35 Poems About Othello

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Dan

In the twilight of Venetian power and the shadow of the Moor’s fabled tale, comes a lyrical anthology that breathes new life into one of Shakespeare’s most enigmatic tragedies. “Whispers from Cyprus: Poems About Othello” is a collection that captures the raw emotion, the turbulent passions, and the haunting beauty of this timeless story.

Through a tapestry of verse, we venture deeper into the souls of Othello, Desdemona, Iago, and the ensemble cast that orbits their doomed star-crossed love.

Each poem serves as a mirror, reflecting the myriad facets of jealousy, love, betrayal, and redemption that are interwoven in the original play. The poets’ pens chart the psychological landscapes of these characters with profound empathy and insight, exploring the nuances that the grand stage can only hint at.

Prepare to be moved, to ponder, and perhaps to see “Othello” through a kaleidoscope of new perspectives, as each poet lends their voice to this symphonic reimagining of one of literature’s most poignant dramas.

Related: For more, check out our Poems About Hamlet  here.

free verse poems

Five Free Verse Poems About Othello

1. The Moor’s Eclipse

In Venice, where the sway of sea and state align,

The Moor, a celestial body, once revered in the skirmish night.

Now lays claim to Desdemona’s luminous delight,

But an eclipse shadows forth through Iago’s scheming design.

A heart, once full of noble conquests and honor unconfined,

Succumbs to the vile tempest of jealousy’s blight.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. Iago’s Webs

Venetian alleyways entangle with Iago’s whispered lies,

Each word a silken strand in the web of his conceit.

Even the purest intentions are but flies

Caught in the sticky deceit.

O, Iago! Architect of treachery’s masterpiece,

How malign is the art thou dost release!

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Desdemona’s Lament

A dove amidst the ravens, Desdemona’s fate is spun,

Her love for Othello, a bond the heavens did compose.

Yet, in her chamber, innocence’s song is unsung,

For she withers in the silence, love’s misunderstood prose.

Ere the light fades from her alabaster cheek,

She is the tragedy – mute, wronged, and meek.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Othello’s Folly

Upon a bed stained with the blood of undoubting trust,

Lies the result of Othello’s folly, a tattered warrior’s creed.

Strangled breath and life unjustly lost to unjust lust,

His mind, now free from doubt, perceives the deed.

With a heart in twain and eyes that bear eternal sorrow,

He speaks his last; to wake no more on the morrow.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. The Tragedy of Trust Betrayed

Behold! The stage where human virtues dance and collide,

In the rhythm of trust and betrayal, a macabre ballet.

Othello’s valor, Desdemona’s purity, side by side,

Led astray by Iago’s malevolent display.

Here love and honor lie, slain by suspicion’s blade,

A monument to the price of trust, so dearly paid.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Related: For more, check out our Poems About Romeo And Juliet here.

Haiku Poem

Five Haiku Poems About Othello

1. Moor’s Shadow

Venetian twilight

Othello’s love sealed by doubt

Night swallows brightness

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. Iago’s Deceit

Whispers slithering

Iago crafts dark untruths

Honesty bleeds out

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Desdemona’s Grace

Pure as driven snow

Her faith wronged by jealousy

Trust under pure tears

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Lament of Othello

Valor turns to woe

A proud heart now stained in grief

Blade ends the deep ache

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. The Final Act

On Cyprus’s shore

Tragic figures lie so still

Curtain falls in peace

By Dan Higgins 2024

Related: For more, check out our article on Poems About Heartbreak here.

Limerick

Five Limerick Poems About Othello

1. Othello’s Woe

There once was a Moor called Othello,

Who loved a girl sweet and mellow.

But he heard a foul lie,

And with a jealous eye,

He turned from hero to bereft fellow.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. The Scheme of Iago

Iago, with envy inside,

Spun lies that he spread far and wide.

With a grin so beguiling,

He kept secretly smiling,

As innocence was cast aside.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Desdemona’s Fate

Fair Desdemona of repute so pure,

Whose love for the Moor was indeed sure.

She fell victim to a ruse,

With so much to lose,

Her demise was neither just nor pure.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Cassio’s Downfall

A lad named Cassio did stride,

With a reputation he couldn’t hide.

After one drunken spree,

From his rank, he was free,

All part of Iago’s great lie.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. The Tragic End

In Cyprus, there was quite a fray,

Where trust was broken on that day.

Othello’s heart did break,

A life he did take,

And then turned his own breath away.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Related: For more, check out our article on Poems About Love here.

Tanka

Five Tanka Poems About Othello

1. Othello’s Trust

In Venice’s light,

The Moor trusts not his own heart.

Green-eyed monster stirs,

Strangling love with false whispers.

Honor falls to Iago.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. Iago’s Scheme

Plotting in the dark,

Iago weaves a vile net.

His cold, steel gaze hides

Malice, wrapped in friendship’s guise.

Venice sleeps, unaware.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Desdemona’s Plight

Snow-white handkerchief,

A symbol of purest faith.

Lost, it becomes proof,

Misread by love’s blinded eyes.

Innocence trapped and smothered.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Cassio’s Misfortune

Cassio falls from grace,

Pawn in a game so cruelly played.

His honor tainted,

A fateful misstep in night

Pushes him into despair.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. The Bitter End

Tragic hero falls,

Upon his sword he does lie.

A heart too late healed,

Now sees the truth, clear and stark.

Love and life both leave in sighs.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Sonnet

Five Sonnet Poems About Othello

1. The Moor’s Tragic Quest

Beneath a sky where fate and stars do cross,

The Moor, Othello, strides with love’s bold sway,

And yet within his heart there lies a loss,

For trust is sheared by Iago’s foul play.

The handkerchief, a token pure and fair,

Becomes the seed from which vast doubts do reign,

Desdemona’s love caught in suspicion’s snare,

Their bond undone by jealousy’s cruel pain.

Oh! Tragic hero, blinded by mistrust,

Led through the shadows by a villain’s lies,

Innocent love is trampled in the dust,

Betrayal’s poison brings forth love’s demise.

Within this tale, does Shakespeare’s quill decree,

A lesson on the cost of jealousy.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. The Ensign’s Dark Design

With envy green as Venetian canals deep,

Iago weaves his dark and spiteful plot.

Through whispers sly, he makes suspicion leap,

To mar Othello’s mind with traitorous thought.

His vile machinations, like serpents’ tongues,

Twist every truth to seem a grievous lie.

Thus, in the Moor’s ear, treachery is sung,

A friendship’s visage masking hate’s sly eye.

Cassio’s fall, a mere step in his scheme,

Each character ensnared within his trap.

Oblivious pawns within a wicked dream,

Unwittingly they hasten to mishap.

Iago’s craft, a web of deceit spun,

So perfect, till his own undoing’s done.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Desdemona’s Lament

Sweet Desdemona, fair and virtuous bride,

Her heart aflame with love for Othello,

Yet in her fate, the heavens have denied,

A tranquil sea; instead, a tempest’s bellow.

False fingers point and mark her pure soul stained,

Though innocence be her unstained nature.

Her truth’s soft voice by lies is thus restrained,

Beheld as fraud by her beloved’s stature.

Her pleas for understanding fall on ears,

That love’s sweet reason can no more perceive.

Triumphed by Iago’s craft, her deepest fears,

Do realize as her breath she must heave.

The dove is slain by hands that should protect,

A sacrifice to honor incorrect.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. The Willow Song’s Sorrow

Upon the willow tree, where sorrows hang,

Desdemona sings a mournful air.

Her heart now fettered with a heavy pang,

Foretelling doom with grief beyond compare.

She speaks of love that’s met an untimely end,

Like her own soon to be by cruel hands taken.

In her melodic woes, the fates do blend,

The chords of her life unjustly shaken.

O sweet lady, cloaked in woe’s embrace,

Thy melody stirs the silent night’s keep.

E’en as thy tender spirit shows its grace,

Thy foretold destiny lies dark and deep.

The willow bends, its branches weep for thee,

Bearing witness to love’s tragedy.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. The Fall of Noble Men

Behold the stage where noble men shall fall,

Where Othello’s pride meets Iago’s guile.

The valiant Moor who once stood proud and tall,

Now lost in shadows of the darkest vile.

Venice beheld his valor, truth, and strife,

But could not shield him from the viper’s bite.

In Desdemona’s purity and life,

He found his joy, his beacon, and his light.

Yet falsehoods woven in the blackest night,

Did cleave that bond and led to dire acts.

The Moor, bereft of hope, devoid of right,

Completes the tragic play with fatal facts.

In this, our final act of blood and pen,

We mourn the fall of Othello, and all men.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Ode

Five Ode Poems About Othello

1. Ode to the Noble Moor

O valiant Othello, thy skin like the night,

Thy honor outshines the Venetian sun.

Thou art a general, in valor and might,

Whose storied victories are not easily won.

Such love thou hold’st for fair Desdemona,

A bond that’s pure, it transcends the divide.

Yet, envious whispers breed vile dishonor,

And in this darkness, your fates collide.

Oh stoic heart, undone by false deceit,

What wicked webs our mortal lives entwine!

Thy tale, a lesson bitter yet replete

With truths of trust and the human design.

Brave Othello, in thee, our sorrows merge,

For in your fall, humanity’s dirge.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. Ode to the Scheming Ensign

Oh Iago, master of cruel intent,

Thy mind, a labyrinth of darkened shafts.

Each thought, each plan, each whisper, expertly bent,

To bring about the noblest of men’s wraths.

With every seed of doubt, thou plant’st with care,

Thou paint’st thy world in shades of stark dismay.

The honesty thou wearest is but air,

A guise to lead astray the Moor’s clear day.

But what of thee when all thy schemes unfurled?

Does triumph dance within thy hollow chest?

Or dost thou weep for the chaos hurled

Upon the world that ne’er shall rest?

In thy bleak soliloquy of power,

Reveals mankind’s most desolate hour.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Ode to the Virtuous Wife

Desdemona, child of grace and light,

Thy gentle nature doth proclaim thy truth.

In thy soft gaze, a love that shines so bright,

Alien to the world’s unfeeling youth.

Against the tides of slander, thou dost stand,

Unyielding in thy innocence so pure.

Even as thy fate slips from thy command,

Thou bear’st it with a heart kind and sure.

For though the heavens cruelly conspire,

To weave for thee a destiny forlorn,

In every tear, thou show’st an inner fire,

That through the darkest trials is reborn.

O lady fair, in virtue clad so well,

Thy story’s breath doth still our hearts compel.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Ode to the Tragic Pair

Lament, oh muse, for Othello and his bride,

Their love undone by treachery’s cruel blade.

Once joyous hearts now trapped by the turning tide,

Their dreams of bliss in sorrow now arrayed.

Two souls that soared on winds of passion high,

Now brought to earth, ensnared by vicious lies.

Where once was trust, now only tears and sigh,

As innocence under suspicion dies.

A tale of love that should have flown so free,

Caged by the malice of envy’s dark spawn.

In their demise, we find our own decree,

The frailty of trust in humanity’s dawn.

Oh tragic pair, with love that fate defied,

We sing thy ode, forever side by side.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. Ode to the Bitter End

Sing of the end, where blood and truth do blend,

On Cyprus shores, where tragedy takes stage.

Here lies Othello, love’s defender to the end,

Now broken by the turn of Iago’s page.

A final act, where once warm hands now cold,

Strike at the heart of one who knew no guile.

In this sad room, the morbid tale is told,

Where love and honor lie, defiled, defile.

Yet even as the night doth claim its due,

And stars above blink silent, coldly bright,

In death’s embrace, a glimpse of something true,

A love that once burned fiercely in the night.

Remember then, as tales do come to cease,

The seeds of jealousy, which disturb our peace.

By Dan Higgins 2024

Villanelle Poem

Five Villanelle Poems About Othello

1. The Moor’s Lament

Othello speaks, his heart by grief confined,

In Venice’s walls, a tale of sorrow deep,

Where love and trust were cruelly undermined.

With every word, his fate more intertwined,

Desdemona’s love, a promise to keep,

Othello speaks, his heart by grief confined.

Iago whispers lies into the wind,

And jealous thoughts begin to slowly creep,

Where love and trust were cruelly undermined.

He took the handkerchief she left behind,

A token sown with seeds that evil reaps,

Othello speaks, his heart by grief confined.

On bed of innocence, the truth unkind,

For death, he chose, over a life so cheap,

Where love and trust were cruelly undermined.

A tragedy where stars could not align,

For in his woe, the Moor does nothing but weep,

Othello speaks, his heart by grief confined,

Where love and trust were cruelly undermined.

By Dan Higgins 2024

2. Iago’s Web

In shadows lays the spider, craft and sly,

With silken threads of treachery he weaves,

Beneath Venetian sun that lights the sky.

A handkerchief, a plan, his alibi,

Into Othello’s mind, deceit he cleaves,

In shadows lays the spider, craft and sly.

The Moor’s ripe heart, wherein his doom does lie,

As Iago’s venom through his spirit heaves,

Beneath Venetian sun that lights the sky.

“No man is true,” the villain’s silent cry,

He sows the seeds, and everyone believes,

In shadows lays the spider, craft and sly.

Othello’s soul, caught in the spider’s eye,

To Desdemona’s guilt he then conceives,

Beneath Venetian sun that lights the sky.

Upon the bed, where truth and love did die,

The spider grins, as even he deceives,

In shadows lays the spider, craft and sly,

Beneath Venetian sun that lights the sky.

By Dan Higgins 2024

3. Desdemona’s Fate

The gentle lady, pure as driven snow,

Her heart entwined with Othello’s plight,

Unknowing of the storm that’s set to grow.

Around her, poisoned whispers start to flow,

Seeds of unfounded doubt they will incite,

The gentle lady, pure as driven snow.

Her love’s confession, passion to bestow,

Yet strangled by mistrust’s unyielding bite,

Unknowing of the storm that’s set to grow.

She pleads her case, defenses all laid low,

Her innocence obscured by Iago’s night,

The gentle lady, pure as driven snow.

Upon her lips, the breaths begin to slow,

As false accusations snuff out her light,

Unknowing of the storm that’s set to grow.

In silence sleeps she, tales untold of woe,

Her fate a testament to love’s lost fight,

The gentle lady, pure as driven snow,

Unknowing of the storm that’s set to grow.

By Dan Higgins 2024

4. Emilia’s Witness

Emilia stands where lies and truth collide,

A witness to deceit’s vile crescendo,

In loss and love, her loyalties divide.

Her voice does carry, though she cannot hide,

The pain of truths she is afraid to show,

Emilia stands where lies and truth collide.

Though in the face of justice she abides,

To husband’s schemes, her ignorance bestowed,

In loss and love, her loyalties divide.

She holds the key to innocence decried,

The token tells of honesty below,

Emilia stands where lies and truth collide.

Her revelation cannot be denied,

For Desdemona’s purity she’ll crow,

In loss and love, her loyalties divide.

For truth, she pays the price, her life implied,

A sacrifice, so all the world will know,

Emilia stands where lies and truth collide,

In loss and love, her loyalties divide.

By Dan Higgins 2024

5. Cassio’s Dream

Cassio dreams of honor, lost and found,

His name besmirched, his reputation sold,

Upon Othello’s ears, such lies abound.

He walks the streets with footsteps that resound,

His good intents by Iago’s plot controlled,

Cassio dreams of honor, lost and found.

A sword that clinks, a wound that’s not profound,

In drunken haze his virtues oversold,

Upon Othello’s ears, such lies abound.

In Cyprus’ winds, his fate is tightly wound,

His loyal heart, the truth it shall uphold,

Cassio dreams of honor, lost and found.

He rises once again from under ground,

When wicked plots are finally unrolled,

Upon Othello’s ears, such lies abound.

With truth restored, and falsehoods coming round,

His rank restored, his story to be told,

Cassio dreams of honor, lost and found,

Upon Othello’s ears, such lies abound.

By Dan Higgins 2024

In the fading light of a once-mighty republic and the echoes of an enduring tragedy, “Whispers from Cyprus: Poems About Othello” concludes with a reverent bow to the bard himself. Like a quiet prayer or a solemn entreaty, it reaches out across time, binding the Elizabethan age with our own.

The villanelles within these pages do not merely recount the tale we know so well; they delve into the fabric of the characters’ psyches, exposing the raw humanity that lies beneath their Elizabethan garb. This anthology bridges eras with its verses, reminding us that the heart’s labyrinth remains unchanged by time’s passage.

Let the closing words of this book linger in your mind like the final notes of a requiem, a moving tribute to the tragic majesty of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” and a testament to the power of poetry to transcend the ages.

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