.

  26. The photos are telling. A prompt whose time is always come.

  27. Loneliness is a powerful thing
    to write about.
    No one hears ,
    even if you shout
    no one reads-
    there is doubt
    Loneliness is a killing thing
    lump in the throat
    numb and afloat feet
    heart sinking and
    missing the beat
    Loneliness is a depressive thing
    It comes in a day
    when a dear one is
    indifferent and far away
    with reasons unknown
    what can one say-
    Loneliness is a lonesome thing
    it stays with the lonely
    and makes them sing
    when they cannot fly
    with their broken wings
    Loneliness is a powerful thing
    when it builds patience
    when it fills emptiness
    when it heals wounds
    when it shows colors
    when it reveals character
    Loneliness is a powerful thing
    when it does not come once
    when it goes and returns
    when it widens distances
    when it cools the burns
    Loneliness is the absence of response.

  28. Some regular time alone can be great for our inner and outer life.

  29. Loneliness is not a cruel thing, if it leads to awareness of oneself. Having been lonely, you can embrace friendship, with all the toils it may entail. Thanks for the prompt.

  30. I didn't want to put this on my blog because my children read it. This is about the loneliest time in my entire life:

    You’re on your own now, girl

    Lost for a while, the respect of my children,
    grief a lump of concrete in my head.
    Lost, one home,
    more than four walls and a roof,
    Lost, dog and cat and horses -
    unexpected loneliness
    Lost, garden -
    past joy and burden.
    Lost, friends -
    unwilling to choose or merely embarrassed
    Lost, appetite
    and too much weight,
    Lost, sense of direction, purpose;

    Temporarily mislaid,
    the certainty of who and what I am.

    Found: a freedom far too poignant.

    1. Viv, Nice to find you here. What a heart-wrenching, beautiful poem.


    2. Oooooh Viv... I just stumbled upon this... a reason for everything....too bad you cannot find a way to post (perhaps with a note) that would not be too upsetting for your children... A wonderful poem:) Hugs to you :)

  31. Anjum, your loneliness poem is one of the very best that I have read of yours. You have been there.

  32. Alone is not the same as lonely. hugs, pat

  33. Why do we need to comment after each post in order to be able to post again?

  34. patcegan,

    You do not need to comment after each post. Commenting after your initial post is good enough. The reason we ask that our posters comment at least once is to promote a community feel. People learn more about other poets through their comments. It is not a required but a suggested one for overall well being and family feel of our group. Hope this clears it up a bit for you.

  35. posted a poem about isolation and desolation.

  36. posted a poem, it is so nice that there is a place for poets all over the world to interact

  37. it places like this blog that help me fight feeling so alone... It's a huge struggle right now and I am grateful for the community of bloggers and the support one can bring to another.


  38. Synchronicity is when you write a poem and then you go Poets United and see that the Thursday Think Tank is about the same subject :-)