49 Poems about Shadows – Gazing from the Dark Side

Shadows have long been a subject of fascination for poets, representing the darker side of life that lurks just beyond our reach.

In poems about shadows, we find explorations of the unknown, the mysterious, and the fearful, as well as celebrations of the beauty and depth that can be found in the shadows of the world around us.

In short, they are dark yet beautiful.

Let’s walk you through these shadow poems!

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Famous Poems about Shadows

These iconic famous shadow poems have become touchstones for those who seek to explore the complex and often-mysterious world of shadows, offering insights into the many meanings that they can hold.

1. My Shadow

       by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

2. Garden Shadows

       by Bliss Carman

When the dawn winds whisper
To the standing corn,
And the rose of morning
From the dark is born,
All my shadowy garden
Seems to grow aware
Of a fragrant presence,
Half expected there.
In the golden shimmer
Of the burning noon,
When the birds are silent,
And the poppies swoon,
Once more I behold her
Smile and turn her face,
With its infinite regard,
Its immortal grace.
When the twilight silvers
Every nodding flower,
And the new moon hallows
The first evening hour,
Is it not her footfall
Down the garden walks,
Where the drowsy blossoms
Slumber on their stalks?
In the starry quiet,
When the soul is free,
And a vernal message
Stirs the lilac tree,
Surely I have felt her
Pass and brush my cheek,
With the eloquence of love
That does not need to speak!

3. Shadow of Death

       by Arthur Vaso

Tall dark and handsome, a selfie
My shadow flirts with the sun
As I caress the darkness
We are one and separate
As my shadow smiles
Anxiety suffocates me
The shadow will soon fade
I shall die
One happy, one not

4. Shadows

       by Ellen P. Allerton

Gray, cold and gray
Is the desolate wintry sky.
As the colorless daylight fades away
And the starless night draws nigh,
I sit in my darkened room
By the fire,—it is burning low,
While fancy weaves in her pauseless loom,
And swift and silent, amid the gloom.
Her shuttle glides to and fro.
Sad, sombre and sad
Is the web that she weaves to-night;
And it wraps my soul as the world is clad
In the desolate evening light.
Strange is this nameless sorrow!
I weep, and I scarce know why
It is the frown of some dark to-morow
That looms above me, and I must borrow
Grief from by and by?
Why, fancy why
Hast done so ill thy task?
Instead of a gloom like the starless sky,
Oh, give me the thing I ask,
It is just as easy to rear
A sunny castle in Spain
As to conjure up some faith or fear,
Some shadowy grief that brings a tear
From the ache of a nameless pain.

5. Serengeti Shadows

       by Sherry Anne

nature’s contrasts of day and night
highlight the midnight moon
with the sun’s winged light

beauty bounces off filtered rays
of summer shadows in glittering rain

light is seen because there is dark
a simple kiss becomes a spark

in the shade of the acacia tree
desert sun filters and flits
casting butterly beams in the dust

soothing the sweat off my brow
I lean lazily on the warm tree trunk
chewing a straw of dried yellow grass

heat-shadows waver
shifting off the ground
eyes a slit of summer sun

6. Shadows

       by Peyo Yavorov

Of dreary night the hour. I watch contoured
two dreary shadows: there, behind a curtain white,
the lamp is burning, in a field of light,
two shadows of the night… Alone one beside another,
alone each for the other in weariness and thirst,
there – the shadow of a man and a shadow of a woman.

Painfully a head toward a head inclines –
none shall hear the other: powerless they yearn.
Perhaps they whisper – what are they frightened of?
Tensely hands to hands stretch out
and still they never touch! Powerless they yearn…
And again, one beside the other, each for the other stands.

Perhaps they whisper, but perhaps they shout,
perhaps they scream; – none shall hear the other,
two shadows of the night, through so much light…
They will not hear each other, nor will they reach,
alone each for the other in weariness and thirst,
they – the shadow of a man and a shadow of a woman!

7. In A Dark Time

       by Theodore Roethke

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood—
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks—is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is—
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.   
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.   
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Funny Poems about Shadows

These interesting poems about shadows use humor and irony to explore the lighter side of shadows, poking fun at their mysterious and often-unsettling reputation.

1. What Would You Give for The Devil’s Shadow?

       by David Hilburn

Letting the ivy roam
Moonlight serenade, to a begun favor:
Sense in a gentler breeze, the thought to own
A grace, a fastidious space, for a little face…

Pink, the through and due, irony we seldom
Stink and prosper, the alienation we souled?
Together in legend, we tell a tale to a God’s question:
Letting the ivy see, is a redress of futures, fools?

Paces and setting a catch, of futures in the light?
A wavering kiss, and the doles of redemption
Have their solemn kin, taken to remembering a night?
My name is a person, order and truth, to another selection…

Of hearts or the ivy…
Spare to fore, we conceive a notion
Made to tailor, a secret, an irony sighed…
Like the bird it was, a concern that lead to devotion…

Ivy sleeps, shadows play…
In the breeds we assume are, the peace of decency…
That has awoken, and seen the sun come, for why…?
Persuade a kind from dread, our fruit is a gift of agony…?

Building halts; continuing salt…
When has a legend presumed finish, of soon’s reasons?
The tow of exception, is a wind to defer to a copious fall?
Looking ivy in the eye, asking nix for not, a needs seasons?

The fight is brutal, letting ivy is like a breath between friends
Aching at the completed hour, the duty of they and strange smiles
Set in similar pasts to a redefining must, that only with help, lends
A role no greater than now, a whisper that ended a world’s defiled?

Ivy wants your life for a silence…
Ivy has the stomach to turn direction into beauty…
Ivy seemingly aloof, to worth to realize a gift is fast, to the chin…
Ivy knows you, like a taken privilege on the other side of saying we…

2. My Shadow

       by Peter R Wolveridge

I quite often look at my shadow.
I like how it follows me round
And does all the same things that I do
Without ever making a sound.

It hides when the weather is cloudy.
But I know it’s always quite near,
For later, as soon as the sun shines,
My shadow is bound to appear.

I’ve noticed sometimes in the evening,
While watching the sun going down,
My shadow gets all tired and lazy
And stretches right out on the ground.

But then when it comes to my bedtime,
I lie down and switch off the light.
My eyes close; I can’t help but wonder
Where shadows like mine go at night?

Perhaps it meets with other shadows,
Sits down and tells them about me,
The silly things that I’ve been doing
And hears its friends laughing with glee.

But when I awake in the morning,
I’m always delighted to see
As soon as I draw back the curtains,
My shadow’s there waiting for me.

3. Transient

       by Mark Wanless

the tiny dog the tiny dog
walks slowly in my brain
and tells me of ted bundy and startrek
I am the big dog in charge
and leader of the mind
though very uncoordinated
I strive to be free ha ha
don’t miss the transient memory
it is all there to see but I
turn away and watch the shadows
on the wall,,,,,,oh so beautiful

4. Shadows

       by Mack Toler

After their game the boys had to walk
On the way home they started to talk
The sun was up high, it shown on their back
They noticed the two boys in front of them were thin and black
One said ” I bet if our shadows fought mine would win”
The other looked at him with a snaggletooth grin
They started throwing punches until the sun went out of sight
One said to the other ” Now we will never know who won the fight”

5. Shadows

       by Larry Belt

We blame the groundhog
For six more weeks of winter
Tho it’s the sun’s fault

Short Poems about Shadows

These concise and powerful short poetries about shadows capture the essence of shadows in just a few lines, offering insights into their power and allure.

1. Cowboy in Shadows

       by L G Mace

Cowboy rides into the shadows-Western silouette.
Dark eagle flies the sky to keep him company.
The shadows dance around the horse’s rhythm.
Dancing in the quickly descending dark.
He’s headed home after a long hard day.
Shadowed cowboy headed for the welcoming light.

2. Shadows

       by Thomas Durfee

How much of earth’s beauty is due to its shadows!
The tree and the cliff and the far-floating cloudlet,
The uniform light intercepting and crossing,
Give manifold color and change to the landscape.

How much, too, our life is in debt to its shadows;
To griefs that refine us and cares that develope,
And wants that keep friendship and love from decaying;
With nothing to cross us we perish of ennui.

3. Trapped

       by Adelaide Crapsey

Still as
On windless nights
The moon-cast shadows are,
So still will be my heart when I
Am dead.

4. Shadows

       by Hilda Conkling

Circles transparent, black as night,
Circles with gold spokes of sun-rays,
Transparent as sun that shines,
Transparent as moon that beams,
Clear shadows whirl and flit.
As I think of it
Transparent is the whole spinning world.

5. Monsters

       by Nigdaw Jan

where shadows fall
another world ignites
flaming in my brain
monsters crawl
product of a fertile mind
and I run screaming
but I can never escape
because they are in me

6. Shadow

       by Adelaide Crapsey

On red rose,
A golden butterfly…
And on my heart a butterfly

7. Shadows

       by Miriam Kilmer

Moonlight shadows on my face
Shadow leaves of patterned grace,
Silver shining, lovely lace,
Leafy shadows on my face.
Sunlight shadows on the street
People lying at my feet
Kings and Paupers there I meet
Watching shadows on the street.

Long Poems about Shadows

These epic long poetries about shadows offer a deep and complex exploration of the world of shadows, delving deep into their many meanings and dimensions.

1. My Ghost

       by S. M. B. Piatt

Yes, Katie, I think you are very sweet,
Now that the tangles are out of your hair,
And you sing as well as the birds you meet,
That are playing, like you, in the blossoms there.
But now you are coming to kiss me, you say:
Well, what is it for? Shall I tie your shoe?
Or loop up your sleeve in a prettier way?
“Do I know about ghosts?” Indeed I do.
“Have I seen one?” Yes; last evening, you know,
We were taking a walk that you had to miss,
(I think you were naughty, and cried to go,
But, surely, you’ll stay at home after this!)
And, away in the twilight, lonesomely,
(“What is the twilight?” It’s—getting late!)
I was thinking of things that were sad to me!—
There, hush! you know nothing about them, Kate.
Well, we had to go through the rocky lane,
Close to that bridge where the water roars,
By a still, red house, where the dark and rain
Go in when they will at the open doors.
And the moon, that had just waked up, looked through
The broken old windows, and seemed afraid,
And the wild bats flew, and the thistles grew
Where once in the roses the children played.
Just across the road by the cherry trees
Some fallen white stones had been lying so long,
Half hid in the grass, and under these
There were people dead. I could hear the song
Of a very sleepy dove as I passed
The graveyard near, and the cricket that cried;
And I look’d (ah! the Ghost is coming at last!)
And something was walking at my side.
It seemed to be wrapped in a great dark shawl
(For the night was a little cold, you know,);
It would not speak. It was black and tall;
And it walked so proudly and very slow.
Then it mocked me everything I could do:
Now it caught at the lightning flies like me;
Now it stopped where the elder blossoms grew;
Now it tore the thorns from a gray bent tree.
Still it followed me under the yellow moon,
Looking back to the graveyard now and then,
Where the winds were playing the night a tune—
But, Kate, a Ghost doesn’t care for men,
And your papa could n’t have done it harm.
Ah! dark-eyed darling, what is it you see?
There, you needn’t hide in your dimpled arm—
It was only my shadow that walk’d with me!

2. The Little Boy and His Shadow

       by Madison Cawein

There’s something now that no one knows,
That never seems to mind me —
Where is it that my shadow goes
That often walks behind me?
Where does it go when I come home;
For often I’m without it;
It’s queer and very worrisome,
I’d like to know about it.
When I go out on sunny days,
Why, there it is beside me:
And there it skips and there it plays,
And from it I can’t hide me.
I cannot run away from it,
It runs as fast as Fido;
And if I stand or if I sit
It stands and sits as I do.
But if I run into a square
Where trees stand or a dwelling,
Why, then it’s gone! I wonder where!
Who knows? It’s hard as spelling.
And then it never says a word;
It’s surely in a trance, or
Just deaf and dumb and never heard;
If not, why don’t it answer?
And in the moonlight, when I walk,
Why, then it walks before me
And mimics me, but will not talk,
But rather seems t’ ignore me.
And I have noticed that at noon
I walk on it, it’s smaller,
But in the night-time, by the moon,
It’s often ten times taller.
But at the door, both day and night,
It never fails to leave me,
That is, unless there is a light
By which it may perceive me.
Why don’t it go to bed with me?
Why don’t it lie beside me?
It seems to lack in courtesy,
And often can’t abide me.
Why should it come to skip and run
Without a word or comment,
And stay with me in moon and sun,
Then quit me in a moment?
Why don’t it come in-doors and play?
I’m sure that it is able,
Why don’t it stay with me all day,
And eat with me at table?
But that’s the way it is, you see,
When one is least expecting
It leaves or comes quite suddenly
From where there’s no detecting.
Sometimes it’s short; sometimes it’s long;
Sometimes it’s just a glimmer;
It acts so queer I know it’s wrong,
And puzzling as my primer.
For, sometimes, when by candlelight
I go to bed, it quivers
Upon the stairs, out of the night,
And scares me into shivers.
From ghostly corners, humped and gnarled,
It leaps, or down the ceiling,
Crabbed, crookéd-kneed and knuckle-snarled,
Goes gesturing and reeling.
But where it goes when I’m in bed
And fast asleep and dreaming
No one can tell me. — Mother said
That I beat all for scheming
And bothering her with questions: that
She wished I was as quiet
As is my shadow or — the cat:
Dear knows! she’d profit by it.
My father said he’d come to find
That it is most bewild’rin’;
He had no doubt it changed its mind
As frequently as children.
“I can’t,” he said, “tell where it goes,
Or stays, when gone, denied you;
Unless it goes, as I suppose,
And lives and hides inside you.”

3. Shadows

       by Rev. Isaac K. Brownson

The reddening rays along the western sky,
And deepening shadows tell the night draws on,
Disporting swallows to their chimneys fly
And home-hound laborers tell their work is done.
If opening day is joyous, so its close
When weary toilers seek their sweet repose.
But brightest summer days and blooming flowers
Can scarce allure me from my care and pain.
Through starlit night serene I count the hours
And morning’s blushing smiles seem almost vain.
Ungrateful and profane were yet the sigh,
My waning days of life should thus go by.
A sentinel before death’s iron gate,
In anxious vigils and uplifted prayer,
With weary partner of my life I wait
Seeking to stay while her entrance there;
I tread but softly as on holy ground
While unseen spirits seem to wait around.
We know not scenes which time may yet reveal,
Yet this we know,—that Providence is kind;
With steadfast hearts till Heaven shall break the seal
We know ’tis merciful that we are blind;
We’re nearing harbor of the unknown coast
With guiding pilot who cannot be lost.
It shall be well,—no ill can us betide;
He who led Israel’s host in shining cloud
Appoints our way,—and walks with us beside,
To gain a heritage not here allowed;
Princes to be,—ours be the princely part
To know no doubt or feebleness of heart.
The day is mightier than the darksome night,
The summer’s sun subdues cold winter’s reign,
So life shall conquer death,—and put to flight
Its kindred elements of ill and pain;
We lift our heads in weakness thus bowed down
And wait for healing and a fadeless crown.

4. Does Your Heart Share This Moon Tonight

       by Chris Green

“For in your light I dream, as evening takes my hand”

Silently I find my thoughts illumined by your beauty
In soft shimmers of dancing silhouettes
and patterns allowing far away breaths to sigh

Eyes peer into velvet skies,
visions set in motion eternally, find me stranded of this
distance we share, north to south, longing for you
Desperate for but a breeze, a movement of shadow,
a hope of wishes made upon the early arrival
of this crested view

Lonely among the maples, towering soldiers
lined at fielded boundaries, claiming wisdom
as they too reach for your smile

“And I yearn the knowledge of your distant view”

Do you think, do you feel, do you dream of me
from balconies high above hibiscus footpaths,
candle lit in passing moments which flicker, enchant

Drinking from a porcelain cup caressed by your hand,
a touch my body pleads, soft fingers on smooth surroundings,
ripples following moonlight sonatas,
days of spring blooms and whimsical showers,
flooding affections to wash over me,
carry me to you

This moon, suspended in charcoal heavens
upon a beaded blanket of perfect pearls,
beckons our dreams in simultaneous fashion

“Does your heart share this moon tonight, with me”

5. Shadows in the Water

       by Thomas Traherne

In unexperienced infancy
Many a sweet mistake doth lie:
Mistake though false, intending true;
A seeming somewhat more than view;
That doth instruct the mind
In things that lie behind,
And many secrets to us show
Which afterwards we come to know.

Thus did I by the water’s brink
Another world beneath me think;
And while the lofty spacious skies
Reverséd there, abused mine eyes,
I fancied other feet
Came mine to touch or meet;
As by some puddle I did play
Another world within it lay.

Beneath the water people drowned,
Yet with another heaven crowned,
In spacious regions seemed to go
As freely moving to and fro:
In bright and open space
I saw their very face;
Eyes, hands and feet they had like mine;
Another sun did with them shine.

‘Twas strange that people there should walk,
And yet I could not hear them talk:
That through a little watery chink,
Which one dry ox or horse might drink,
We other worlds should see,
Yet not admitted be;
And other confines there behold
Of light and darkness, heat and cold.

I called them oft, but called in vain;
No speeches we could entertain:
Yet did I there expect to find
Some other world, to please my mind.
I plainly saw by these
A new antipodes,
Whom, though they were so plainly seen,
A film kept off that stood between.

By walking men’s reverséd feet
I chanced another world to meet;
Though it did not to view exceed
A phantom, ’tis a world indeed,
Where skies beneath us shine,
And earth by art divine
Another face presents below,
Where people’s feet against ours go.

Within the regions of the air,
Compassed about with heavens fair,
Great tracts of land there may be found
Enriched with fields and fertile ground;
Where many numerous hosts
In those far distant coasts,
For other great and glorious ends
Inhabit, my yet unknown friends.

O ye that stand upon the brink,
Whom I so near me through the chink
With wonder see: what faces there,
Whose feet, whose bodies, do ye wear?
I my companions see
In you, another me.
They seeméd others, but are we;
Our second selves these shadows be.

Poems about Shadows That Rhyme

These works use rhyme and meter to create a musical tribute to the power and allure of shadows, using language to enhance the emotional impact of these poems about shadows with rhyme.

1. To My Shadow

       by Thomas Wentworth Higginson

A mute companion at my side
Paces and plods, the whole day long,
Accepts the measure of my stride,
Yet gives no cheer by word or song.
More close than any doggish friend,
Not ranging far and wide, like him,
He goes where’er my footsteps tend,
Nor shrinks for fear of life or limb.
I do not know when first we met,
But till each day’s bright hours are done
This grave and speechless silhouette
Keeps me betwixt him and the sun.
They say he knew me when a child;
Born with my birth, he dies with me;
Not once from his long task beguiled,
Though sin or shame bid others flee.
What if, when all this world of men
Shall melt and fade and pass away,
This deathless sprite should rise again
And be himself my Judgment Day?

2. Shadow

       by Amos Russel Wells

The shadows lie soft on the grass,
Floating in sunshine seas.
From shadow to shadow I pass
Under the sleeping trees.
Token of rest and delight,—
The shadow encircled by light.

Black are the heavens on high,
Black is the earth below.
Red lightnings flash through the sky,
Dread hurricanes blow,
Ah, a terrible sight,—
The shadow apart from the light!

3. Shadows

       by Amos Russel Wells

Gloomy the earth on the shadowless days,
Sad and monotonous, ghostly with haze,
Gloomy the sky by the clouds overrun,
Days without shadow are days without sun.
Bright is the earth where the dark shadows lie,
Cast by the beams of a glittering sky.
Praise for the shadows when earth days are done;
For the darker the shadows, the brighter the sun.

4. Loving the Shadow

       by Anonymous

I cast away those shadows from my past,
And seek with hope to find the light of day,
To love those souls who’ll never go away,
And pray to find my inner peace at last.

True friends so rare, like diamonds by the sea,
Each one a gem etched deeply in my heart,
For each, I have respected from the start,
Their loving care always protecting me.

So let no shadowed memories overpower,
For every person has so much to give,
While deep inside myself I must forgive
And trust my intuition, to empower.

I take onboard those lessons given me,
And find a deeper truth to guide my way,
And hope that by example I’ll convey
An inspiration for my family.

For life is just a test for spirit’s call,
Our visage in the mirror so reversed,
For though we enter life so unrehearsed,
I learn to love my shadow after all.

5. Shadows

       by Caroline W. D. Rich

Upon the river’s bank I lie
Beneath the cloud-flecked, azure sky,
While sedge, and fern, and waving tree,
In Nature’s looking-glass I see—
The hay-rack, with its fragrant load
Passing along the grass-grown road—
The teamster with his easy swing,
The mower’s scythe, with backward fling,
The falling grass, the rhythmic tread,
Mirrored upon the river’s bed.
The swallows flitting to and fro,
Meet shadow-swallows down below—
While nearer, with their busy hum,
The bumble-bees and blue-flies come.

6. Folded Summer Shadows

       by Patty Degroff

The visions of shadows are each a story indeed
the carried reflection like looking at the second page
a book with a story for your eyes only displayed .
The shadow if you watch moves with the day,
and the object begs it not to go away .
one minute here then at days end ,
the shadow returns to its base once again  .
Often I have seen the two in dance ,
it’s a symphony witnessed by chance .
And in the moments it through birds just flies away,
to give their story another day .
How so few allow themselves to see
their own shadow never leaves
never given a chance always sitting about
are the shadow’s so sad always in a pout .

Have you ever seen the shadow of raindrops
while the sun is still out
The vision of water droplets running down
trickling about the ground in a rainbow shout
Only you can read the book where shadows do fold
memories worth their weight in Gold.

Poems about Shadows for Children

These works capture the wonder and magic of shadows through the eyes of a child, celebrating the joy and mystery that they can evoke.

1. My Shadow

       by Cj Heck

I have a shadow hooked to me.
Sometimes he’s big.
Sometimes he’s small.
Sometimes he isn’t there at all.

He doesn’t seem to like the rain.
(Maybe thunder scares him, too) .
He’s gone from me on days like that
’cause there isn’t much to do.

But if it’s really sunny out,
he doesn’t like to hide.
He’s hooked right there beside me
and we play all day outside.

2. Playing the Shadows

       by Anonymous

Shadows wend and weave along the wall;
disburse when swatted by the cat’s paw.
As sunlight dances through the shade,
leaves on trees craft abstract displays.

Dim geometrics swirl throughout the rooms,
for the kittens, twilight silhouettes bloom;
and in the semi-darkness of the halls
murky movements can’t hide flicker balls.

Nocturnal eyes will play away,
plus, it keeps the mice at bay.

3. Shadows

       by Langston Hughes

We run,
We run,
We cannot stand these shadows!
Give us the sun.

We were not made
For shade,
For heavy shade,
And narrow space of stifling air
That these white things have made.
We run,
Oh, God,
We run!
We must break through these shadows,
We must find the sun.

4. Climbing Shadows

       by Shannon Bramer

I have a kitten
in my night bedroom

See her tiny paws, ginger fur
tumbling along

bubbles of light
in the dark house I sleep in?

It’s not ghosts –

It’s only cars going by outside
making ribbons
on my walls and my kitten
is climbing shadows.

5. Two Little Shadows

       by Anonymous

I saw a young mother
With eyes full of laughter
And two little shadows
Came following after.

Wherever she moved,
They were always right there
Holding onto her skirts,
Hanging onto her chair.
Before her, behind her—
An adhesive pair.

“Don’t you ever get weary
As, day after day,
your two little tagalongs
Get in your way?”

She smiled as she shook
Her pretty young head,
And I’ll always remember
The words that she said.

“It’s good to have shadows
That run when you run,
That laugh when you’re happy
And hum when you hum—
For you only have shadows

When your life’s filled with sun.”

6. The Shadows

       by Frank Dempster Sherman

All up and down in shadow-town
The shadow children go;
In every street you ’re sure to meet
Them running to and fro.

They move around without a sound,
They play at hide-and-seek,
But no one yet that I have met
Has ever heard them speak.

Beneath the tree you often see
Them dancing in and out,
And in the sun there ’s always one
To follow you about.

Go where you will, he follows still,
Or sometimes runs before,
And, home at last, you ’ll find him fast
Beside you at the door.

A faithful friend is he to lend
His presence everywhere;
Blow out the light—to bed at night—
Your shadow-mate is there!

Then he will call the shadows all
Into your room to leap,
And such a pack! they make it black,
And fill your eyes with sleep!

Poems about Shadows and Light

These works explore the interplay between light and shadows, recognizing the ways in which they complement and contrast with one another.

1. Shadow and Light

       by Richard O. Moore

Incised in concrete
knife-edged shadow
frond a perfect
arrest of clarity

a palm frond arrow
from a declining sun

shadow and light
lust of epiphany
the illusion that walks
with me on concrete

invisible come-along
shadow and light

epiphany of the shadow
tangible as light palm shape
holds me timeless until
without thinking I pass by

an arrest of clarity held
and released by a declining
sun: step over the shadow
light vanishes a passerby

2. A Shadow of Light

       by Hannad Werner

I am but a shadow of light.
I am darkness, but He is white.
He is my strength in the storm,
My courage when I am worn.
The shadow that is me
Haunts, creeps, and begs me to flee.
But the light that exists,
Gives me power to resist.
I am but a shadow of light.
I am reflection of the light,
But even though I try,
My nature turns light to night.
I am but a shadow of light.
I walk amongst other shadows,
But some shine brighter than others.
The bright shadows walk through valleys
As though they are untouched
By the dark of the valley.
I am but a shadow of light.
I am a humble servant.
And I am certain
That the light of which I am a shadow of,
Loves me unconditionally.
And that is why, when I die,
They will say that
I am a shadow of light.

3. Light and Shadow

       by Spiritual Seeker

Where there is light, there is shadow,
A world inseparable,
wax and wane with the flow of moments,
Like waves in the open sea.

Where there is light, there is shadow,
Each a beauty in its own,
Do not search a world of light without shadows!
Try if you wish but you will not find it.
When you love the light in a person,
You also love the shadow in him,
Like a full moon,
It’s beauty will manifest in the darkness of the night,
and beautiful soft shadows thus formed by its golden light.

4. Shadows and Lights of Life

       by Teres Dana

I would like to walk the earth in a glow,
tread on the soft satin of joy.
bathe every day in the life’s greenery
and only good at the breakfast to host.

But life is confused and unpredictable
the time of existence carries different colors.
When I walk boldly, the shadow steals my courage,
there are the pains and the black fragments.

Sometimes I touch a radiant moments
sometimes I burn my soul with the fire of harm.
On the merry-go-round, the fate spins the swing,
once in the flowers of summer,
and once in the clutches of cold

The desktop of existence is God’s easel,
there are the lights and the shadows on it.
In the gray sometimes a spark of happiness blinks,
darkness and lights intertwine alternately.

5. Light and Shadow

       by John B. Tabb

“I love you, little maid,”
Said the Sunbeam to the Shade,
As all day long she shrank away before him;
But at twilight, ere he died,
She was weeping at his side;
And he felt her tresses softly trailing o’er him.

6. Shadows

       by Xin Li

If there is light,
You will find
They are everywhere:
Lying still or moving
Tiny or huge
Speaking in code and then
Smiling at each other knowingly.
It Seems meaningful
It Seems full of wisdom
But they can’t create anything
They are
Just shadows:
Poor, flat shadows
Leeches in the Sun
They are

7. Once Upon A Castle Night

       by Anonymous

amid gray walls of castle’s stone square
sat yonder girl with tresses of dark hair
trapped within by shadows stalking her
watching sunlight tumble thru dusk air soon,

night was a hunter ranging everywhere
wielding bow with arrows laced in fear
dim blanket choking last vestige of light
lanterns of dreams were abolished here

with nowhere to run either inside or out
she stared down a desolate face of doubt
plucking the long-handled torch nearby
brave lady smacked darkness
right in its snout!

Poems about Shadows and Love

These works use shadows as a metaphor for the complex and often-mysterious world of love, exploring the many meanings and dimensions that it can hold.

1. Shadow Love

       by Daniel Peter Jones

The flickering lamp
Carves out a pulsing negative image
Of your form upon mine,

Beating as hearts, dancing
Starts, but we don’t touch
Our physical bodies starve,

It’s our shadows that pound
And touch, there’s no sound
Only darkness,
Caressing upon the ground

2. Between the Shadow and the Soul

       by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep

3. The Shadow of Love

       by Marcus Alan Mercer

The shadow of love isn’t just found in dark spaces.
It’s found in a sea of familiar faces
who stretch out their arms for a quick slap of the hand
but disappear in waters like a single grain of sand

The shadow of love isn’t just found in corners.
It’s found in the exterior of misguided mourners
who happen to harbor ulterior motives
and escape with no goodbyes like late locomotives

The shadow of love isn’t just found behind you.
It’s found beneath the smile of those you’ve been unkind to
who harbor resentment but seek only your favor
and would wish for your misfortune,
pretend to be your saver

The shadow of love is all around us.
So it may be too easy to get caught in the fuss;
because once that happens
who’s to say
if you or I knew true love anyway?

4. Love Your Shadows and Your Light

       by Megan Minutillo

I hope you love the light within you, but
I hope you appreciate the shadows, too.

They both are there, mixing around in the
sweet spots of your soul, in the tiny crevices
of your heart that were once broken and now
feel as if they might overflow with joy.

I hope you know it’s ok to have them both.

It’s ok to see them both, to appreciate them
both, to look at them both with a magnifying
glass, or with a softer eye.

It’s hope you know it’s ok to let yourself feel it all.

Nobody is pure sunshine all of the time, or
only rainclouds and thunderclaps, either.

There are different facets to you, and me, and
each soul you meet; and even the most gorgeous
flowers are still rooted in the dirt. But the mess
of the mud doesn’t take away from their beauty,
and the same can be said of you, too.

5. Shadows of Love

       by Anonymous

What is love?
Does it have an explanation?
Most say being in love is
the best feeling you can have
A feeling of enjoyment of passion and happiness
But for a few as my self who are in love
but live in the shadows of it
it’s a dark, cold, lonely place
were many do not survive
as for me I’m half dead already
the shadow is steadily pulling me in
into an oblivious life of pain and suffering
will you pull me out of this rabbit hole im in
or will you let me sink in this quick sand
were each grain of sad represents a piece of my love for you
suffocating the life out of me
as I lay in the shadows, others think they know what
I’ve gone through but none could imagine
Living in my shadow were its always
Raining until I look in the mirror and
realize that’s its only me crying
filling puddles I walk though
puddles of blood and tears
tears from my eyes that long to see you
and blood from my broken heart
that barely beats, someday hopefully it’ll stop
and I’ll escape this shadow
and my shattered soul will be free again

Final Thoughts

In poems about shadows, we find a reflection of the dark side of life that often lurks just out of sight.

From fear and mystery to beauty and wonder, the world of shadows has long captivated the human imagination, inspiring works that explore its many facets and meanings.

Whether through humor, rhyme, or epic exploration, these shadow poems offer a unique and powerful glimpse into the depths of the human experience.

By exploring the world of shadows, we come to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world around us, recognizing the power and allure that darkness can hold.

So did you like these poems for shadows?

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