50+ Short Poems About Life That Are Worth Reading

Short inspirational poems, there are 50 short poems about life for you to enjoy and savor. We have selected and fine-tuned this collection to ensure that it only houses poems that inspire, give hope and offer an insight or two. Many of these are beloved timeless classic pieces that have been enjoyed by readers through the ages. Each of these poems brings to our awareness, wisdom and a meaningful message.


Short Poems About Life


Please don’t hurry through reading them. If you can, slowly read and reread each poem. It’s even better if you can take a few minutes to ponder about each poem to see what new ideas, insights or perspectives you can take away with you. Some of these poems have been claimed by readers to be life-changing.  Though short, it contains deep meaning and it’s powerful. If you can commit it to memory and play it often in your mind, it might just lead you down a new life.

1. Lost Innocence

Lost Innocence

Wind whistling,
Snow glistening,
We try not to,
But we’re all listening.

Loud screams,
Bad dreams,
It’s very far,
But close it seems.

Sad day,
Lost our way,
All we can do,
Is simply pray.

Innocence gone,
Life no longer long,
We may not know,
But we’re all doing wrong.

Joy lost,
The Holocaust,
We look to see,
Hearts covered in frost.

Wars fought,
Sins taught,
Making mistakes,
Hoping not to be caught.

Not taking blame,
Pushing for fame,
As advanced as we are,
We’re still all untamed.

Too much pride,
Needing a guide,
We will deny it,
But behind lies we hide.

Hurting others,
Betraying brother,
Many forgetting,
To appreciate mothers.

Lies are fed,
Filling heart and head,
Through all of these years,
Innocent blood has been shed.

Children abandoned,
Lonely and stranded,
We’re all wasting the life
That we have been handed.

Taking from the poor,
We’re loving no more,
Fight to be free,
End up starting a war.

People starting fights,
No longer enjoying the sights,
While mere mortals are taking
Our God given rights.

Soldiers killed,
Void can’t be filled,
Pay close attention,
For pure souls have been tilled.

Need to find peace,
Work together like geese,
But greatest of all,
The hate needs to cease.

By: Michaela Remmel

2. Time

Time

Tick tock…tick tock…
life is counting down on your internal clock.

Memories which were as if they occurred yesterday,
turn to flashes of moments that seem to fade away.

People you once knew
walk by without a clue.

The times you once shared
exist as if you were never there.

Years fly…friends die…
and you never know when you’ll say your last goodbye.

Oh, how I wish I could turn back time,
spend it with loved ones and cherish what was once mine.

Or to go back even more,
being a kid in a candy store.

How I miss the way I used to feel
on Christmas day when Santa was real.

But back to reality…back to today,
family is scarce and memories continue to fade away.

Tick tock…tick tock…
how I wish I could control this clock.
By:Joe Massocco

3.The Strings

The Strings

The knot is strong,
The strings are tight.
It won’t break loose,
No matter how much I fight.

The grip is fierce,
Disguised in every tear.
I wish to overcome
This emptiness of fear.

I know once on my own,
I might not survive.
But there is a mere chance
For me to be alive.

The cost of losing the bond
Could be my biggest mistake.
But I am done living
A life I can no longer fake.

By:Hanima Nawaz

4. Carefree

Carefree

Young, carefree, innocent
You sing, laugh and dance
Taking in all Gods’ glory
At every single chance.

Grown up
You ignore the wonders
that you cherished as a child
Gone is the carefree, honesty and mild.

You walk around with blinders on,
Into the race of money and greed.
Not caring who gets hurt
Just to fulfill your selfish needs.

Stepping over the line of morals
to have wealth and material things
Ignoring all Gods gifts
Like the first rain in Spring

Keep that little child inside!
Hold her close to your heart,
We’re only here for a brief time
Then with this world, we must part

For a moment each day
It’s OK to get silly
to laugh and dance.
Take in all Gods glory
At every single chance.
By:Nordica D Lindgren

5. Complication

Complication

In a world filled with changes
each and every day..

I feel I’m being judged
for what I do and say..

I remember back to Barbies
and play days at the park..

When I didn’t worry about
other people’s remarks..

Now looking in the mirror
I see to my surprise..

A completely different person
staring in my eyes..

The carefree little girl
I saw at 4 and 5..

Is now becoming a teen..
Just trying to survive…
By:Misti L. Green

6.life

life

All of my life
I was living in a lie.
It seems that my childhood
has flown right by.
My daddy walked out,
and I had nowhere to cry.
I had to stay strong
so my spirit wouldn’t die.
Now I’ve grown up too fast
trying to make this life last.
I push to move forward,
but I’m stuck in my past.
Tell me, what’s a girl to do?
Forget about it through and through?
That’s not something I can do.
What’s done is done,
Ain’t that the truth?

By: Taylor Beckham

7.

To Live and To Love

We were put on this planet
To live and to love.
To cherish the ones in our lives.
And never let them get hurt…….
Safety is a priority
But danger is an outcome.
Why is it, that we work so very hard?
For something that will still happen
in the end……..
Should we care about our lives,
Or sit and waste it away.
“It doesn’t matter, were all going to
die someday!”
These words fill our heads
With sad confusion. There’s no end
We get lost with the love
We want to have.
There is no conclusion to all
this pain.
But an answer that comes
Just the same.
The negative side seems to win,
But the positive side seems to
Glow.
We are who we choose to be,
So be careful who you choose.
Love everyday like there is no
Tomorrow….
And give to others the joy of life
So no one will hurt.
Love, And love will love you back.
Open your arms to life
And life will hug you back!
Don’t be scared!
Life is still a one time thing!

By: Elizabeth McCrorie

8.Through It All

Through It All

Friends come and go
Life flies by right before your eyes.
You loose ones you love
Yet through it all you still love your life.

People leave you to fight alone
You put on a fake smile to hide all your pain
Yet someone still knows your hurt.

Through it all you still put on a front to satisfy those around you
Thorough it all you wouldn’t change a thing
Through it all you wouldn’t trade your life for fame.

You build a wall to try to keep from getting hurt
You lock up you heart and throw away the key to see who cares enough to look for the key
Through it all there’s not many people that got you to open up yet still you love it all.

Struggles meet you in the face to watch you slip up
Yet through it all you wouldn’t change a thing.

Through it all you wouldn’t change a thing
Through it all you wouldn’t trade your life for fame.
By:Destinee Snuffer

9.Lights

Lights

Light up the way for me.
I’m scared of the dark.
Illuminate the blackest road
With the brightest spark.

Light up my mind
When I’m feeling low.
Help me keep the dark thoughts away,
And make my mind glow.

Light up my world
With your beautiful, carefree smile.
Keep away everything that’s evil,
Everything that’s scary and vile.

Light up my candle
When I’m out to wander and roam,
So no matter how far I am,
I may always return home.
By:Soumyanetra Pal

10. Tell Me

 Tell Me

hear me again
hear my cries at night
help me face my fears tonight
so tell me
who I am
where I’ve been
where I’m going
why do things always happen this way
but I now understand
no one gets me
what I need
what I want
people can’t you see
I’m a girl in need
hear my plea………..
By:Ayleashua Marchewitz

11.Memories

Memories

Memories in my life fade away
As I replace them with others.
They are forgotten and stored away.
Although the memories are pushed to the side,
They are safe so I may remember them in the future.
Our mind is like a book;
It writes down important things and keeps them between the pages forever.
Maybe our whole album of memories:
Our first steps, first love, first grief, and others
Were meant to be there for us to never forget.
By:Jane Kim

12.Choices

Choices

I see people laughing and joking all around,
but on my face there is no smile instead there is a frown.

I never laugh anymore instead I cry,
and I never stop to ask myself, “why?”

I heard we live and die by the choices we make,
and there’s only so much a person can take.

so just remember to life goes on,
and it hurt’s when someone leaves and is gone.

so always remember keep your head up,
because another door is opened everytime one is shut.

By:Desiree Kimbrue

13.Rising // Rise

Rising // Rise

I will rise
After every fall
I will rise
and stand even more tall

I will rise
over the wall
I will rise
above them all

Like the sun
which never dies
though sets every night
every day it does rise

Like the ocean
whose tides
many times they are down
but invariably they rise

Like the trees
from seeds they arise
and heights great
they rise and rise

After falling once,
twice and thrice
Again and again
I will rise and rise

I will rise
after every fall
After every fall
I will rise

By:Sagar Yadav

14.The Maze

The Maze

Life is like a maze.
You don’t know where you’ll end up,
But that’s the way life is played.

Life is like a maze.
One way you’ll be free,
The other you will pay.

One way is right, another wrong.
There is now, and there is gone.
You will feel, you will see
The challenge life is meant to be.
By:Amelia Tracey

15.Walk With Me

Walk With Me

Why don’t you come
walk with me,
through life’s doorways
and heaven’s eternity.

Walk through the good
and walk through the bad.
Walk through the happy
and walk through the sad.

Take my hand,
I’ll show you the way.
There are so many things
we can do today.

Whether it be happy
or whether it be sad,
my friend, I’ll help you
through all things good and bad.
By:Amy H

16.The Enemy

The Enemy

Seconds.
Hours.
Days.
The clock ticks.
Time.
Our most powerful opponent.
He tries to defeat us
In the game of life.
Like a king,
And we are his peasants.
Our life is in his hands.
It’s only a matter of
Seconds.
Hours.
Days.
Until our clock
Runs out.
By:Hariet

17.What Is Life?

What Is Life?

Life is a mansion
That stands on the pillars of hope.

Life is a span
That needs to be covered with cautious steps.

Life is a stepping stone
That guides you to achieve your destination.

Life is a preacher
Who overpowers you with majestic valour.
And inspires you to tread the rugged path
With zealous vigour.

Life is a guardian
Who would always be encouraging
But never sympathetic.

Life is a thorny bush
That brings forth fragrant blossoms to those
Who choose to persevere.

Life is a reward of God.
Initiation and culmination of it is God’s discretion.
It is the retrospect of man,
Which decides the fruitfulness of his life.

Life is a mansion
That stands on the pillars of hope.
By:Susmita Dutta

18.Fire Burning Inside Us

Fire Burning Inside Us

There is a light
in each one of us
burning with delight
it lays deep inside of us
guarded by bones
and muscle
but still the flame stays alive
with nothing to blow it out
but ourselves
this light is fragile and will
continue as long as you keep the
light of joy and happiness going
so the flame will forever burn
By:Katie Wiles

19.Life

Life

Sometimes the days goes by
And turns into years
But the mind ponders backwards
Trying to search, find and analyze
The moment of glory, joy and anguish
The ecstasy at its unreachable destination
storming and swaying here and there
The heart overtaking the mind
And being in its own bliss
The ever-growing passion of want
Makes itself the king of existence
Life still a merry to live and relish.
By:V.Sowmya

20.Before

Before

before the bullet it bit
before the candle is lit
before the last call
before the curtain falls
before the grave we pray
there is something I must say

before taps is played
before the jazz parade
before 21 guns sound
before the final round
before the fiddler we pay
this I must convey

before the sweet by and by
before the tears we cry
before the bells are rung
before the reaper come
before angles wing
I have to tell you
everything….everything…everything

By:Mitchell Browder

21.Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep

If my internal clock could speak,
it would beg me to sleep.
It would ask me to turn off the world and rest.

Shut the eyes that drag you
into reality and leave you there,
the eyes that see far too much
before they even have time to focus.

Plug the ears that let in the voices
and sentences that keep you awake
because they are continuously running
through your brain at night,
daring to consume the image
you have of yourself and the world.

Close the mouth that stumbles,
the mouth that hesitates to say what you want
at the time you need it to.
The mouth that causes regret
that pulses through your entire body
like tiny ants beneath your skin.

Turn loose of the memories,
all of them.

Shed the layers that have built up
upon your body,
and let them fall to the floor
like satin in slow motion.

Leave every person you’ve ever known behind you.
Leave them in the black
where all your memories have gone.

Then lay in your bed
and forget the feeling of your body.
Float in the nothingness and whiteness of clarity.
For then you may find rest.
By: Chelsea C. Howard

22.The Ugly And The Beauty In Real Life

The Ugly And The Beauty In Real Life

Betrayal
Love
Loyalty
Respect

These all part of real life.
All part of everyday life.
Part of the life we live.
Part of life that shall never change.

Real life is no game.
Real life is dangerous.
Real life brings pain.
Real life brings fear.

Real life isn’t easy.
Real life is the world and the world is real life.
Real life is full of sorrow and hate.
For real life brings joy and happiness.
.
Also brings betrayal and death.
Real life is precious and wont last for ever.
So Enjoy real life as long as you can .
Before its gone and never comes back.
By:Jose Cruz

22.Music Is Poetry

Music Is Poetry

Music is poetry
An expression of the heart
I can feel it in me when the music starts
My blood is flowing
My mind is free
It’s beautiful when someone
Is feeling the same as me
Words are the pristine way to uplift
An emotion
My words are my heart
My paper is my sleeve
I wonder if someone feels the same as me

By:Kristine Black

23.Time

Time

Time
Has always been there.
It was the beginning,
And it’s going to be the end.
It is forever changing, never the same as it was before.
It was a minute here,
A century there.
It saw the creation of everything,
And it will see the destruction of all.
It is a universal and eternal entity.
We regret when we waste it.
We wish we had more when we run out.
However, when we do have it, we don’t use it wisely.
We waste it, believing that we’ll have it forever.
We don’t realize that it’ll eventually leave us,
Continuing long after we’re gone.
It is neither a friend nor an enemy.

By:Andres G. Rendon

24.A Rule Never Spoken

A Rule Never Spoken

A crowded room,
Buzzing conversations,
First Impressions,
Are the foundations,
Lots of new faces,
Trying to figure out,
You and other people,
What everyone’s about,

There’s a lady with a smile,
Crying on the inside,
A man who looks happy,
With a son who’s died,
An old beggar in the corner,
No one goes near him,
But he’s the most interesting of all,
However dark and grim,

Silent words are exchanged,
Glances between familiar friends,
Clashes of opinion,
They never end,
Like two sticks rubbing together,
Some people alight,
But others are the water,
Trying to stop the fight,

Smiles with hidden truths,
Shoot across the room,
Though everyone knows the meaning,
These are smiles of doom,
Strangers do not mix,
It is the well known rule,
Though a rule never spoken,
It effects us all,
By:Becky

25.My Sanctuary

My Sanctuary

The sun is setting
The leaves fall-fall is setting in
There’s a slight breeze outside
It’s getting cold
I walk outside to feel the breeze against my face
I close my eyes and listen…
I live in a world where there’s so much life around me
But for that moment I feel like I’m the only one
The only one, and for that moment I picture myself in another place
My Sanctuary
I go over and sit on a bench and can hear the birds overhead
My mind starts to wander
Life wouldn’t seem so bad as a bird
They get to see the world
I would like to see the world
So much I have yet to see
So many people I have yet to meet
I open my eyes
I go back inside
Back to reality
By:Marci

26.Life With You

 

Life With You

27.I’m Lost

I'm Lost

I feel like I’m dying
looking all around me
all I see is destruction and death.
I want to die,
I get a knife
I put it to my skin
all I want to do is see I can feel.
I look up and…
your there.
I see if I can tell what your thinking,
all I can see is concern and sadness.
I put down the knife, and run into your arms to cry.
I say “I’m lost,” that’s all I can say.
You say, “Your safe now. I can help you. All you have to do is ask.”
I don’t know what to do, I’m scared and hurt but I can feel your love.”
WHAT DO I DO?

By:Rebecca

28.My World In Tears

My World In Tears

When I started to break
You glued me together
I began to suffer through pain
and ignore all the rain
but life began to tremble with a problem after another
you scared me with blood
and he hurt me with tears
it’s no lie
I do wish I can die
but I know death is not the solution to everything I hear
I know he will be better
and I know I can wait
but if you’re not wanting this
stop giving me this race!
I can stop at the red light
but life goes green
can I get a speeding ticket
when my life turns grey
help me to be the only color
help me to escape from grey
no more rain no more tears.
let my world fly out of here!
By:Eonis Cibrian

29.Afterwards

Afterwards

When word comes that you are gone
what will be said of you?
Those who only knew you casually
will say charitable platitudes.
For that’s the thing to do when
death closes out fond or ill remembrances.

But how will those that cared remember you?
He lived a good life, they’ll say.
Good as in good health, good parent or spouse.
But how cast your shadow
after all decays with time?
Is anyone better because of you?

You stood in awe of nature and the universe.
Will they say, he noticed such things?
You reverenced life of all creatures.
Will they say , it meant much to him?
You loved the arts.
Will they say, he excelled at none but tried?
You believed, but your doubts were many.
Will they say, he had concern for his fellow man?
By:Wilton Parr

30.Strong & Steady

Strong & Steady

In
And out.
Strong and steady
Are the breaths.

Boom.
Boom.
Strong and steady
Is the heartbeat.

Tick.
Tick.
Strong and steady.
Is the clock.

Pitter.
Patter.
Drip.
Drop.
Strong and steady
Are the raindrops.

STRONG
And STEADY
And FULL
Is the life of one who achieves.

WEAK
And USELESS
And EMPTY
Is the life of one who is
BROKEN.
By:Hannah

31.Too Late

Too Late

I feel like it’s to late
to apologize for everything
that I’ve ever done wrong

I feel like it’s to late
to change who I’ve become
back to what I was

I feel like it’s to late
because I’ve probably giving up
and “I don’t care”

I feel like it’s to late
too many tears have already been shed
and the past can’t change

they say it’s never to late
but then why does time exist
By:Heather Hauge

32.Life

Life

Life is full of surprises and shocks
while we are planning and deciding
our next move,
our course of action
It moves in opposite direction,
without warning
while we spend a lifetime,
thinking and planning
about our future,
our loved ones
It takes a step further beyond our thinking
everything about life is always uncertain
the only thing constant thing about it is
it is always moving
so keep moving,
keep smiling always
By:Anjali

33.Crazy Days

Crazy Days

crazy days are loud and great
funny, happy
a memorable treat

crazy days you never forget
filled with laughter
not regret

crazy days are the best
warm and loving
and totally blessed

crazy days are fun and exciting
scary and wild
thunder and lightning

these crazy days you never forget
as these are special memories
locked in our heart
By:Tashajade

34.Over Time

Over Time

In the beginning
there is a living room
whose tiles smell of Pine-Sol
Lemon Fresh
a mother running around:
a worker bee
making sure it’s all perfect
and two children
sitting on a battered old couch
waiting on the routine:
a stretch and a groan
to announce his arrival
It finally comes
an epic yawn from down the hall
bellows like the roar of some worn out bear
“Dad’s home!”
the children giggle and race down the hall
throw themselves into his arms

That was in the beginning
when a father juggled lemons
grinned wide from ear to ear
a jovial clown
who drew a laugh from his crowd
and a mother scolded
“You’ll bruise all the fruit!”
while she laughed

In time
a mother ceased to laugh
instead she cried
behind the bathroom door
and a father
whose absence echoed down the halls
a jovial clown
packed his lemons
and bowed to the crowd
A mother said
“It’s not your fault”
but the Lemon Fresh
went down the drain
like the relationship
between two people
who were trying to stay sane

Two children
wandered through a hazy fog
until one day it became clear
that a mother could stretch and groan:
fill the silence in the halls
and juggle
the laughter
the tears
the pain and the fear
just as well as a father
who disappeared

That day I knew
that I can’t always flinch when I think of you
that I must look to myself for guidance
and that sometimes I must fill the silence
that I must replace the hate in my heart with love
because it’s better to forgive and forget
than to share my life with pain and regret
By:Cindy P.

35.Land Of Eternal Zits

Land Of Eternal Zits

The beach is the land of eternal youth
Where hormones rage
And all is pleasant to the eye
Perfect forms and
Perfect fits
In the land of eternal zits.

The lonely man by himself
Holds his book to cover his shame
Too many calories
His only joy is fantasy
He never takes off his shirt
He watches her take off her skirt

The lonely girl by herself
Undresses in front of all
Puts herself on display
Wonders if he notices her
She lays in the sun
Desiring some fun

His blood pumps for her
He stares at the same page in his book
Frozen in time
He glances at her through his sunglasses
With all his heart he would serve
If only he had the nerve

Old couples watch as they bounce the ball
Back and forth
They remember the days of their youth
The wind takes them to a different place
Suddenly there is rust
Where there once was lust.
By:Jarrod Dillon

36.Point To Life

Point To Life

to the eye of the broken trail
if not faster then an unborn snail

with tears of red to which did cry
with all life known that had to die

and not perceive the standing door
to wish that life was not a bore

and heaven and hell had to fight
and scream through out the dreary night
By:Sean Schroeder

37. Life

Life

you may be tough
but life is rough
we go through bad times
it’s always hard
but don’t commit a crime
cuz life will be even more rough
and you won’t be tough

By:Breanna Burrage

38:Cactus

Cactus

Pansy, marigold and rose
No takers for their beauty
Cactus-collection is the rage
Flowers are not in favour
Thorns prick the drawing-rooms.

Exchanged
As gifts of love
Exhibited
With puff and pride
Freezing all fine feelings.

Depravity, deformity
Cold cunning
Of modern mind
Sprouting up
In cactus-craze.
By:Vijay Vishal

39.Vanities

Vanities

It’s senseless.

The hand that rips the page of poetry.
The snake that chews the eye of the skull.
The flies that eat the carcass of the hare.

It’s all senseless.

The woman drains the chalice
And vomits blood.
The man ascends the mountain
And collapses in mud.
The boy who murders his parents
Sees them every night by his bed.

It’s senseless, all senseless.
By:Michael Monkhouse

40.Purpose

Purpose

Don’t be nervous when finding your purpose.
To simply be alive is just scratching the surface.

As life goes on, you will find out the truth.
Blissful ignorance is only for the youth.

As you get older, you start to wonder
Why am I here? Was it just a blunder?

Whatever your purpose, it is for you to choose,
Because wasting your time wondering is of no use.
By:Anxhelo Llangozi

41.Dream Deferred

Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

by:Langston Hughes

42.The Road Not Take

The Road Not Take

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 By:Robert Frost

43.There is another sky

There is another sky

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!
By:Emily Dickinson

44.Life Is Fine

Life Is Fine

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

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

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

By:Langston Hughes

45.A Girl

A Girl

The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast-
Downward,
The branches grow out of me, like arms.Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child – so high – you are,
And all this is folly to the world.
 By:Ezra Pound

46.Still I Rise

Still I Rise

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.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

By:Maya Angelou

47.The New Poetry Handbook

The New Poetry Handbook

1 If a man understands a poem,
he shall have troubles.

2 If a man lives with a poem,
he shall die lonely.

3 If a man lives with two poems,
he shall be unfaithful to one.

4 If a man conceives of a poem,
he shall have one less child.

5 If a man conceives of two poems,
he shall have two children less.

6 If a man wears a crown on his head as he writes,
he shall be found out.

7 If a man wears no crown on his head as he writes,
he shall deceive no one but himself.

8 If a man gets angry at a poem,
he shall be scorned by men.

9 If a man continues to be angry at a poem,
he shall be scorned by women.

10 If a man publicly denounces poetry,
his shoes will fill with urine.

11 If a man gives up poetry for power,
he shall have lots of power.

12 If a man brags about his poems,
he shall be loved by fools.

13 If a man brags about his poems and loves fools,
he shall write no more.

14 If a man craves attention because of his poems,
he shall be like a jackass in moonlight.

15 If a man writes a poem and praises the poem of a fellow,
he shall have a beautiful mistress.

16 If a man writes a poem and praises the poem of a fellow overly,
he shall drive his mistress away.

17 If a man claims the poem of another,
his heart shall double in size.

18 If a man lets his poems go naked,
he shall fear death.

19 If a man fears death,
he shall be saved by his poems.

20 If a man does not fear death,
he may or may not be saved by his poems.

21 If a man finishes a poem,
he shall bathe in the blank wake of his passion
and be kissed by white paper.

By:Mark Strand

48.Digging

Digging

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pin rest; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it

By:Seamus Heaney

49:Angry

Angry

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 veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see,
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree

50.I Am Not Yours

I Am Not Yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

By:Sara Teasdale

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