Selected Poems

6 Intriguing Poems About Secrets For The Curious Minds

Last Updated: January 4, 2023

Poetry has a way of capturing the essence of a concept or emotion in just a few words, making it a perfect medium for exploring the theme of secrets. Whether they are secrets we keep from others, secrets we keep from ourselves, or secrets that are hidden within the world around us, these six poems offer a tantalizing glimpse into the mysterious and often complex nature of secrets.

From the psychological to the philosophical, these poems will take you on a journey of self-discovery and intrigue, inviting you to delve into the secrets of the human experience. So grab a cup of tea and settle in for a journey of literary exploration as we delve into these six intriguing poems about secrets.

1. The Secret by John Clare

I loved thee, though I told thee not,
Right earlily and long,
Thou wert my joy in every spot,
My theme in every song.

John Clare, commonly referred to as “the quintessential Romantic poet,” dedicated The Secret to Mary Joyce, his first love. Despite the shortness of their affair, the poet’s affection for her persisted throughout his life. In The Secret, the speaker’s sentiments toward a woman are discussed in private. It is no longer a secret as the poet puts it into poetic terms. The poem extols the lady’s attractiveness and the speaker’s devotion to her.

Clare delves deeply into the subject of love in The Secret. It is purely romantic poetry that draws on the speaker’s discretion regarding his feelings for an anonymous woman. Despite having feelings for her, he was unable to communicate them. She became the central figure in each song he composed. Whenever he meets a new woman, he gives her a subtle glance and believed she was a physical representation of his first love.

2. The Secret by Anonymous

We have a secret, just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

This is a simple poem about a secret shared among a robin, a cherry tree, and the speaker. The secret is not explicitly revealed in the poem, but it is suggested that the robin is involved in building or creating something, possibly a nest and that there are four “little something” inside it. The speaker vows to keep the secret but admits that it may be difficult to do so, as the secret may be revealed when the little birds fly about. The poem has a playful and light-hearted tone and suggests the close relationship between the natural world and the speaker.

3. The Secret by Denise Levertov

Two girls discover   
the secret of life   
in a sudden line of   
poetry.

Levertov’s The Secret tells the story of two girls who learn about the “secret of life” by reading “a sudden line of poetry.” Assuming the existence of a secret to begin with, the speaker hypothesizes that these girls would forget this secret and the source of discovery over time.

The Secret is incredibly ambiguous. While it could appear that Levertov is only telling a tale about two girls who find a strange “secret,” there are likely numerous hidden metaphors that have been woven into this poem. For instance, the “secret” might stand in for the meaning or purpose of our existence, and the “two girls” might very well have represented humankind. Human nature is continually looking for reasons to exist, and it draws inspiration for a solution from all around. However, it has a tendency to soon forget the inspiration and requires new motivation and a new reason for being after some time has passed.

4. Secrets by Lola Ridge

Secrets
infesting my half-sleep…

The poem Secrets by Lola Ridge is about the power of secrets to infiltrate and affect our thoughts and emotions. The speaker in the poem describes secrets as infesting their “half-sleep,” suggesting that they are constantly on the speaker’s mind, even during periods of rest or unconsciousness.

The speaker additionally emphasizes the detrimental effect that these secrets are having on him or her by comparing them to wounds or jagged edges that can snare or capture. The secrets are shown as either external influences that can enter the speaker’s life through interactions with other people or as something the speaker may have discovered or produced on their own.

5. Never Seek to Tell thy Love by William Blake

Never seek to tell thy love
Love that never told can be 
For the gentle wind does move
Silently invisibly

In Never Seek to Tell thy Love, Blake Blake gives an explanation of why it’s sometimes preferable to have loved and keep it a secret rather than boasting about how deeply you care. Interestingly, this poem wasn’t considered by Blake to be deserving of public release during his lifetime. Never Seek to Tell thy Love does not appear in print for the first time until 1863, when Dante Gabriel Rossetti included it in his collection of Blake’s poems.

In the first lines of the poem, the speaker warns his listeners not to look for a chance to profess their love for someone. It will be an action that has no positive outcomes. What could seem to be a straightforward confession is compared to a “gentle wind” by the speaker. Even though it is invisible, it can still be sensed and have an effect.

6. Secrets of the Inner Mind by Cedar Sigo

The India ink drops continuously,
its likeness, still Helen as phantom
not the truth of the state of her body

Secrets of the Inner Mind by Cedar Sigo explores themes of identity, self-discovery, and the search for meaning. The speaker seems to be struggling with a sense of emptiness and trying to find ways to fill the void, whether through artistic expression or seeking connections with others. The poem also touches on themes of loss, desire, and the tension between the external world and the inner mind.

The use of imagery and symbolism, such as the “silvered chamber,” “India ink,” “Jeanne Moreau,” and “enameled teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex,” adds depth and richness to the poem, inviting the reader to explore the deeper meanings and implications of the words. Overall, Secrets of the Inner Mind is a complex and layered poem that invites the reader to delve into the secrets of the inner mind and consider the mysteries of the self.

Final thoughts

The theme of secrets is a rich and fascinating one that has inspired poets and writers for centuries. Whether they are secrets we keep from others, secrets we keep from ourselves, or secrets that are hidden within the world around us, these six poems offer a thought-provoking and introspective look at the complexities and nuances of secrets.

From the psychological to the philosophical, these poems invite us to explore the hidden corners of the human experience and consider the ways in which secrets shape our lives and relationships. We hope that these poems have sparked your curiosity and inspired you to delve deeper into the theme of secrets. Thank you for joining us on this literary journey!

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