Serena’s Poetry Challenge January: Farewell by Alice Dunbar-Nelson

As part of Serena’s Poetry Reading Challenge I will be sharing the poem I enjoyed the most that month on the last Tuesday of each month.


One of the easiest, and possibly most difficult, will be getting people to sign up to read a poem-a-day through the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day service. The challenge is to read a poem-a-day for a week once per month and write about which poems were your favorite and why. You can write up a short blurb on your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or your blog. I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments each month.

After reading a poem a day for a week in January, the one I enjoyed most was: Farewell Alice by Dunbar-Nelson. This is not a poet I’d read before and I found her poem to be beautiful and bittersweet. I wonder if she wrote this about someone she personally could not be with and I wonder who that was. On reading more about the poet here, I found she led an interesting life and that she campaigned for the women’s suffrage movement.

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Farewell by Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Farewell, sweetheart, and again farewell;
To day we part, and who can tell
If we shall e’er again
Meet, and with clasped hands
Renew our vows of love, and forget
The sad, dull pain.

Dear heart, ’tis bitter thus to lose thee
And think mayhap, you will forget me;
And yet, I thrill
As I remember long and happy days
Fraught with sweet love and pleasant memories
That linger still

You go to loved ones who will smile
And clasp you in their arms, and all the while
I stay and moan
For you, my love, my heart and strive
To gather up life’s dull, gray thread
And walk alone……..

You can read the rest of the poem here. What do you think of this one?

You can sign up for a Poem A Day over @


Nothing in this post is available for download. The sunflower photo is my own.

15 thoughts on “Serena’s Poetry Challenge January: Farewell by Alice Dunbar-Nelson

  1. Not a big poetry fan to begin with and I’m afraid this one just didn’t speak to me at all. To me its too flowery, I’m just not getting the raw pain I feel I should be getting given its a poem all about loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A bit too wordy for me, but I’m super super picky with poetry. I just checked out at my library a collection of poems by the Japanese master of haiku, Masaoka Shiki. I guess too wordy will not apply there, lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem speaks of a loss that seems to be a bit farther in her past when she’s writing it — she seems to have distance from the loss…it’s almost wistful.

    Thanks for taking up the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Naida,

    What a great start to the year, I really enjoyed this poem, despite the fact that it sounds like something which would be included as part of a funeral service!

    I also like that you included a link about the author. She sounds like such an interesting person and way ahead of her time in so many of her beliefs.

    What made you choose this particular author as one of your first, I wonder! Good Choice 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Yvonne, glad you enjoyed this one. It is definitely sad and I think that is why I chose it. I like sad poetry. I enjoyed discovering a new poet, her life was interesting.


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