Poetry and Hair

Woman looking over book

Throughout history, hair has been an important part of society. Hair is often associated with romance and sensuality, which makes it a great source of inspiration for artists. Many poets have mused and written their feelings about the beauty and delight that a woman’s tresses bring to their hearts. You’ll understand the feeling once you’ve read a few of our favorite poem fragments:

“Her Hair”, Charles Baudelaire

I shall plunge my head in love with intoxication

Into that black ocean where she is enclosed;

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

For a long time! forever! my hand in your heavy mane

Will sow rubies, pearls and sapphires,

So that you will never be deaf to my desire!

This poem from the classic book The Flowers of Evil is a true, magnificent ode to hair. In it, the narrative voice praises the many pleasant feelings caused by the features of his lover’s “black ocean” or abundant dark locks, which are deliciously intoxicating to him. In fact, he’s so captivated by them that he’s even willing to sow rubies, pearls, and sapphires into her hair. Because of the alluring imagery in that verse, we’re guessing that you’re already dreaming of someone who can style your hair like that.

“Sonnet XIV”, Pablo Neruda

I don’t have time enough to celebrate your hair.

One by one, I should detail your hairs and praise them.

Other lovers want to live with particular eyes;

I only want to be your stylist.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Don’t let me wander lost – without your hair –

through the dark world, webbed by empty

roads with their shadows, their roving sorrows,

till the sun rises, lighting the high tower of your hair.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is one of the most romantic poets not only of Latin America, but of the rest of the world as well, which is why it’s no surprise that he would devote a poem to hair. Here, the narrative voice describes how time is not enough to celebrate the beauty of his lover’s locks. The love and desire for them is so strong that, later in the poem, he asks his lover to not let him wandering lost without her hair “through the dark world”. With such lovely words we would love him to be our stylist, indeed!

“Braid the Raven Hair”William Schwenck Gilbert

Braid the raven hair,

Weave the supple tress,

Deck the maiden fair

In her loveliness.

For a bride, one of the most important details of her wedding look is her hair. In Gilbert’s poem, a brief account is made of a bride who’s about to get ready for her big day. The poem starts precisely with a mention of the hairstyle that she will wear: a braid on her raven black and supple hair. Wedding hairstyle idea, anyone?

“To Amarantha, That She Would Dishevel Her Hair”Richard Lovelace

AMARANTHA sweet and fair,

Ah, braid no more that shining hair!

As my curious hand or eye

Hovering round thee, let it fly!

While in the previous poem the narrative voice asks a woman to braid her hair for her wedding, in this one it’s the opposite. Here, the poet asks a woman, Amarantha, to stop braiding her hair and to set it free instead, since he finds beauty in the freedom of tousled hair. We don’t blame him, since loose hair can be such a refreshing and romantic look!

With all these sublime descriptions, we’re sure you’re now inspired not only to read poetry, but to make your hair even more gorgeous. You never know if one day you’ll inspire someone with your ravishing locks and end up becoming a poem yourself!


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