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The 10 Best Emily Dickinson Poems

The 10 Best Emily Dickinson Poems

The 10 Best Emily Dickinson Poems – Emily Dickinson did not leave any poetics or treatise to explain her life’s work, so we can come to her poetry with minds and hearts open, and unearth whatever it is we need to find. Her oeuvre is a large one and most of her work was done in secret – she didn’t share most of what she wrote. Ten or so poems were published in her lifetime, mostly without her consent. She often included poems with letters but, after her death, the poet’s sister Vinnie was surprised to find almost eighteen hundred individual poems in Dickinson’s bedroom, some of them bound into booklets by the poet.

1. “I taste a liquor never brewed”

In life and in art Emily Dickinson was idiosyncratic – she did not choose the prescribed life of a well to-do woman of her era (marriage etc.) rather she become an outsider. While ‘I taste a liquor never brewed –’ illustrates her devotion to rhyme, it also shows her maverick’s disregard for it – she often chose an apt image rather than a full rhyme. Dickinson sometimes wrote alternative lines for ‘finished’ poems. Here ‘Not all the Frankfort berries’ can be swapped out for ‘Not all the vats upon the Rhine’; we’re still in Germany but with a vastly different image. This poem illustrates how intoxicating the natural world was to Dickinson. Luckily the house she chose to sequester herself inside, in the latter part of her life, was set on large grounds. There she and her family grew an abundance of produce and flowers; all the better for this little tippler.

2. “Success is counted sweetest”

‘Success is counted sweetest’ is one of Dickinson’s many poems on the subject of fame. Dickinson is at her aphoristic best in poems like this, where she shines a light on the complexities of human desire. Interestingly, though Dickinson did not seek publication – her father disdained Women of Letters – this poem was published (anonymously) in an anthology called A Masque of Poets. ‘Success is counted sweetest’ brings to mind the four lines of ‘Fame is a Bee’, where Dickinson points out that fame has both song and sting, but also wings. By turning her back on notoriety Dickinson may have been trying to protect her good name. Or perhaps she feared editorial input because she had already been stung.

3. “Wild nights – Wild nights!”

Dickinson’s posthumous editor and friend, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, worried about including this poem in the 1891 volume of her poetry ‘lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse ever dreamed of putting there.’ Higginson seems very sure of Dickinson’s virginal state but seems to forget that she had a late romance with her father’s friend, Judge Otis Lord. Dickinson was seen sitting in Lord’s lap and wrote to him (in the third person): ‘I confess that I love him – I rejoice that I love him…’ Lord asked to marry her; apparently she refused. ‘Wild Nights – Wild Nights’ predates Dickinson’s romance with Lord but she had previous love-objects, like the mysterious ‘Master’ and also sister-in-law Sue, whom she loved ardently, as many Victorian women loved their dearest friends. So the abandon of this celebrated Dickinson love poem is not out of place and can be read for what it is: a passionate, exuberant and loving cry from the heart. It’s beautifully done.

4. “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”

‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’ is one of Dickinson’s most well-known poems on mental health, using some of her favourite metaphors: death and the afterlife. The poem has the trademark up-note ending, so that the reader must guess where the breakdown leads to – the heaven of well-being, or the hell of continued mental anguish. There is a theory that Dickinson, like her nephew Ned, was epileptic; she definitely suffered eye trouble and, as we know, she had agoraphobic tendencies. Any of these, or just plain old depression, might have sparked this poem. The melding of the physical and the mental is deftly done with strong verbs – tread, break, beat, creak – that lead down to that final, breathless ‘plunge’.

5. “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”

Dickinson’s random use of capital letters throughout her work raises questions, but the practice comes into its own in this short poem. ‘I’m Nobody! Who are you?’ she wrote. The narrator may be nobody but she makes herself somebody with that capital N. Here is another poem about notoriety and the public eye. Perhaps it’s an apt mantra for the social media abstainers of today who prefer to revel in the luxury of anonymity, much as Dickinson did. This is one that appealed hugely to me as a child for its cheekiness and for that unexpected frog.

6. “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”

This is my favourite Emily Dickinson poem. Its warmth and positivity speak to my gut every time. I always pause on the inverted commas around the word ‘hope’ – and wonder why Dickinson felt the need for them. Was she qualifying hope in some private way? Dickinson was a fan of Emily Brontë – she chose the English writer’s ‘No coward soul is mine’ to be read at her funeral. Was ‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers’ influenced by Brontë’s poem ‘Hope’, within which hope ‘stretched her wings and soared to Heaven’? If so, Dickinson chose to make her poem life-affirming, a counterpoint to Brontë’s more downbeat verses on the same theme.

7. “A Bird, came down the Walk”

This is a poem I studied at school at about the age of ten. It is not as cryptic as many of Dickinson’s poems so it’s perfect for younger poetry readers. Dickinson valued the musicality of words and she loved a hymnal beat. The bird’s ‘frightened Beads’ for eyes and its ‘Velvet Head’ are the sort of recognisable, tactile images that children love. As a child who loved words, ‘plashless’ sang to me and gave me an understanding of the power of originality. I distinctly remember reciting this poem to my four sisters while acting out the part of the bird: hopping sidewise, glancing ‘with rapid eyes’ and finally unrolling my feathers to row away. Read this one to your young friends.

8. “Because I could not stop for Death”

Perhaps the best known of Dickinson’s poems are the melancholic ones – those that deal with death and the afterlife. This may be tied in with the notion that because Dickinson was reclusive, she was also angsty and nun-like. It may also be linked to a general fascination with those who beat their own path, particularly if they seem to do it alone. The grim reaper in this poem is a civil gentleman who takes the narrator – already ghostlike in gossamer and tulle – gently towards death. It’s a hopeful, meditative poem about the promise of immortality.

9. “My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun”

Emily Dickinson excels at the explosive first line that draws the reader in; ‘My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun’ is one of her strongest openers. The poem is cryptic – it may be about the afterlife, or it may be about an actual lover; it may be a meditation on anger, helplessness and power. One reading holds that it is a Dickinson backlash against having to write her poetry in secret – gun as language, waiting to go off. Interestingly Lyndall Gordon adapted the first line for the title of her book about the Dickinson family feuds to Lives Like Loaded Guns.

10. “Tell all the truth but tell it slant”

Emily Dickinson loved riddles and this poem has an element of that playfulness. Ostensibly an instructional poem about how to be honest in a kindly way, it can also be read as a Dickinson poetics: Write the poem, but don’t spell it out. Decorate your message with imagery and let the reader slowly grasp the meaning. ‘Dazzle gradually.’

40 Transformative Poems About Life Everyone Should Know

40 Transformative Poems About Life Everyone Should Know

40 Transformative Poems About Life Everyone Should Know

Let’s face it. Sometimes, life can get confusing and hard. In such times, it can be useful to turn to the wisdom of poetry. Poetry has a way of making us feel understood — it can make us feel empowered, hopeful, and remind us why life is worth living. So, in this post we’ve put together a list of the 40 greatest poems about life. From classics like Robert Frost and Rumi to the more contemporary Rupi Kaur, you’re guaranteed to find something that resonates with what you’re feeling.

1. “Risk”, by Anaïs Nin

And then the day came,

when the risk

to remain tight

in a bud

was more painful

than the risk

it took

to blossom.

A single sentence broken up into 8 small lines, Anaïs Nin’s “Risk” uses a flower as a metaphor, to remind us that there will come a day when the pain of complacency will exceed the pain of actually daring to make a change. The poem serves as an understated call to action — make the change now, no matter how scary.

2. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Reading out like a heartbeat, Frost’s most famous work draws from nature to explore the human conflict of being torn between life’s beauty and its responsibilities. With the repetition of ‘and miles to go before I sleep’ closing out the poem, Frost perfectly captures the feeling of a moment we’ve all experienced — one where we’re weary of life and its challenges.

3. “Hope is the thing with feathers”, by Emily Dickinson

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

The evocative extended metaphor at the heart of this work has helped to cement “Hope is a thing with feathers” as perhaps the best-loved of Dickinson’s 1,800 poems. In the last stanza, Dickinson beautifully captures the ever-giving, selfless nature of hope⁠— the bird of hope sings in the harshest, most adverse times in our lives, never asking for anything in return.

4. “The Peace of Wild Things”, by Wendell Berry

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Written in free verse, “The Peace of Wild Things” intentionally slips the shackles of a standard meter and rhyme scheme. The loose structure of the poem mirrors the uncontrolled, free-flowing beauty of nature when left to its own devices. Berry admires the power of nature’s simplicity, reminding us that we can always turn to ‘the grace of the ‘”world’ to soothe an ever-worrying, overthinking human mind.

5. “The Summer Day”, by Mary Oliver

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Reflecting on the futility of life, Oliver’s “The Summer Day” shakes the reader by the shoulder, offering a jolt of inspiration. As everything dies ‘at last’ and ‘too soon’, the poem encourages us to live our one life intentionally. By asking the reader what you plan to do with ‘your one wild and precious life’, the poem serves as a reminder that it’s ultimately our job to fill our own lives with meaning (whatever that might mean for each one of us!). So, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

6. “The Guest House”, by Rumi

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

Written by the great 13th-century Persian poet, “The Guest House” is a call for acceptance — one that is, unsurprisingly, often invoked in mindfulness circles. Rumi uses the metaphor of a guest house, likening it to the mind. Much like guests in a lodge, thoughts arrive in our head one after another— some making us happy, sad, and even uncomfortable. This poem serves as a reminder to not resist life’s painful thoughts, but to welcome them with warmth and good grace.

7. “from Milk and Honey”, by Rupi Kaur

what is stronger

than the human heart

which shatters over and over

and still lives

Inward-looking in style, Rupi Kaur’s collection of poems, from Milk and Honey, centers around the theme of self-love (which is also a form of introspection). Kaur’s poems ironically remind us that the emotional attention and love that we crave and desire is not something that can be sought in the outside world. Her clarion call to prioritize one’s self and start living intentionally is one that resonates deeply with today’s increasingly alienated generation.

8. “Sonnet 29”, by William Shakespeare

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings

“Sonnet 29” is a single sentence, divided into two: a conditional clause and a main clause. Shakepeare first lists a series of misfortunes that he undergoes before revealing that his suffering is compensated for when he thinks of the person he loves. The poem thus reminds us that even in the toughest of times, those who we love have the power to completely change our outlook.

9. “I took my power in my hand”, by Emily Dickinson

I aimed by Pebble—but Myself

Was all the one that fell—

Was it Goliath—was too large—

Or was myself—too small

Whilst not particularly uplifting, Dickinson’s “I took my power in my hand” brings out a harsh reality many of us struggle with — accepting failure. The poem is populated with unorthodox punctuation (particularly a liberal use of dashes) and mid-sentence capitalization to emphasize the confusion and bewilderment in the poet’s thoughts as she comes to terms with failure.

10. “O Me! O life!”, by Walt Whitman

O Me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

One of Whitman’s shortest and most celebrated poems,“O Me! O Life!” highlights the daily struggle that is life. After his early lamentations, the poet concludes that the meaning of life lies in life itself — that we are present, alive, and can contribute our own verse to life. In Whitman’s case this is literally a verse, but metaphorically this refers to whatever you bring to the table.

11. “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me”, by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall

Noises down the hall

Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud

Big ghosts in a cloud

Life doesn’t frighten me at all

If you’re looking for a little courage, “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” is the poem to turn to. Angelou takes us into the mind of a child who lists an elaborate array of things that seemingly don’t frighten her — ‘shadows’, ‘big ghosts’ or even ‘tough guys’. The refrain ‘frighten me at all’, is repeated ten times throughout the poem. This repetition causes one to question the speaker’s honesty — is the child really not frightened? Or is this repetition simply a way to make her feel braver? Whether the child is truly unafraid or not, this poem perfectly encapsulates the concept of facing your fears with a smile.

12. “A Psalm of Life”, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way; 

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

On reading “A Psalm of Life” , you might just feel an instant urge to live your best life. The poem rejects the idea that life can be broken down into meaningless, emotionless metrics. It advocates that life is neither made to suffer through, nor is it made to solely enjoy. While both these emotions are a part of the journey, the purpose of life is ‘to act’, improve oneself, and make each day better than the previous one.

13. “Do not go gentle into that good night”, by Dylan Thomas

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

One of the most famous villanelles (a 19-line poem with a fixed form and rhyme scheme) written in English, Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night” is a poem not about life, but about death. While the poet acknowledges the inevitability of death, he uses this to highlight that life is precious and worth fighting for. Written as a dedication to his late father, the poem feels deeply personal and vulnerable —not just as a poet’s advice to the world, but as a son’s advice to his father.

 14. “Desiderata”, by Max Ehrmann 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,

even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

The didactic tone of “Desiderata” stems from the fact that it is a poem Max Ehrmann wrote to his daughter as a manifesto to living a happy life. In Latin, desiderata means ‘things that are desired’. The poet lays out the ground rules he believes one must live by to have an authentic, virtuous life. The protective nature of Ehrmann’s advice to his daughter has resonated with millions, resulting in the poem being regarded as a manual to a life well-lived.

15. “Leisure”, by W. H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

In a world increasingly ‘busy’ chasing material goals, “Leisure” reminds us to make time for the mind and soul. The poem begins with an irony-filled rhetorical question, where W.H Davies takes a jab at modernity and explains how it has robbed us of the simple things in life (such as to ‘stand’ in and ‘stare’ at nature). Davies’ belief in nature’s powers is evident, and he insists that we take some time to admire it and replenish our soul. So, if you’ve been overdoing it at work, “Leisure” is just the reminder you need to take a step back and stare!

16. “Opportunity,” by Berton Braley

With doubt and dismay you are smitten

You think there’s no chance for you, son?

Why, the best books haven’t been written

The best race hasn’t been run,

The best score hasn’t been made yet,

The best song hasn’t been sung,

The best tune hasn’t been played yet,

Cheer up, for the world is young!

When feeling doubtful, ‘cheer up’, and let Braley’s words motivate you into action! The narrator addresses the poem to his ‘son’, adding a caring, reassuring tone to his speech. The poem celebrates the abundance of life, mentioning the vast sea of opportunities that we can capitalize on — to write the best books, sing the best songs, etc. It reiterates that opportunities are plentiful (and there’s enough for everyone).

17. “The Builders”, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

All are architects of Fate,

Working in these walls of Time;

Some with massive deeds and great,

Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Considering Longfellow’s long career as an educator, the optimistic nature of “The Builders” comes as no surprise. By calling everyone ‘an architect of Fate’, working in the ‘walls of Time’, he conveys that all humans have a meaningful impact on the world. Be it with ‘massive deeds’ or ‘ornaments of rhyme’, each and every person has a role to play.

18. “Life”, by Charlotte Brontë

Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,

But these are transient all;

If the shower will make the roses bloom,

O why lament its fall?

A simple message resides at the core of Brontë’s “Life” — to live with a fearless outlook. Brontë wishes to dismiss the glorified idea that life is dark or unpleasant. She highlights the transient nature of the gloomy aspects of life, reminding us that they eventually clear and are replaced by something pleasant (like blooming roses after rain). So why dread the rain?

19. “Full Life”, by D. H. Lawrence

A man can’t fully live unless he dies and ceases to care,

ceases to care.

An extremely short poem, D.H Lawrence’s “Full Life” can be entirely quoted in two sentences. While Lawrence may be advocating a nonchalant, unbothered approach to life (as clearly reflected in the poem’s length), the paradoxical nature of the poem’s very existence often leaves readers wondering what the poet really means.

20. “What Is This Life”, by Sir Walter Raleigh

What is our life? The play of passion

Our mirth? The music of division:

Our mothers’ wombs the tiring-houses be,

Where we are dressed for life’s short comedy.

A somber contemplation on life’s brevity, “What is This Life” likens life to a play — specifically, a ‘short comedy’. The rhyme scheme of the poem (aa bb cc dd ee) is short and simple, reflecting the monotony and shortness of life. Further, the predictable nature of the repeating couplets highlights that life always comes to the same end — death. The poem serves as a matter-of-fact reminder that life is meaningless, short, and therefore not to be taken too seriously.

21. “Each Life Converges to some Centre”, by Emily Dickinson 

Each Life Converges to some Centre –

Expressed – or still –

Exists in every Human Nature

A Goal –

Aligned with Emily Dickinson’s quest for universal truth, this poem considers the purpose of human existence. It says that all of humanity, whether consciously or unconsciously, strives towards an end goal. Dickinson then alternates between saying that this goal is achievable and that it isn’t, mirroring the uncertain manner in which we aim to reach a goal of which we have no proof. This complex, philosophical poem will definitely leave you questioning life!

22. “Stream of life”, by Rabindranath Tagore

The same stream of life that runs

through my veins night and day runs

through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy

through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and

breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

A celebration of the universe’s connectedness, “Stream of life” reflects Tagore’s world view that humans create their own segregation. The rhythm and flow of the poem, along with lively descriptions of the stream of life like ‘dancing in rhythmic measures’, or ‘shooting with joy’ will uplift your mood instantly. The poem leaves us with an innate sense of belonging to the world we live in. Seen from Tagore’s lens, isn’t this an incredible world to be part of?

23. “Still I Rise”, by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Angelous’s “Still I rise” boldly celebrates the power of the human spirit, and highlights the importance of not being defeated by the obstacles life throws at you. Angelou specifically refers to the discrimination faced by African-Americans. The lesson? Life might pin you down, write you off, or have you up against the wall. Still you rise!

24. “Life Is a Privilege”, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Life is a privilege. Its youthful days

Shine with the radiance of continuous Mays.

To live, to breathe, to wonder and desire,

To feed with dreams the heart’s perpetual fire;

The nostalgic tone of “Life is a Privilege” makes one feel blessed to have the opportunity to live. Wilcox artfully describes all of life’s blessings (from the sun’s rays to the chance to chase our dreams). Serving as a bitter-sweet reminder of how short life is, the poem encourages the reader to leave no room for regret, and live out their heart’s desires.

25. “Lines on a Skull”, by Ravi Shankar

life’s little, our heads

sad. Redeemed and wasting clay

this chance. Be of use.

“Lines On a Skull” is a wake up call to be intentional with life. The poet compares life to clay, stating that every day we have a chance to either waste it, or create something meaningful. The poet urges us to use our heads and make our lives useful. Rather sound advice, isn’t it?

26. “The Room of My Life”, by Anne Sexton


in the room of my life

the objects keep changing.

Ashtrays to cry into,

the suffering brother of the wood walls,

the forty-eight keys of the typewriter

each an eyeball that is never shut,

Sexton’s “The Room of my Life” describes household objects in unconventional ways. The poet strikingly describes ashtrays, typewriters, etc for purposes that are out of their ordinary use — an ashtray being used to catch tears, etc.These objects highlight Sexton’s pain and despair, showing life from a different perspective.

27. “A Question”, by Robert Frost

A voice said, Look me in the stars

And tell me truly, men of earth,

If all the soul-and-body scars

Were not too much to pay for birth.

Frost’s “A Question”, consisting of merely 4 powerful lines, will hit you like an emotional shot. The poet questions whether the gift of life is worth the pain and suffering humans go through. True to the nature of the title, Frost ends the poem with the question itself—perhaps reflecting his inability to arrive at an answer (or the lack of a definite answer at all).

28. “Life”, by Sarojini Naidu

Till ye have battled with great grief and fears,

And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years,

Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife,

Children, ye have not lived: for this is life.

Addressed directly to children, this poem serves as a warning about life’s inevitable hardships. The poem states that children haven’t yet experienced the harsh realities of life (e.g., battled with great grief and fears, etc). While acknowledging the sufferings of life, this sonnet isn’t meant to demoralize, but instead to prepare children to face life.

29. “Each Moment Is Precious”, by Pat A. Fleming

And the person you’re with,

In that moment you share,

Give them all of your focus;

Be totally there.

Written from the second person perspective, “Each Moment Is Precious” directly addresses the reader as ‘you’. This laces the poem with a sense of intimacy, making it feel like heartfelt advice by someone elderly and wise. Fleming beautifully reminds us to live in the present and savor every moment, as there are only a precious few.

30. “My Inner Life”, by Robert William Service

For I’ve a hidden life no one

Can ever hope to see;

A sacred sanctuary none

May share with me.

“My Inner Life” celebrates the relationship we have with ourselves. The poem presents a narrator who seems to be misunderstood and alone. However, he then reveals that his ‘hidden life’ is precious, something he wouldn’t trade for the world. This poem reassuringly encourages us to be true to ourselves, regardless of what others may think.

31. “Life is Fine”, by Langston Hughes

So since I’m still here livin’,

I guess I will live on.

I could’ve died for love—

But for livin’ I was born

The spirited “Life is Fine” highlights the theme of perseverance. Structurally similar to a blues song, it tells the story of a man who often considers suicide but never goes through with it. Towards the end of the poem, after several close encounters with death, the man realizes that he has something to live for. The honest, vulnerable tone of the poem resonates with many, encouraging us to keep going — even when we feel like giving up.

32. “Futility”, by Wilfred Owen

Was it for this the clay grew tall?

—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil

To break earth’s sleep at all?

Owen’s “Futility” questions how something as beautiful as life always loses to death. A combination of slant and perfect rhymes, the poem’s rhyme scheme reflects the uncertainty of soldiers’ lives during the Great war. While the speaker does possess an admiration for life, he gradually begins to question its futile nature. This duality leaves the reader in two moods, savoring life but also questioning its meaning at the same time.

33. “Suppose”, by E.E. Cummings 


Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head.

young death sits in a café

smiling,a piece of money held between

his thumb and first finger

In “Suppose”, life and death are personified. The old man carrying flowers on his head might refer to a fear-led life. The man wants someone to buy his flowers, but is also scared for the moment when someone will take them away. Money in hand, Death would like to buy the flowers. Cumming brings out the fact that death will inevitably take everything from life, but his striking use of this metaphor evokes in us an urge to not waste ours in the first place.

34. “Ode To A Nightingale”, by John Keats

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known,

The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan

In an “Ode To a Nightingale”, Keats suggests that human consciousness itself is suffering. The singing nightingale has ‘never known’ these troubles, and represents freedom from the anxious, lonely human mind. The speaker later admits that while death would end his suffering, he would then be unable to enjoy the beauty of the nightingale’s song. So, the poem argues both for and against human consciousness, with no final stance on the matter.

35. “If”, by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too; 

Despite being 32 lines long, “If” is a single continuous sentence! The poem comprises many clauses beginning with ‘if you can’, each clause laying out a condition that the speaker believes the reader should fulfill to live a successful life. Widely considered as Kipling’s advice to his own son, “If” is a guide to living an ideal and worthwhile life.

36. “Dockery and Son”, by Philip Larkin

Unhindered moon. To have no son, no wife,

No house or land still seemed quite natural.

Only a numbness registered the shock

Of finding out how much had gone of life,

Larkin’s “Dockery and Son” considers the fleeting nature of time. Candid and emotional, the poem captures the shock that the narrator faces after learning that one of his university juniors has a child (who now goes to the same university they used to attend). By repeating the ‘no’ in the 4th stanza, Larkin emphasizes the emptiness and regret he feels when he realizes ‘how much had gone of life’. This poem brings out a classic lesson — time shall pass, and waits for no one.

37. “My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is”, by Sir Edward Dyer 

My mind to me a kingdom is;

Such present joys therein I find,

That it excels all other bliss

That earth affords or grows by kind:

“My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is”, dating back to the Renaissance, declares that one’s mind is the most powerful source of one’s happiness. The poet metaphorically compares his mind to a kingdom, one where he reigns with a blissful state of control. Rather than constantly seeking pleasure elsewhere like several others, he reveals a refreshing sense of being content in possession of his most powerful tool, a peaceful mind.

38. “A Quoi Bon Dire”, by Charlotte Mew

And one fine morning in a sunny lane

Some boy and girl will meet and kiss and swear

That nobody can love their way again

While over there

You will have smiled, I shall have tossed your hair.

In the first two stanzas of “A Quoi Bon Dire”, poet Charlotte Mew introduces a curious protagonist — one who does not despair at the loss of a soulmate; who doesn’t fret at the passing of the years. For indeed, the question of a quoi bon dire (or, ‘what’s the point?’) is answered in the closing lines that you see above — a sentiment that the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas would echo many decades later: “Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.”

39. “My Heart Leaps Up”, by William Wordsworth 

My heart leaps up when I behold 

A rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man; 

So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!

Wordsworth’s “My Heart Leaps Up” emphasizes the importance of retaining a child-like sense of enthusiasm throughout life. The poem begins by the speaker stating the joy he feels on seeing a rainbow, the very same delight he first felt when he saw it as a child. The poem argues that adults should not let this child-like sense of awe and appreciation for nature die out, as it is what makes life worth living.

40. “Life Is”, by Mother Teresa

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Mother Teresa’s “Life Is” leaves us with wise words to live by. Filled with words of encouragement, the poem is the Nobel Peace laureate’s view on all that life is, and how it should be lived. The poem’s positive, inspiring tone promises to leave you in high spirits.

Well, we hope that these poems made you smile, reflect, and view life from a different lens! If you simply can’t get enough and would like to continue exploring the world of poetry, do check out our post on must-read love poems.




The word “family” conjures up a series of images and emotions. Many times we can look at family with feelings of warmth, love, happiness, and safety. Just as many times, however, family can bring up pain and frustration and flat out trauma. Families are as complicated as the individuals that make them up.

The thing with families are we don’t get to pick which ones we belong to. We walk around with their DNA trying to define who we are. Who do we look like? Are we really just like our mothers? Do we really have Grandpa Owen’s long nose? Or ear for music? Or taste for wine? For too much wine? Is our optimism from our father? Do I get my anger and insecurity from my mother? All questions that a lot of us cary throughout our day, sometimes we can answer them, sometimes we can’t.

We can belong to a unit that exudes happiness and safety, but we all still have our monsters. Our family members get the backstage view of our lives. They see the best and worst in us. What better art form can we find that examines the complicated nature of family than poems about family?

Please enjoy this sampling of poems about family.

Hanif Abdurraqib “The Crown Ain’t Worth Much”

Michael J. Burt “We are Family”

Ogden Nash “Family Court”

Kwame Davis “Way Seeing”

William Wordsworth “My Sister”

Mary Oliver “The Son”

Nicole M O’Neal “A Family is Like a Circle”


A family is like a circle.
The connection never ends,
and even if at times it breaks,
in time it always mends.

A family is like the stars.
Somehow they’re always there.
Families are those who help,
who support and always care.

Ray Young Bear “First Place in my Life”

Eve L. Ewing “The Train Speaks”

Clint Smith “FaceTime”


On another night
in a hotel
in a room
in a city
flanked by all
that is unfamiliar
I am able to move
my finger along
a glass screen
once across
once vertical
& in seconds
see your mother

George Eliot “Brother and Sister”

Lisa Furmanski “The History of Mothers of Sons”

Jay Musa “My Mother’s Hips”

Robin Coste Lewis “Summer”


Last summer, two discrete young snakes left their skin
on my small porch, two mornings in a row. Being

postmodern now, I pretended as if I did not see
them, nor understand what I knew to be circling

Kim Addonoizio “In Dreams”

Margaret Burroughs “What Shall I Tell My Children Who are Black? Reflections of an African American Mother”

Natalie Diaz“It was the Animals”

Chen Chen “I Invite My Parents to a Dinnerparty”

Yi-Young Lee “Three Words”

Ruth Stone “Pokeberries”


I started out in the Virginia mountains
with my grandma’s pansy bed
and my Aunt Maud’s dandelion wine.
We lived on greens and back-fat and biscuits.
My Aunt Maud scrubbed right through the linoleum.
My daddy was a Northerner who played drums
and chewed tobacco and gambled.
He married my mama on the rebound.

Victor Hernandez Cruz “Childhood in the Latin Caribbean”

Maya Angelou “Human Family”

Jon Yao “Music from Childhood”

Michael Luis Medrano “Poem for my Teo One Week After His Release”

What are your favorite poems about family? 

20 Poems That Celebrate the Special Bond of Friendship

20 Poems That Celebrate the Special Bond of Friendship

20 Poems That Celebrate the Special Bond of Friendship

Because the friends in our lives deserveto be lauded with verse.

It’s no secret that good friends can be hard to find. The French poet Jean de la Fontaine put it best when he said, “Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” (And that was back in the 17th century!) But even harder to track down are smart, touching poems about friendship that speak to the deep value and joy of our platonic relationships.

No doubt, the friends in our lives deserve to be lauded with verse. The pal you’ve known since kindergarten who still loves sharing an ice cream cone on the stoop together. The college friend who became your partner in crime during your party days and has stayed your lifeline through every major milestone. The woman next door who has slowly morphed from a friendly neighbor to a person you’d do anything for. The furry companion who licks your face every morning and always greets you with enthusiasm when you come home. The loved ones you lost too soon and think about all the time. Every friend—and type of friendship—is worth celebrating.

This collection of quotes makes it easy to do just that. Whether you’re looking to reflect on your friendships or are on the hunt for a great poem to read for a speech or stick in your bestie’s birthday care, you’ll find something here. Some might tug at your heartstrings so hard, you’ll have no choice but to share them with your friends ASAP just because.

“A Time to Talk,” by Robert Frost

Work, family, and endless to-do lists can make it tough to find the time to catch up. But you’ll never regret taking a break to chat with your friend, Frost reminds us. Everything else will still be there later.


“Will You Ever?” by Kaitlin M. Yawn

Looking for something to read at your best friend’s surprise birthday bash or retirement party? Yawn’s tearjerker of an ode spills out pure love and gratitude. It’s everything you wanted to say but weren’t quite sure how.

“A Poison Tree,” by William Blake

Bottling up big feelings can be toxic to even the strongest friendships. If you’ve been debating over whether to bring up a big issue with a friend, let Blake’s poem serve as some potent motivation. Not only will talking strengthen your relationship but you’ll feel better, too.

“Alone,” by Maya Angelou

“Nobody, but nobody / can make it out here alone,” says Angelou in one of her best-known poems that lauds the power of strong ties. Her words serve as a welcome reminder that no matter what, we’re always better off together.

“A Friend,” by Gillian Jones

Jones’ short and sweet poem, which was inspired by her own bestie, reminds us that when it comes to friendship, you’ll only get back as much as you give.

“Friends for Life,” by Angelica N. Brisset

How do you build a relationship that stands the test of time? Always have your friend’s back. When you show up for a friend, they’ll do the same for you, Brisset says. And that’s the stuff that true friendships are made of.

“To All My Friends,” by May Yang

Yang’s words are the poetic equivalent of the biggest hug to all of the friends who’ve helped you make it through life’s challenges— and the acknowledgement that you’ll do the same for them.

“Sonnet 104,” by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s ode to friendship has stood the test of time, just like the bond with your nearest and dearest.

“Hug ‘O War,” by Shel Silverstein

Silverstein’s playful verses were written for kids, but the message is just as powerful for adults: Being kind to your friends is always better than being right.

“On Friendship,” by Khalil Gibran

Here, Gibran eloquently reminds us that friendship is one of life’s most valuable gifts. Had he written this in 2022, it might’ve been called “All The Reasons Why Your Friends Are The Best Thing Ever.”

“It Would Be Water,” by Kathy Engel

Writing about her own loss, Engel shares unexpected moment that reminds her of a friend who has passed away. Her graceful words capture what it’s like to recall bittersweet memories of a friend who is no longer with you.

“The Friend,” by Matt Hart

Lazing barefoot in the grass, sharing a piece of chocolate cake. Hart recounts all of those pleasurable moments that friendships are made of and how they create the deepest of bonds: “You and the friend/remain twisted together.”

“I Love You,” by Roy Croft

Croft’s poem is often interpreted as describing as a romantic relationship. But reading his expression of deep love and admiration is just as likely to make you think of your best friend.

“We Have Been Friends Together,” by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

“We have been friends together—shall a light word part us now?” asks Norton, in this poem about longstanding friendships and the trite arguments that can, sadly, cause them to crumble.

“In the Company of Women,” by January Gill O’Neil

O’Neil knows that the girlfriends who know you best can restore your soul, writing: “Sorry, the blues are nowhere to be found./ Not tonight. Not here. / No makeup. No tears. /Only contours. Only curves.”

“Red Brocade,” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Offer a person help or hospitality before deciding whether they’re potential friend material, Nye suggests. “That way, he’ll have strength/ enough to answer. /Or, by then you’ll be/ such good friends/ you don’t care.”

“Silhouette.” by Janice Lobo Sapiago

Sapiago’s ode to the women she loves most is a poignant reminder that every friendship is different and will evolve over time.

“Care and Happiness,” by Shishir

If you’ve ever been touched by the kindness of a friend when you’re going through a tough time, this sweet, simple poem will have you nodding your head in agreement.

“Us Two,” by A.A. Milne

Milne’s poem may have been about a boy’s relationship with his favorite bear, but it’s hard not to think of your own tight knit childhood friendships when you read his lines.

“The Power of the Dog,” by Rudyard Kipling

Any dog owner can attest to the fact that some of the deepest relationships we have are with our furry companions. Kipling acknowledges this, while lamenting the bittersweetness of having friends whose lives are so much shorter than ours.

40 Friendship Poems To Celebrate Your Special Bond

40 Friendship Poems To Celebrate Your Special Bond

40 Friendship Poems To Celebrate Your Special Bond

Your BFF is your person through thick and thin – these poems describe that beautiful bond.

Friendship is one of the most beautiful aspects of human existence, and it is not bound by time, age, distance, and status. Many friendship poems celebrate the special bond you share with your loved one. Enduring relationships are made with consistent efforts that encourage strong bonding over a period of a long time. When you want to convey To All My Friends – By May Yangour feelings to a friend, just words won’t suffice. Poetry is a literary form that expresses feelings well, and it serves this purpose perfectly! You can use any of these 50 friendship poems in the article to express how much you appreciate this companionship and what their support means to you. Browse through them below.

Most Popular Friendship Poems To Brighten Your Day

1. A Golden Chain – By Helen Steiner Rice

Friendship is a golden chain,
The links are friends so dear,
And like a rare and precious jewel
It’s treasured more each year.

It’s clasped together firmly
With a love that’s deep and true,
And it’s rich with happy memories
And fond recollections, too.

Time can’t destroy its beauty
For as long as memory lives,
Years can’t erase the pleasure
That the joy of friendship gives.

For friendship is a priceless gift
That can’t be bought or sold,
But to have an understanding friend
Is worth far more than gold.

And the golden chain of friendship
Is a strong and blessed tie,
Binding kindred hearts together
As the years go passing by.

2. Your Kind Of Friendship – By Anonymous

It takes more than caring
To be a real friend
The nature of friendship
Requires a blend
Of warmest compassion
And love deep and true
To reach and to comfort
The way that you do
Because I can see
That your kind of friendship
Is priceless to me.

3. To All My Friends – By May Yang

That I could be this human at this time
breathing, looking, seeing, smelling
That I could be this moment at this time
resting, calmly moving, feeling
That I could be this excellence at this time
sudden, changed, peaceful, & woke
To all my friends who have been with me in weakness
when water falls rush down my two sides
To all my friends who have felt me in anguish
when this earthen back breaks between the crack of two blades
To all my friends who have held me in rage
when fire tears through swallows behind tight grins
I know you
I see you
I hear you
Although the world is silent around you
I know you
I see you
I hear you

4. The Friend – By Matt Hart

The friend lives half in the grass
and half in the chocolate cake,
walks over to your house in the bashful light
of November, or the forceful light of summer.
You put your hand on her shoulder,
or you put your hand on his shoulder.
The friend is indefinite. You are both
so tired, no one ever notices the sleeping bags
inside you and under your eyes when you’re talking
together about the glue of this life, the sticky
saturation of bodies into darkness. The friend’s crisis
of faith about faith is unnerving in its power
to influence belief, not in or toward some other
higher power, but away from all power in the grass
or the lake with your hand on her shoulder, your hand
on his shoulder. You tell the friend the best things
you can imagine, and every single one of them has
already happened, so you recount them
of great necessity with nostalgic, atomic ferocity,
and one by one by one until many. The eggbirds whistle
the gargantuan trees. The noiserocks fall twisted
into each other’s dreams, their colorful paratrooping,
their skinny dark jeans, little black walnuts
to the surface of this earth. You and the friend
remain twisted together, thinking your simultaneous
and inarticulate thoughts in physical lawlessness,
in chemical awkwardness. It is too much
to be so many different things at once. The friend
brings black hole candy to your lips, and jumping
off the rooftops of your city, the experience.
So much confusion — the several layers of exhaustion,
and being a friend with your hands in your pockets,
and the friend’s hands in your pockets.
O bitter black walnuts of this parachuted earth!
O gongbirds and appleflocks! The friend
puts her hand on your shoulder. The friend
puts his hand on your shoulder. You find
a higher power when you look.

5. Childhood Friends – By Mindy Carpenter

As childhood friends, we grew up together,
Swearing to be friends forever and ever.
Sometimes we would argue and fight,
Other times we would laugh and stay up all night.

We went from playing with games and toys,
To talking and dreaming about different boys.
My thoughts and feelings, to you I would confide,
Never having anything to hide.

Friends we do remain,
Things changing, and things staying the same.
To each other we still listen and share,
About each other, we will always care.

6. Because You Are My Friend – By Joanna Fuchs

Because you are my friend,
my life is enriched in a myriad of ways.
Like a cool breeze on a sweltering day,
like a ray of sunshine parting glowering clouds,
you lift me up.
In good times, we soar,
like weightless balloons
over neon rainbows.
In bad times, you are soothing balm
for my pummeled soul.
I learn so much from you;
you help me see old things in new ways.
I wonder if you are aware
of the bright seeds you are sowing in me.
I’m a better person for knowing you,
so that everyone I interact with
is touched by your good effect on me.
You relax me, refresh me, renew me.
Your bounteous heart envelops me
in joy and love and peace.
May your life be filled
with dazzling blessings,
just as I am blessed
by being your friend.

7. Thank You, Friend – By Joanna Fuchs

Thank you, friend, for all the things
That mean so much to me–
For concern and understanding
You give abundantly.

Thanks for listening with your heart;
For cheering me when I’m blue;
For bringing out the best in me;
And just for being you.

Thanks for in-depth conversation
That stimulates my brain;
For silly times we laugh out loud;
For things I can’t explain.

For looking past my flaws and faults;
For all the time you spend;
For all the kind things that you do,
Thank you; thank you, friend.

8. A Friend Or Two – By Wilbur D. Nesbit

There’s all of pleasure and all of peace
In a friend or two;
And all your troubles may find release
Within a friend or two;
It’s in the grip of the sleeping hand
On native soil or in alien land,
But the world is made-do you understand-
Of a friend or two.

A song to sing, and a crust to share
With a friend or two;
A smile to give and a grief to bear
With a friend or two;
A road to walk and a goal to win,
An inglenook to find comfort in,
The gladdest hours that we know begin
With a friend or two.

A little laughter; perhaps some tears
With a friend or two;
The days, the weeks, and the months and years
With a friend or two;
A vale to cross and a hill to climb,
A mock at age and a jeer at time-
The prose of life takes the lilt of rhyme
With a friend or two.

The brother-soul and the brother-heart
Of a friend or two
Make us drift on from the crowd apart,
With a friend or two;
For come days happy or come days sad
We count no hours but the ones made glad
By the hale good times we have ever had
With a friend or two.

Then brim the goblet and quaff the toast
To a friend or two,
For glad the man who can always boast
of a friend or two;
But fairest sight is a friendly face,
The blithest tread is a friendly pace
And heaven will be a better place
For a friend or two.

9. True Friends – By John P. Read

Whenever life gets you down,
Remember I’ll always be around;
All you have to do is call.

When your dreams disappear,
I’ll always be near
To catch you when you fall.

So remember, dear friend,
On me you can depend;
Nothing’s too much at all.

I will stand by your side;
I won’t run and hide.
Seeing you happy is my reward.

10. A Time to Talk – By Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

11. True Friends – By Emily

Best friends stick together till the end.
They are like a straight line that will not bend.

They trust each other forever,
No matter if you’re apart or together.

They can be your hero and save the day.
They will never leave your side; they are here to stay.

They help you up when you fall.
Your true friends are best of all.

12. Smile – By Jessica R. Dillinger

If you’re feeling down; turn your frown upside down.
Put a smile on your face; take the world in your embrace.
Ask for a little help from the man up above.
And remember you have your best friend’s love.

13. My True Friend – By Abimbola T. Alabi

You always answer when I call
And help me up if I should fall,
But you never complain at all,
My true friend.

You confront me when I am wrong
But will never scold me for long,
Instead, you try to keep me strong,
My true friend.

You know the funny things to say
To make me laugh my fears away.
Like the sun, you brighten my day,
My true friend.

You see in me gifts I deny
And urge me to give things a try.
You spread for me my wings to fly,
My true friend.

You always perceive what I need
And offer it before I plead.
Just like a book, my mind you read,
My true friend.

You value little things I do
But won’t brag of what you do too.
How can I ever repay you,
My true friend?

And greatest of all I have found
When times are tough and I’m down,
You are the one who sticks around,
My true friend.

14. God Sends – by Rosalie Carter

I think that God will never send,
A gift so precious as a friend,

A friend who always understands,
And fills each need as it demands,

Whose loyalty will stand the test,
When skies are bright or overcast,

Who sees the faults that merit blame,
But keeps on loving just the same,

Who does far more than creeds could do,
To make us good, to make us true,

Earth’s gifts a sweet contentment lend,
But only God can give a friend.

15. You Have A Friend In Me – By Kase And Sash

You have a friend in me,
Don’t try and hide your feelings
because your best friend can see.
I mean the world to you,
That’s how I know our friendship is true.
We will be besties for life,
One gets stabbed, we both feel the knife……

16. A Friend – By Gillian Jones

A person who will listen and not condemn
Someone on whom you can depend

They will not flee when bad times are here
Instead they will be there to lend an ear

They will think of ways to make you smile
So you can be happy for a while

When times are good and happy there after
They will be there to share the laughter

Do not forget your friends at all
For they pick you up when you fall

Do not expect to just take and hold
Give friendship back, it is pure gold.

17. To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old (Sonnet 104) – By William Shakespeare

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,

Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.

Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv’d:

For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.

18. Hoping To Hear From A Former Friend – By Margaret Hasse

Is it you on the other end of the line
hesitant to speak to me, pausing for a moment
to register my hello so you know my number
stayed the same, my last name remains mine?
Though my voice isn’t young as when we last spoke,
don’t you hear a familiar timbre?
Still you hesitate so as not to startle me
after all this time. Dots string out like an ellipsis
in the endless sentence of your absence.
I hear static-filled ticking, then
a friendly stranger mispronounces my name.
Recognizing a pitch to sell something
and feeling foolish, I hang up quickly.
Won’t you ever break your long silence?
Sorrow and anger keep my line open to you.

19. A Poison Tree – By William Blake

I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

20. Friends – By Liz Beran

We are going to different high schools
I know it will be hard
we were best friends
and now we are ripped apart

I remember the good days we had
throughout these 3 long years
you were there when I was sad
even when I was in tears

But now it’s all changed
we can’t be together anymore
no more notebooks to exchange
or laughter to adore

No more inside jokes to hear
or gossip in the hall
now we have high school to fear
and that’s the worst of them all

I will never forget that smile of yours
and how it made me glad
just remember you’ll always be
the bestest friend I’ve ever had

21. Tug O’ War – By Shel Silverstein

I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

22. O, My Friend – By Edgar Lee Masters

O, my friend,
What fitting word can I say?
You, my chum,
My companion of infinite talks,
My inspiration,
My guide,
Through whom I saw myself at best;
You, the light of this western country.
You, a great richness.
A glory,
A charm,
Product and treasure of these States.

23. Your Catfish Friend – By Richard Brautigan

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, “It’s beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,”
I’d love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, “I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them.”

24. Success – By Edgar A. Guest

I hold no dream of fortune vast,
Nor seek undying fame.

I do not ask when life is past
That many know my name.

I may not own the skill to rise
To glory’s topmost height,
Nor win a place among the wise,
But I can keep the right.

And I can live my life on earth
Contented to the end,
If but a few shall know my worth
And proudly call me friend.

25. The Cake Of Friendship – By Michelle Flores

Preheat the oven of love
With plenty of secrets and hugs.

Mix in giggles and laughs
That makes your sides split in half.

Bake with the love and care
And all the things you both should share.

Decorate with the frosting of trust;
This is really a must.

Enjoy the cake; do not eat it fast.
Just like your new friendship, make it last.

26. Poem For A Friend – By Maurice Boland

If I could write a poem,
I would write it just for you.
But I cannot write a poem,
So what am I to do?

If I could write a poem,
I would tell you lots of things,
Of love and happiness
and the joy your friendship brings.

But I cannot write a poem,
So you will never know
Just how much I love you,
And now I have to go!

27. How Many, How Much – By Shel Silverstein

How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ’em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ’em.

28. I Can Be a Pal – By Kristen Smith

I can be a pal by smiling at you.
I can be a pal when you feel blue.
I can be a pal who is honest and kind.
I can be a pal when you’re in a bind.
I can be a pal by saying please and thank you.
I can be a pal when no one wants to.
I can be a pal every single day.
I can be a pal; what do you say?

29. Thank You For Your Friendship And Your Love – By Nicholas Gordon

Thank you for your friendship and your love.
However life may turn, this gift will be
A mountain that has made my river bend,
Nor will it flow the same way to the sea.
Knowing you is something I’m made of.

Years will not this part of me remove.
One lives for just a brief eternity,
Understanding truths that never end.

30. A Love Letter To My Best Friend – By Andrew Warner

If spring is the eager season, then you are the late bloomer of autumn
You are definitely orange…
Like an orange, or a sunset sometimes
But sometimes sunsets can be purple
Purple is regal.
And rare like orange, but I have heard way more people say that purple is their color, and lavender is their look, and violet is their name, and mauve is their polish, and velvet is their skin, but…
Orange is reserved for the Velma archetype and the Vermilion poke-fan and the Pumpkin Ghost and the rustic tangerine shirt of Merman
You are orange… like, sometimes
Orange… like, maybe?
Like, sometimes I see you by the curb, in construction and
the next day you are gone
Like a traffic cone,
You face the sky like a circus cannon
Sometimes you are so ready to get fired up
Sometimes you are so unwilling, you bolt your soles to the sidewalk
And I forget how planted you are,
posed in pavement
I see you like a pylon in between traffic lanes
No matter how steep your neck, it is always on the line for someone else’s safety
You are orange like Caution, like Slow
Sometimes you are orange like Garfield on a rainy day
Your thoughts are like uncharted Martian sands
They are beautiful in their existence, but still considered alien
Your ideas are a pumpkin patch
Where you can’t really tell which root sprouts which fruit
You just know they are grand and still growing
I have seen you wear orange, like a lion’s mane
like Pride Rock and Lion King
like the goldfish that stays up all night
You are orange like radioactive happiness
like bio-hazardous laughter
You are the beautiful disaster of Guy Fieri’s T-shirt
wearing Mario Batali’s Crocs
Doctors wanted to stabilize you
they told you orange is too abrasive
It is too creative
Orange is Attention Deficit
You’ve already heard them call you
Orange, like disorder
What’s another couple of words before it?
You are orange like a monarch butterfly
Your caterpillar is similar to any other inchworm or millipede
but no one ever sees the difference between a monarch and a moth
Mom said your tantrums could be mistaken for mood swings
Your sleep patterns are not insomnia, but school-related stress
You get extra time on tests, but they were never designed to assess your kind of intelligence.
Because you are orange like a clockwork
One that can be fucked up and brilliant at the same time
Maybe that’s why I think you’re brilliant
Bipolar Disorder is less like a coin, it’s less like two-face,
more like the middle of a traffic light at two a.m.
it is less stop-and-go, more like Slow,
like, sometimes… like, maybe?
I noticed your prescription bottles
And prescription glasses are both autumn orange.
I wonder if it’s difficult to discern
which one changes the way you see the world
and which one changes the way you see yourself.

31. If I Could Catch A Rainbow – By Sandra Lewis Pringle

If I could catch a rainbow, I would do it, just for you,
And, share with you, its beauty, on the days you’re feeling blue.

If I could, I would build a mountain, you could call your very own.
A place to find serenity, a place just to be alone.

If I could, I would take your troubles, and toss them into the sea.
But, all these things, I’m finding, are impossible for me.

I cannot build a mountain, or catch a rainbow fair;
but, let me be, what I know best,
A Friend, who’s always there.

I promise to defend you, should the occasion ever rise,
And, I promise to wipe away the tears,
which might stream from your weeping eyes.

Let me be the trusted Friend, the one that you know best.
I will never leave you, on that, you can surely rest.

32. Will You Ever? – By Kaityln M. Yawn

I don’t think you will
Ever fully understand
How you’ve touched my life
And made me who I am.

I don’t think you could ever know
Just how truly special you are,
That even on the darkest nights
You are my brightest star.

You’ve allowed me to experience
Something very hard to find,
Unconditional love that exists
In my body, soul, and mind.

I don’t think you could ever feel
All the love I have to give,
And I’m sure you’ll never realize
You’ve been my will to live.

You are an amazing person,
And without you I don’t know where I’d be.
Having you in my life
Completes and fulfills every part of me.

33. Friendship’s Flower – By Helen Steiner Rice

Life is like a garden
And friendship like a flower,
That blooms and grows in beauty
With the sunshine and the shower.

And lovely are the blossoms
That are tended with great care,
By those who work unselfishly
To make the place more fair.

And, like the garden blossoms,
Friendship’s flower grows more sweet
When watched and tended carefully
By those we know and meet.

And, if the seed of friendship
Is planted deep and true
And watched with understanding,
Friendship’s flower will bloom for you.

34. Emblems Of Friendship – By John Imrie

Friendship is a golden band
Linking life with life,
Heart to heart, and hand to hand,
Antidote to strife.

Friendship is a silken cord
Beautiful and strong,
Guarding, by each kindly word,
Loving hearts from wrong.

Friendship is a beacon-light
On life’s rocky shore,
Brightest in our darkest night
When the breakers roar.

Friendship is an iron shield
Where life’s cruel darts
Ever may be forced to yield
Ere they wound true hearts.

Friendship is the gift of God
Freely to us given,
As the flowers that gem the sod,
Or the light of heaven!

35. My Friend, Brielle – By Cathy Madison

My friend, Brielle, is the best.
She is nicer than the rest.
When you are sad and have a frown,
She will turn it upside down.
Brielle is artistic, creative, too.
She is always there for you.
Brielle is so kind, and lots of fun.
As you can see, she is number one.

36. Let’s Be Friends – By Christine Corona

Would you like to be my friend?
That would be so fine!
We’ll run around in your backyard
And then we’ll play in mine.
We’ll walk to school together.
And share our lunches too.
Oh, what a lucky kid I am
To have a friend like you!

37. With A Friend – By Vivian Gould

I can talk with a friend
and walk with a friend
and share my umbrella
in the rain.

I can play with a friend
and stay with a friend
and learn with a friend
and explain.

I can eat with a friend
and compete with a friend
and even sometimes

I can ride with a friend
and take pride with a friend.
A friend can mean
so much to me!

38. Work For Friendship – By J.J. Thorne

The duties of friendship to perform,
Will keep our thoughts wide awake;
Make life true and warm,
For friendship’s sake.

Cursed is he that makes envy,
Lies, tattles, and fraternity break;
Speak in praise and speak the truth,
For friendship’s sake.

Love warms and never alarms,
Sweet as lilies of the lake;
Row your boat and gather charms.
For friendship’s sake.

If peace and harmony through human regard,
We desire to make;
We will work if it is hard;
For friendship’s sake.

In pursuit and plod for wealth,
Let honesty hold the stake;
Do not hate the man of stealth,
For friendship’s sake.

Live upright, honest and fair,
Give rather than take;
In brotherly love do you share?
For friendship’s sake.

39. Friends For Life – By Angelica N. Brissett

We are friends.
I’ve got your back,
And you have mine.
I’ll help you out
To see you hurt,
To see you cry,
Makes me weep
And wanna die.
If you agree
To never fight,
It wouldn’t matter
Who’s wrong or right.
If a broken heart
Needs a mend,
I’ll be right there
Till the end.
If your cheeks are wet
From drops of tears,
Don’t worry,
Let go of your fears.
Hand in hand
Love is sent.
We’ll be friends
Till the end!

40. New Friends and Old Friends – By Joseph Parry

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test-
Time and change- are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
For ‘mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more, we, our youth, renew.
But old friends, alas! May die;
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.

Infographic: Why Write Poems To Friends?

Remember this: Friends are for life! You must ensure that you are kind and gentle to them because they stand by you through thick and thin. And the best way to do it is by sharing friendship poems with them.

But the significance of friendship poems doesn’t end just here. We have created an infographic to tell you what all you can use these poems for. Check it out below.

Friendship poems are a special way to let your dearest friends know how special you feel about them. The above-listed poems are full of friendly emotions that you can send to your friend to honor your connection. It makes for a simple yet lovely gesture to express what they mean to you. “The best things about poems is that they are quick, witty, ways to evoke emotion and deepen connection which is what we need in friendships these days,” says Relationship Expert, Dr. John Ryan De Oca.

Whether it is a special occasion or any random day, you can make it memorable for them without much cost or effort. Giving thoughtful words to your feelings through these poems about friendship would not only make their day special but also help strengthen your beautiful relationship even more. Pick the one that most accurately expresses your thoughts and feelings, and send it to your friend right away!

Frequently Asked Questions

1How do I write a poem about my best friend?

While writing a poem for a best friend, the best approach is to appeal to the emotional sensibilities of your friend. Mention all the things you appreciate them for and why they are so special to you in the poem for your best friend.

2What does Kahlil Gibran say about friendship?

Kahlil Gibran, in his poem “On Friendship”, talks about how friendship is that one thing that completes life. A good friend is an answer to all your needs. As Gibran says in his poem on friendship, a good friend by your side will keep grief and sorrow at bay.

3What word rhymes with friendship?

Words like pip, snip, ship, slip, nip, etc., rhyme with friendship.

4How do you begin a poem?

There is no rule set in stone on how a poem must begin. But there are a few things you must consider before beginning a poem so that you know how to go about it. List down a blueprint of all the things you wish to express and how you’d order them. Adopt a personal tone and start writing freehand because you can always make edits as you go. As you go about this process, the appropriate beginning that speaks to you, will come to you.

5What is another word for best friends?

If you want more poetic or unique words for best friends in your poem, you can use words like companion, dearest, soulmate, soul sister, confidant, soul twin, or my shadow.

18 Famous Poets and Their Most Influential Poems

18 Famous Poets and Their Most Influential Poems

18 Famous Poets and Their Most Influential Poems

Poetry has changed continuously throughout the centuries. But these famous poets have stood the test of time with their distinct styles and contribution to poetry. Who are they? In this article, we’ll go over the most well-known poets and their popular poetry.

1. William Shakespeare

Born in 1564, William Shakespeare is one of the greatest poets in English literature. His plays have been staged and adapted countless times over the centuries and across the globe.

Although better known as a playwright, Shakespeare pioneered the sonnet form in English.

This accomplishment alone sets him among the best poets in the world. Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets include:

  • Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Sonnet 18)
  • My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
  • Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet 116)

With over a hundred poems to his name, Shakespeare is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated writers as well.

2. Maya Angelou

Born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri, this poet and activist worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She worked an impressive array of jobs, from streetcar operator to sex worker to journalist.

She wrote numerous poems, several autobiographies, and news reports. Angelou was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010) and a Pulitzer Prize nominee (1972). Her best-known poems are “Caged Bird” and “Still I Rise.”

Angelou remained active until she died in 2014, arguably making her one of the best female poets of the 21st century as well as the 20th.

3. Robert Frost

Born in 1874, this quintessential American poet filled his verse with scenes of New England life.

During Frost’s long life, poetry underwent many radical changes in form, but Frost’s style remained consistent and uniquely his.

In fact, Frost had a long, prolific career and won four Pulitzer Prizes, securing his place among the best poets of the 20th century. He was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal in 1962 and delivered a poem at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. He died in 1963.

His “The Road Not Taken” is one of the best-known American poems of the 20th century.

4. Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is not only one of the most famous female poets, but she is also among the best American authors.

After school, Dickinson remained in her parent’s household her entire life. She was not precisely the recluse she’s often depicted as, but she never married, traveled, or worked outside the home.

She wrote almost 1800 poems, stitched into packets, discovered, and published only after she died in 1886. Her spare, elliptical style is unmistakable in the classic “Because I could not stop for Death.“

5. William Butler Yeats

Born in 1865, W.B. Yeats was a poet, playwright, and later senator of the Irish Free State. Though he was born into a prosperous Anglo-Irish Protestant family, Yeats’ nationalism shows in his fusion of mysticism and Irish folklore.

He was also deeply involved in Irish politics around the period of the Irish uprising against British rule in 1916. Many of his compatriots were imprisoned or executed for their activity.

Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. His best-known poems include:

The Second Coming
Sailing to Byzantium
Easter, 1916

6. John Keats

This English Romantic poet was only 25 when he died of tuberculosis, but he left an impressive body of work behind.

Keats was born in 1795 into a family of modest means and trained to be a physician. However, he gave up medicine to devote himself to poetry. He was not financially successful, but many consider him to be one of the best poets of the 19th century.

He died in 1821 in Italy, where he had hoped the drier air would alleviate his tuberculosis. His best-known poems are “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “To Autumn.”

7. Sylvia Plath

Born in Boston in 1932, this American poet of the Confessional school showed early promise as a student at Smith College.

After winning a Fulbright fellowship to study in England, Plath met and married fellow poet Ted Hughes. Her marriage was tumultuous, and she struggled with mental illness for many years.

Her novel “The Bell Jar” recounts these struggles in a semi-autobiographical fashion. In 1963, unfortunately, she took her own life.

Her best-known poem, which seems to foreshadow her death, is “Lady Lazarus.” In 1982, she was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

8. William Wordsworth

This English poet, born in 1770, was one of the earliest leaders of the Romantic movement.

Wordsworth’s poetry expresses a deep appreciation of nature and people’s ordinary lives. He was also an ardent supporter of the French Revolution in his youth and traveled to France to witness it firsthand.

He returned to England and continued with his poetry and activism on behalf of the common people. However, he adopted more conservative views as he aged and settled in the Lake District in northern England.

He spent his later years there, immersing himself in the dramatic landscapes of his home. He was appointed poet laureate of England in 1843, a position he held until his death in 1850.

Two of Wordsmoth’s most famous poems are “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “The World Is Too Much with Us.”

9. Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, born in 1819, is a towering figure in the American literary landscape. His poetry celebrates the self, the soul, and the fellowship of all people in expansive, unconventional verse.

A printer by trade, Whitman also worked as a journalist, publisher, and even a carpenter before becoming an established poet. His life was as unconventional as his verse. Many of his works came under criticism for indecency or immorality.

“Song of Myself” and “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” are his two most celebrated poems. The latter is a quiet, somber tribute to Abraham Lincoln, written shortly after his assassination.

10. Edgar Allan Poe

Poe is best remembered for tales of horror and suspense like “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” He significantly shaped modern prose fiction, but he considered himself mainly a poet.

Poe was born in 1809 and orphaned when he was only two years old. He was taken in and educated by John Allen, possibly his godfather, though he never formally adopted Poe.

Poe received an excellent education but had tumultuous young adulthood. He was kicked out of the University of Virginia for accumulating gambling debts and was forced to make his own living.

He worked steadily at many magazines as an editor and a writer. In 1836, he married his thirteen-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm. Their marriage was by all accounts a happy one until Virginia died in 1847. Poe’s behavior became more erratic after that, and he died in 1849. His best-known poems are “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee.”

11. Homer

Like other poetry of the time, Homer’s epics were made to be performed aloud, possibly to music. Very little is known about Homer, and it’s possible that there was no single poet by that name.

Whatever the identity of the poet (or poets) responsible, “The Iliad” tells the story of the Trojan War.

Another famous poem is “The Odyssey,” which recounts the travels and adventures of the warrior Odysseus and his ten-year journey home from the Trojan War.

The poems as we know them today were likely written down in the 6th century BC, at least two centuries after Homer’s death. It’s impossible to overstate their importance to Western literature. Everyone from Virgil to James Joyce has drawn inspiration from Homer’s work.

12. Langston Hughes

Born in 1902, Hughes became one of the most famous poets of the Harlem Renaissance. His youth was very mobile, and he had lived in six different cities by the time he reached adulthood. His adulthood was also full of motion.

While he pursued writing, he traveled to Europe, West Africa, and Mexico. He also worked many jobs as a cook, sailor, farmer, and nightclub doorman.

Hughes’ poetry often mimics the rhythms of blues and jazz. It employs the simple, direct speech of Black daily life. This style of language was not always well-received, especially by some members of the Black intelligentsia.

They sought to distance themselves from the plain speech of regular people while Hughes embraced it fully. Today Langston Hughes’ legacy is undeniable. Among his best-known poems are:

  • Dreams
  • The Negro Speaks of Rivers
  • Theme for English B

13. Oscar Wilde

Born in 1854, this Anglo-Irish poet and playwright was known for his flamboyant fashion sense and witty writing.

Wilde was a disciple of the movement known as aestheticism, which preached art for art’s sake. Wilde’s writings display a sharp wit and flair for wordplay.

He also had his share of critics, who found his writing superficial and disapproved of his personal life. Wilde made no great effort to hide his homosexuality.

In 1895, he was convicted of “sodomy and gross indecency” after quarreling with his lover’s father. Wilde’s two-year sentence to hard labor destroyed his health and career but was the inspiration for his only major poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.”

14. Dante Alighieri

Dante was a towering figure of the Italian Renaissance and the first major poet to write in Italian. In fact, he argued passionately for Italian to stand on equal footing with Latin as a literary language. Though a native of Florence, Dante spent much of his life in exile due to his political activity.

His masterpiece “The Divine Comedy” takes its narrator on a guided tour through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. It’s no coincidence that many of Dante’s political enemies are in Hell alongside mythical and legendary evildoers.

15. Pablo Neruda

Born Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto in 1904, this Chilean poet began his career as a diplomat. Neruda was not associated with any particular poetic movement but possessed his own style.

Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971 and is one of the most famous poets in any language. His best-known work translated into English is the collection “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.”

16. William Blake

Many scholars and students consider poet, painter, and engraver William Blake as one of the best poets of the 18th century.

His boldly mystical works, illustrated by Blake himself, anticipate many later developments by the Romantic poets of the 19th century. His best-known works are “Songs of Innocence,” “Songs of Experience,” and the lyrics to the famous hymn “Jerusalem.”

17. John Milton

John Milton is among the most famous poets of the English language. Unknown to many, he also had a busy career as Oliver Cromwell’s Latin secretary during the Commonwealth period after the English Civil War.

Milton’s best-known work is “Paradise Lost.” It is a long epic poem about the fall of the rebel angels from Heaven and the temptation of Adam.

18. Percy Bysshe Shelley

This giant of the English Romantic period was close to the most influential literary figures of his time. He was friends with the poet Byron, and his wife Mary Shelley was the author of Frankenstein. Shelley was born into an affluent family and attended Oxford, but he led a politically and socially unconventional life.

He and Mary lived mainly on the Continent with a revolving cast of friends and confidants until his death by drowning in 1822. He is best remembered for the poem “Ozymandias,” which contemplates an ancient ruin and the fleeting nature of power.

Who is Your Favorite Poet?

Do you agree with this list? Are there any poets missing from the list? Do you think some of the poets mentioned don’t deserve to be on our list?

Let us know by leaving a comment.

5 Reasons to Teach Poetry in the Classroom

5 Reasons to Teach Poetry in the Classroom

5 Reasons to Teach Poetry in the Classroom

Read the five reasons that explain the importance of teaching poetry, and instill a love for poems in the classroom. Children will love these activities that build reading, writing, and language skills.

Why Teach Poetry?

There tend to be two types of teachers when it comes to poetry: Ones who love it and bring it into the classroom freely and often. Then others stay clear. The reason for this may be because they don’t think it fits with the curriculum and what they are teaching. They may not “have time” to fit it in. Or they may not enjoy poetry themselves, and this prevents them from introducing it in the classroom.

If the love is not there *yet* for you, I give you this challenge. Give it a try! Open a book of poems. Read the odd poem to your class. Find a poem that goes along with your classroom theme and share. Ask children about their experiences with poetry and how it makes them feel.

Why is Poetry Important In Primary School

Poetry has a place in our curriculum. It can be taught as part of reading, writing, and language lessons, and it fits easily into classroom themes, projects, and celebrations. It can add additional value to our studies. Poem of the week activities can be easily implemented to strengthen language arts lessons.

This post includes five reasons to teach poetry in the classroom. If you are a poetry advocate already, I hope you gain some additional insight and ideas to strengthen your program. If you are reluctant to teach poetry, I encourage you to read the reasons why and to find out for yourself. The reasons listed, as well as FREE activities to try, will help guide you in the right direction!

1. Build Reading, Speaking, & Listening Skills

Why teach poetry? Children need to learn to read a variety of texts and poems are one of those forms. The unique thing about poetry is that we often read aloud, repeat often, and share in groups. When children are listening to poems orally, they are building their listening skills. They learn to attend to the words they hear and to think about what those words mean together.

When sharing poems in a classroom, look at, and read them together. Children are strengthening their reading skills and build reading fluency through repeated reading. The dots connect in a child’s brain when they see it, hear it, and say it aloud. Children begin to listen to the rhythms and rhyme present in poems. Reading fluency develops as verses are practiced and read many times. Rachel Clarke says “As teachers when we use poetry with children we are modeling how to read it, building familiarity with it, and widening children’s reading horizons,”

Reading comprehension also results in discussions about meaning, connecting, and visualizing. Encourage children to imagine the poem as it is read aloud. They can draw a picture or think quietly about what they hear. Ask children to share what they consider a poem is about or what they believe a word or line means. Naturally, children will connect to what they hear. Ask children to share their connections to their own experiences.

2. Explore Language & Vocabulary

Poetry provides teachers with a special tool: A tool that can be broken down and evaluated in parts. A tool that can use used to teach many literacy skills.

Poetry often contains words that rhyme for effect. Children can learn about phonics and letter sounds by listening for and locating rhyming words. A poem can be used to teach sentence structure, parts of speech, and many grammar skills. Teaching grammar in engaging ways can be a struggle. Poetry can help!

Poetry builds vocabulary. Children get exposed to words they have not heard before, and they listen to them in context. Discuss new terms with children and ask them to point out the ones they hear for the first time. This exercise provides a venue for ELL learners to learn and build language. Not only do children hear new words, but they are also learning how words are chosen for effect and to create imagery.

Explore a poem of the week during a class meeting. Encourage children with activities such as locating sight words, finding new terms, or focus on a particular skill you are teaching in class. Poetry Mats are a valuable resource for practicing many skills. Poetry offers a way to teach that is memorable and motivational. The opportunities to learn through poetry are endless!

3. Inspire Writing

Teach how poems are constructed and the words they contain. It is the first step to writing. Different types of poems have various components. In poetry, we learn how to put words together to form meaning and context. We learn how to choose the right words to create imagery and effect.

When we break poems down into their parts, we learn a lot about how writing comes together. We learn how to follow a pattern and put words in a particular order. The simple patterns found in some poems are fun to follow, and great places for children to start learning to write. Writing poetry is a transferable skill that will help children write in other ways and styles.

Start teaching poetry to children early as they begin to learn to write. A good poetry writing unit includes planning and brainstorming activities, templates to practice and write, and ways to display poetry. Start by teaching simple poetry forms that follow a pattern so children can make connections. Try these free lessons as a fun start: acrostic poetry, shape poetry, autobiography poetry.

4. Encourage Creative Thinking

Poetry is a form of expression. Writing it lets us get out our feelings and thoughts on a subject while reading it encourages us to connect and find meaning in our experiences.

Poetry can have a positive impact on the social and emotional learning of children. It may offer them a new way of thinking about something. It can put things into words that children may not know how to express otherwise. Poetry encourages children to express themselves and their feelings.

Jeanette Winterson, a poet, and writer, once said, “It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.” Poetry inspires children’s imaginations to run wild.

5. Build a Love for Reading

As children learn to read, expose them to a variety of styles and types of text. As teachers, we want them to love the act of reading and what they read as they learn. Learning to read can be hard work, and the books children learn first often lack that unique ingredient. Poetry is different. It has that special sauce that children crave and so much more!

Children have a natural curiosity to foster and encourage with poetry. It creates enchantment and wonder in a child’s mind. Poems encourage kids to imagine new worlds and experiences.

Poetry is great to share with children, but also have available for them to choose and read independently. Poems provide enjoyment and laughter. Poems are engaging and fun to read! They encourage kids to move with the rhythms they hear and add actions.

Teach poetry to children; otherwise, they may miss out on it completely. Children tend not to choose books of poems to read if they haven’t been exposed before. Break this barrier and share it with them. Build a love for poetry together!

Children’s Poetry Books

It is essential to find great examples of poems to share with children. Jack Prelutsky, Dennis Lee (a Canadian poet fav), Dr. Seuss, and Shel Silverstein are a few fantastic authors who have written a variety of poetry and books for children. I guarantee if you share any of the selections below, you will build a love of poetry that will last a lifetime!

FREE Resources for Teaching Poetry

Poem of the Week Pack

This FREE Poem of the Week resource includes 2 original poems and 1 nursery rhyme to add to your collection of poems. There are 6 differentiated activities included, as well as sentence strips and a bulletin board banner. Your students will be reading and writing poetry all week long!

Social-Emotional Learning Poem & Activities

This FREE empathy poetry pack includes an original poem and engaging activities. The poem and activities will help you teach the concept of empathy and build important reading skills at the same time.

Classroom Poetry Resources

Integrate the following resources into the primary classroom and any language arts curriculum. Each offers a wealth of engaging poems and activities to build a ton of skills and a love of poetry!

30 Best Poems for Kids to Entice a Love for Poetry

30 Best Poems for Kids to Entice a Love for Poetry

30 Best Poems for Kids to Entice a Love for Poetry

​​Writing a poem for kids is a fun and easy way to get their creative juices flowing. Not only can you teach them how to make up poetry, but you can also use the poems to teach them about life lessons and values. This article will give you the best kids’ poems of all time, along with giving you some great tips on how to help your child through the process of writing a poem.

Best kids’ poems
Short Poems for Kids

1. The Purple Cow
By Gelett Burgess

I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one!

2. The Forest
By Annette Wynne

The forest is the town of trees
Where they live quite at their ease,
With their neighbors at their side
Just as we in cities wide.

3. Hey Diddle Diddle
Author Unknown

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

4. There Was an Old Man with a Beard
By Edward Lear

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said “It is just how I feared—
Two Owls and a hen,
For Larks and a wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”

5. The Days of the Month
Author Unknown

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
February has twenty-eight alone.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap-year—that’s the time
When February’s days are twenty-nine.

6. The Porcupine
By Ogden Nash

Any hound a porcupine nudges
Can’t be blamed for harboring grudges,
I know one hound that laughed all winter
At a porcupine that sat on a splinter.

7. At the Zoo
By William Makepeace Thackeray

First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;
Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;
Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;
Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;
Then I saw the monkeys – mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!

8. Down They Go…
By Roald Dahl

Down they go!
Hail and snow!
Freezes and sneezes and noses will blow!

9. Happy Thoughts
By Robert Louis Stevenson

The world is so full
of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all
be as happy as kings.

10. There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
By Mother Goose

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
Kissed them all soundly and sent them to bed.

Funny Poems for Kids

11. I’m a Little Teapot
By George Harold Sanders

I’m a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle (one hand on hip)
Here is my spout (other arm out straight)

When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
“Tip me over
and pour me out!” (lean over toward spout)

I’m a clever teapot,
Yes, it’s true
Here let me show you
What I can do

I can change my handle
And my spout (switch arm positions)
Just tip me over and pour me out! (lean over toward spout)

12. My Cat is Fat
By James Mcdonald

I’ve a cat named Vesters,
And he eats all day.
He always lays around,
And never wants to play.

Not even with a squeaky toy,
Nor anything that moves.
When I have him exercise,
He always disapproves.

So we’ve put him on a diet,
But now he yells all day.
And even though he’s thinner,
He still won’t come and play.

13. How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes
By Shel Silverstein

If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful, boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
(‘ Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor—
Maybe they won’t let you
Dry the dishes anymore.

14. McGallimagoo
By James McDonald

My name is not McGallimagoo,
Although some would have you think.
All day long they call me this,
And I really think it stinks.

McGallimagoo come here to me
Mcgllimagoo sit down.
McGallimagoo is such a funny name,
But it always makes me frown.

So if you see me on the street,
Please don’t call me this.
Refer to me by my proper name,
Which is Mr. Hullibajiss.

15. As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed
By Jack Prelutsky

As soon as Fred gets out of bed,
his underwear goes on his head.
His mother laughs, “Don’t put it there,
a head’s no place for underwear!”
But near his ears, above his brains,
is where Fred’s underwear remains.

At night when Fred goes back to bed,
he deftly plucks it off his head.
His mother switches off the light
and softly croons, “Good night! Good night!”
And then, for reasons no one knows,
Fred’s underwear goes on his toes.

16. Learning
By Judith Viorst

I’m learning to say thank you.
And I’m learning to say please.
And I’m learning to use Kleenex,
Not my sweater, when I sneeze.
And I’m learning not to dribble.
And I’m learning not to slurp.
And I’m learning (though it sometimes really hurts me)
Not to burp.
And I’m learning to chew softer
When I eat corn on the cob.
And I’m learning that it’s much
Much easier to be a slob.

Poem for Kids about School

17. The Children of Beslan (To My Children)
By Irakli Kakabadze

Today is the First of September and

As natural,

As the sun’s setting and rising,

The flowers’ budding and wilting,

The healing of open wounds,

And death.

This isn’t a school bell ringing,

It’s the bells of a church.

The mothers woke us up from our summer games,

But the fathers took our hands more sternly and

more proudly than never before.

The fathers left work for the market,

Carrying heavy bags and

All kinds of thoughts and rubbish

in their heads.

We left toys with wilted smiles on the beds,

Little sisters and brothers in the windows,

Grandmothers who had combed our hair and

Crossed us as we were leaving home,

To meet with God, or our first teachers.

Here, our empty, silent notebooks,

Here, our unopened books and flat, inanimate illustrations,

The red pens, which retain their strictness, but can’t express it,

A roster, read from the grade book with no answers,

Desks without purpose and

The boards, painted black,

On which is written our first, short history.

Here, our flowers for you, who

Were supposed to open the door of life’s wisdom for us,

But the flowers have chosen a better fate.

Again, light backpacks

Are hanging like crosses upon our weak shoulders and

White shirts—

Like sacrificial lambs, we make our way to the last class.

Don’t look at the road so often,

We won’t return from here,

We continued our summer games and

We are hiding behind September first.

18. The High-School Lawn
By Thomas Hardy

Gray prinked with rose,

White tipped with blue,

Shoes with gay hose,

Sleeves of chrome hue;

Fluffed frills of white,

Dark bordered light;

Such shimmerings through

Trees of emerald green are eyed

This afternoon, from the road outside.

They whirl around:

Many laughters run

With a cascade’s sound;

Then a mere one.

A bell: they flee:

Silence then: —

So it will be

Some day again

With them, — with me.

19. Moonlily
By Marilyn Nelson

When we play horses at recess, my name

is Moonlily and I’m a yearling mare.

We gallop circles around the playground,

whinnying, neighing, and shaking our manes.

We scrape the ground with scuffed saddle oxfords,

thunder around the little kids on swings

and seesaws, and around the boys’ ball games.

We’re sorrel, chestnut, buckskin, pinto, gray,

a herd in pastel dresses and white socks.

We’re self-named, untamed, untouched, unridden.

Our plains know no fences. We can smell spring.

The bell produces metamorphosis.

Still hot and flushed, we file back to our desks,

one bay in a room of palominos.

20. Making History
By Marilyn Nelson

Somebody took a picture of a class
standing in line to get polio shots,
and published it in the Weekly Reader.
We stood like that today. And it did hurt.

Mrs. Liebel said we were Making History,
but all I did was sqwunch up my eyes and wince.
Making History takes more than standing in line
believing little white lies about pain.

Mama says First Negroes are History:
First Negro Telephone Operator,
First Negro Opera Singer At The Met,
First Negro Pilots, First Supreme Court Judge.

That lady in Montgomery just became a First
by sqwunching up her eyes and sitting there.

Poems for Kids that Rhyme

21. Eletelephony
By Laura Elizabeth Richard

Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—

(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;

The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

22. Two Little Dicky Birds
By Mother Goose

Two Little Dicky Birds,
Sat upon a wall.
One named Peter,
The other named Paul,
Fly away Peter.
Fly away Paul.
Come back Peter!
Come back Paul!!

23. Jack and Jill
By Mother Goose

Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up Jack got
And home did trot
As fast as he could caper,
Went to bed
To mend his head
With vinegar and brown paper.

24. The Crocodile
By Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

25. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
By Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

26. Star Light, Star Bright
Author Unknown

Star light, start bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

27. Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
By Rudyard Kipling

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

28. Rhyme
By Elizabeth Coatsworth

I like to see a thunderstorm,
A dunder storm,
A blunder storm,
I like to see it, black and slow,
Come stumbling down the hill.
I like to hear a thunderstorm,
A plunder storm,
A wonder storm,
Roar loudly at our little house
And shake the window sills!

29. Mary Had a Little Lamb
By Sarah Josepha Hale

Mary had a little lamb,

Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow,
And every where that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
Everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go;
He followed her to school one day,
School one day, school one day,
He followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play,
Laugh and play, laugh and play,
It made the children laugh and play,
To see a lamb at school,
And so the teacher turned him out,
Turned him out, turned him out,
So the teacher turned him out,
But still he lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
Patiently about, patiently about,
Waited patiently about,
Till Mary did appear;
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?
Mary so, Mary so,
Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
The eager children cried;
“Why Mary loves the lamb, you know,
Lamb you know, lamb you know,
Why Mary loves the lamb, you know”
The teacher did reply;
Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow.

30. Monday’s Child
By A.E Bray

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

How to Select the Best Poem for Kids?

Selecting a poem for children can be difficult. There are so many rhyming poems out there that it can feel overwhelming.

The key is to find one that is both age-appropriate and exciting. You want to find something that will keep your little one entertained and teach them something new. Make sure to find a poem that is short and easy to understand.

If you have older children and you want to read it with them, make sure you know the words ahead of time and can read all the way through without stumbling. If a poem is too long, it can become monotonous and no longer enjoyable to read.

Children will enjoy a humorous poem or a poem with an element of surprise. If possible, get your child involved in picking the poem. They will be more likely to get excited and interested if they are part of the decision-making process.

Creative Ways to Teach Your Kid How to Write a Poem

There are many different ways to help your child learn how to write a poem.

  • One way is by giving them prompts or topics that they can use as inspiration.
  • Another idea is to have them list five words and create a poem from those words.
  • You can also do a rhyming exercise with your child where you pick two words and they come up with a word that rhymes with both of them.
  • Another fun way to teach kids about poetry is by having them make a poem using their own name in it.
  • A great exercise for them to do at home is to take a walk outside and look for 10 things that rhyme. When they find ten things, have them write a poem about those ten things and illustrate it. The next step is to have them share their poem with their classmates.
  • Make up silly words and make the kids write a poem using them (must be funny of course!)

Read to your child each night before bed as it will help them fall asleep better and help them understand that reading is fun. Also, it will help to improve their vocabulary. Make a word of the day calendar and have your child check off each word they know when they hear it. Teaching your children how to write poems is a beautiful way to foster their creativity and imagination.

We hope you like the poems mentioned above, and we’re looking forward to reading some of the poems written by your children. Please share them with us at!