Dreams Poems

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Dreams have inspired human creativity since we first made sketches onto the walls of caves in which we once dwelled. Stone and primitive paint became papyrus, then canvas and later, the flickering frames of film. But poetry, as an enduring art form, has continued to explore and attempt to explain the images created as we sleep throughout history.

Their settings, incongruous. Their narratives follow no logic. Their characters, cast from lifelong friends to faces subconsciously picked from a crowd. This connection to the unconscious mind has led to an attempt to infer meaning in their constantly shifting scenarios. The idea that dreams are some expression of a secret self, or perhaps a portent to a coming calamity.

Whatever their true purpose, poets have explored how they can provide comfort, elation, and terror. Our nightmares are often bespoke, our mind priming the perfect scenario to frighten us, drawing from past memories and traumas.

And yet we can find utopian ideas and optimism, as this altered state helps us to imagine new ways of seeing society, or conceive of potential happy futures for ourselves. They can also provide catharsis: putting us in contact with those who have passed away, but continue to live on in our memories. They can inspire a great deal of sadness as well.

You’ll find all those themes explored, and many more – in our collection of some of the best dreams poems ever written.

The Dream

Dear love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream;
It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for phantasy…

John Donne

John Donne
24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631

A Dream

Once a dream did weave a shade
O’er my angel-guarded bed,
That an emmet lost its way
Where on grass methought I lay.

William Blake

William Blake
28 November 1757 - 12 August 1827

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem…

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe
19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849

I Dream’D In A Dream

I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the
whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love–it led the

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman
31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892

We Dream – it Is Good We Are Dreaming

We dream—it is good we are dreaming—
It would hurt us—were we awake—
But since it is playing—kill us,
And we are playing—shriek…

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson
10 December 1830 - 15 May 1886

Dreams Poems