Selected Poems

10 Best Poems About Hair You Should Read

Last Updated: January 2, 2023
hair poems

To many people, myself included, hair is a huge piece of their identities. Hair is associated with youthfulness and beauty, and because of that, it has played a significant role in our society. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best poems about hair to see what the poets think about the matter.

1. Her Hair by Charles Baudelaire

That you be never deaf to my desire,
My oasis and my gourd whence I aspire
To drink deep of the wine of memory.

In Her Hair, the speaker continues to express his fascination with the woman’s hair, describing it as an “ocean” and a “perfume” that transports him to distant lands and fills him with a sense of ecstasy. He also compares the woman’s hair to a “pavilion” that provides him with a sense of shelter and comfort.

Throughout the poem, Charles Baudelaire uses vivid imagery and sensuous language to convey the allure and beauty of the woman’s hair. He describes the woman’s hair as being full of “sap” and “fertile idleness,” and compares it to a “sea of amber” and an “ocean” that is full of “mingled odors.” The speaker also reflects on the transformative power of art, suggesting that the woman’s hair has the ability to transport him to another world and fill him with memories and emotions. Overall, it highlights the speaker’s deep appreciation for the beauty and power of the woman’s hair.

2. Crisis is a Hair by Emily Dickinson

To suspend the Breath
Is the most we can
Ignorant is it Life or Death
Nicely balancing.

In Crisis is a Hair, Emily Dickinson uses the image of hair to represent the precarious balance between life and death, and the fragile nature of existence. This idea is reinforced by the use of the word “nicely,” which suggests that the balance between life and death is maintained with great care and precision, like a tightrope walker trying to maintain their balance on a wire.

The poem suggests that crisis, or the point of greatest danger or uncertainty, is symbolized by a hair, which is so delicate and small that it can easily be disturbed by the slightest push or hesitation. Overall, “Crisis is a Hair” is a poignant meditation on the fragility of life and the constant presence of danger and uncertainty in the world.

3. When Mother Combed My Hair by James Whitcomb Riley

I am so tired! Let me be
A moment at my mother’s knee;
One moment–that I may forget
The trials waiting for me yet:

“When Mother Combed My Hair” by James Whitcomb Riley is a nostalgic poem that explores the warm, loving relationship between a mother and her child. The speaker’s memories of their mother combing their hair are filled with warmth and comfort and serve as a reminder of the love and support that mothers provide to their children.

Overall, the poem is a heartwarming tribute to the special bond between mothers and their children, and the enduring power of a mother’s love. It paints a vivid and affectionate portrait of a mother’s love and care and conveys the special bond that exists between a mother and her child.

4. Triple Sonnet for Black Hair by Dorothy Chan

My mother warns me not to blow-dry my hair
           too hard, turning it from black to rust, and
I must wear my black hair proudly. Black,

Triple Sonnet for Black Hair by Dorothy Chan is a series of three sonnets that explore the cultural, historical, and personal significance of black hair. The speaker describes how people have used their hair as a way to express pride in their culture and heritage, and how it has often been a source of strength and resilience in the face of oppression.

Overall, the poem is a powerful and thought-provoking meditation on the cultural, historical, and personal significance of black hair. It speaks to the many ways in which black hair has been a source of pride, resistance, and self-expression for many people, and encourages readers to embrace and celebrate their unique identities.

5. Hair by Orlando Ricardo Menes

Fat and bold, back hair brushed up like cockatoo’s
crest, Luis shook his head, eyebrows raised,
smiling like someone who’s heard this before.
Any hair’s better than none, señora, any hair.

Hair by Orlando Ricardo Menes is a poem that explores the cultural and personal significance of hair, particularly in relation to the speaker’s Hispanic heritage. The poem also touches on the speaker’s relationship with their mother, and how their mother’s attitudes towards hair and appearance shaped their own feelings about their own hair.

Overall, Hair is a thought-provoking poem that illustrates the speaker’s relationship with their hair, which is a way to explore deeper themes of family and cultural identity. It also expresses the complex relationships that can exist between mothers and their children, and the ways in which cultural expectations and biases can shape our sense of self and identity.

6. Sonnet 18 – I Never Gave A Lock Of Hair Away by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I never gave a lock of hair away
To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully,
I ring out to the full brown length and say

Sonnet XVIII: I Never Gave a Lock of Hair by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a poem that explores the themes of love, loss, and the passage of time. In the poem, hair is offered to the person they love, saying that they have never given a lock of their hair away to anyone else. It reflects on how their youth has passed, and how their hair is no longer bouncy and carefree like it used to be.

The speaker goes on to say that they thought their hair would be the first thing to go when they died, but Love has justified its preservation. In addition, the author suggests that their love has kept their hair pure, free from the passage of time and the weight of sorrow. Overall, Sonnet XVIII: I Never Gave a Lock of Hair is a moving poem that explores the enduring power of love and the ways in which it can preserve and protect even the most ephemeral of things.

7. Haircut by Elizabeth Alexander

I look in the mirror and see my face in the mural with a new haircut. I am a New York girl; I am a New York woman; I am a flygirl with a new hair cut in New York City in a mural that is dying every day.

Haircut by Elizabeth Alexander is a poem that reflects on the experience of getting a haircut in Harlem, and the memories and associations that are triggered by the smells, sounds, and sights of the salon. The speaker describes the sense of anticipation and nervousness that precedes a haircut, and the sense of vulnerability that comes with having one’s hair trimmed and shaped.

The poem also touches on the complex relationship between the speaker and the city of New York, and how the speaker’s sense of self and identity is shaped by their connections to the city and its history. In conclusion, Haircut is a moving and thought-provoking poem that explores the many associations and emotions that are triggered by the experience of getting a haircut, and the ways in which identity is shaped by our connections to place and history.

8. Cywydd y Cedor (Ode To Pubic Hair) By Gwerful Mechain

very proud forest, faultless gift,
tender frieze, fur of a fine pair of testicles,
a girl’s thick grove, circle of precious greeting,
lovely bush, God save it.

Gwerful Mechain, whose significant collection of work is renowned for eroticism, is one of the few only female medieval Welsh poets. She was active in the early 16th century and was known for her poetry and advocacy for the Welsh language. Cywydd y Cedor (Ode To Pubic Hair), often notably as one of her most famous poems, is a poem in which she praises the beauty of pubic hair.

Cywydd y Cedor (Ode to Pubic Hair) is notable for its frank and positive portrayal of female sexuality, as well as its celebration of a body part that was often overlooked or denigrated in traditional poetry. The poem also suggests that poets should sing the praises of the female genitalia rather than just focusing on surface-level physical attributes.

9. Her Hair by James Whitcomb Riley

Or plaited in close braidings manifold;
Or smoothly drawn; or indolently twined
In careless knots whose coilings come unrolled
At any lightest kiss; or by the wind
Whipped out in flossy ravellings of gold.

Throughout the poem Her Hair, James Whitcomb Riley uses vivid and poetic language to convey the beauty of the woman’s hair. The speaker’s use of sensory language helps to create a vivid image of the woman’s hair in the reader’s mind. Also, the use of figurative languages, such as similes and metaphors, also helps to add depth and meaning to the description of the woman’s hair.

The speaker of the poem observes the woman’s hair and is struck by its beauty, comparing it to a variety of natural objects and phenomena. In conclusion, Her Hair speaks of the beauty and sensuality of the woman’s hair, suggesting a woman’s hair is a source of beauty and fascination and its emotional and psychological impact.

10. Song to Amarantha, that she would Dishevel her Hair by Richard Lovelace

Which our very joys shall leave
That sorrows thus we can deceive;
Or our very sorrows weep,
That joys so ripe, so little keep.

Song to Amarantha, that she would Dishevel her Hair is a poem that celebrates the beauty and power of a woman’s hair. The author uses vivid and poetic language to convey the physical and emotional qualities of Amarantha’s hair and encourages her to let it flow freely in order to fully appreciate its beauty.

Richard Lovelace compares the woman’s hair to a “clue of golden thread” that is “excellently ravelled” and suggests that it is more beautiful when it is allowed to flow freely, like the wind. The speaker also speaks of the intimacy and pleasure of lying down and resting together in a “bower” in a “grove,” and of cooling off in “milk-baths.” The poem speaks of both the joys and sorrows of love, indicating that even sorrow can be transformed into joy through the beauty and intimacy of the woman’s hair.

Final thoughts

Hair is one of the most important aspects of our looks, and after reading these poems about hair, I’m sure you’d agree. In our society, appearance matters. In general, well-groomed people are better considered than people with unkempt looks. Besides, having healthy hair will let you feel good about yourself. So my dear readers, please take good care of your hair!

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