22 Poems About Life

Every day we go through struggles and triumphs as living creatures in this world. It can be difficult to get through hard times, but if we focus more on our wins rather than our losses, we’ll realize life is actually not that bad. Here are some of the best poems about life to help you appreciate the good things you have now and to let people know how much you love this life. 

Poems About Life

1. A Psalm Of Life 

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Tell me not in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream.

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.


Life is real. Life is earnest.

And the grave is not its goal.

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.


Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way,

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.


Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave.


In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle.

Be a hero in the strife.


Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant.

Let the dead Past bury its dead.

Act act in the living present.

Heart within, and God o’erhead.


Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time,


Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.


Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate,

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.


2. The Buried Life

By: Matthew Arnold


Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet,

Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet.

I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll.

Yes, yes, we know that we can jest,

We know, we know that we can smile!

But there’s a something in this breast,

To which thy light words bring no rest,

And thy gay smiles no anodyne.

Give me thy hand, and hush awhile,

And turn those limpid eyes on mine,

And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.


Alas, is even love too weak

To unlock the heart, and let it speak?

Are even lovers powerless to reveal

To one another what indeed they feel?

I knew the mass of men conceal’d

Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal’d

They would by other men be met

With blank indifference, or with blame reproved,

I knew they lived and moved

Trick’d in disguises, alien to the rest

Of men, and alien to themselves and yet

The same heart beats in every human breast!


But we, my love doth a like spell benumb

Our hearts, our voices? must we too be dumb?


Ah well for us, if even we,

Even for a moment, can get free

Our heart, and have our lips unchain’d,

For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain’d.


Fate, which foresaw

How frivolous a baby man would be,

By what distractions he would be possess’d,

How he would pour himself in every strife,

And well-nigh change his own identity

That it might keep from his capricious play

His genuine self, and force him to obey

Even in his own despite his being’s law,

Bade through the deep recesses of our breast

The unregarded river of our life

Pursue with indiscernible flow its way,

And that we should not see

The buried stream, and seem to be

Eddying at large in blind uncertainty,

Though driving on with it eternally.


But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,

But often, in the din of strife,

There rises an unspeakable desire

After the knowledge of our buried life,

A thirst to spend our fire and restless force

In tracking out our true, original course,

A longing to inquire

Into the mystery of this heart which beats

So wild, so deep in us to know

Whence our lives come and where they go.

And many a man in his own breast then delves,

But deep enough, alas! none ever mines.

And we have been on many thousand lines,

And we have shown, on each, spirit and power,

But hardly have we, for one little hour,

Been on our own line, have we been ourselves

Hardly had skill to utter one of all

The nameless feelings that course through our breast,

But they course on for ever unexpress’d.

And long we try in vain to speak and act

Our hidden self, and what we say and do

Is eloquent, is well–but ‘t#is not true!

And then we will no more be rack’d

With inward striving, and demand

Of all the thousand nothings of the hour

Their stupefying power;

Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!

Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn,

From the soul’s subterranean depth upborne

As from an infinitely distant land,

Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey

A melancholy into all our day.

Only but this is rare

When a beloved hand is laid in ours,

When, jaded with the rush and glare

Of the interminable hours,

Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,

When our world deafen’d ear

Is by the tones of a loved voice caress’d

A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,

And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.

The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,

And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.

A man becomes aware of his life’s flow,

And hears its winding murmur and he sees

The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.


And there arrives a lull in the hot race

Wherein he doth for ever chase

That flying and elusive shadow, rest.

An air of coolness plays upon his face,

And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.

And then he thinks he knows

The hills where his life rose,

And the sea where it goes.


3. Life

By: Charlotte Brontë


Life, believe, is not a dream

So dark as sages say,

Oft a little morning rain

Foretells a pleasant day.

Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,

But these are transient all,

If the shower will make the roses bloom,

O why lament its fall?


Rapidly, merrily,

Life’s sunny hours flit by,

Gratefully, cheerily,

Enjoy them as they fly.


What though Death at times steps in

And calls our Best away?

What though sorrow seems to win,

O’er hope, a heavy sway ?

Yet hope again elastic springs,

Unconquered, though she fell;

Still buoyant are her golden wings,

Still strong to bear us well.

Manfully, fearlessly,

The day of trial bear,

For gloriously, victoriously,

Can courage quell despair.

Poems About Life

4. The Small Claim of Bones

By: Cindy Williams Guttierrez 


What my body knows

is not a lie it’s not

a lie I tell you it is not

it’s nothing short of truth

and nothing larger

my past lodges

in my marrow and if

I wanted a transplant

there’d be no match

others’ sorrows dwarf

my petty traumas still

these bones are mine

when they creak

when they moan

when they whine

there’s only one thing

I can claim these bones

are mine I tell you

they are mine and kind

to abandon no thing

that makes this pulse

no one but me.


5. The Street

By: Octavio Paz


It’s a long and silent street.

I walk in the dark and trip and fall

and get up and step blindly

on the mute stones and dry leaves

and someone behind me is also walking.

If I stop, he stops,

if I run, he runs. I turn around, no one.

Everything is black, there is no exit,

and I turn and turn corners

that always lead to the street

where no one waits for me, no one follows,

where I follow a man who trips

and gets up and says when he sees me, no one.

Poems About Life

6. The Rose That Grew From Concrete

By: Tupac Shakur


Did you hear about the rose that grew

from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong it

learned to walk with out having feet.


Funny it seems, but by keeping it’s dreams,

it learned to breathe fresh air.


Long live the rose that grew from concrete

when no one else ever cared.


7. I Took My Power In My Hand

By: Emily Dickinson


I took my power in my hand

And went against the world

‘Twas not so much as David had

But I was twice as bold


I aimed by pebble but myself

Was all the one that fell

Was it Goliath was too large

Or was myself too small?


8. My Life Was the Size of My Life

Jane Hirshfield 


My life was the size of my life.

Its rooms were room-sized,

its soul was the size of a soul.

In its background, mitochondria hummed,

above it sun, clouds, snow,

the transit of stars and planets.

It rode elevators, bullet trains,

various airplanes, a donkey.

It wore socks, shirts, its own ears and nose.

It ate, it slept, it opened

and closed its hands, its windows.

Others, I know, had lives larger.

Others, I know, had lives shorter.

The depth of lives, too, is different.

There were times my life and I made jokes together.

There were times we made bread.

Once, I grew moody and distant.

I told my life I would like some time,

I would like to try seeing others.

In a week, my empty suitcase and I returned.

I was hungry, then, and my life,

my life, too, was hungry, we could not keep

our hands off our clothes on   

our tongues from


9. Life is Fine

By: Langston Hughes


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.


10. Love

By: Elizabeth Barrett Browning


We cannot live, except thus mutually

We alternate, aware or unaware,

The reflex act of life and when we bear

Our virtue onward most impulsively,

Most full of invocation, and to be

Most instantly compellent, certes, there

We live most life, whoever breathes most air

And counts his dying years by sun and sea.

But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth

Throw out her full force on another soul,

The conscience and the concentration both

Make mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole

And aim consummated, is Love in sooth,

As nature’s magnet-heat rounds pole with pole


11. Destined To Fly

By: Ashley Hyder


I remember the day we met.

Too young to see the danger.

I didn’t know the devil you were,

That you’d fill me with so much anger.


At first you gave me comfort,

Numbed me from the pain,

But the light you gave me faded,

Brought blackness to my veins.


Your trap worked as always.

I am not the only one to fall.

So many friends forever gone now,

No one’s left to call.


Dragged me to rock bottom,

Each day a life in hell anew,

Felt there was no possibility

Of breaking this dependence on you.


Every day I woke

With only you on my mind,

Desperate for your love,

More desperate for you to die.


Through time I saw you were evil.

I watched you steal my soul.

Each time I tried to get away,

You would not let me go.


Tried to scream and cry,

Eventually accepted my fate.

Everyone had tried to warn me,

And now it was too late.


Family and friends could never understand,

Couldn’t hear my silent plea.

They did not want to see

The sick effect you had on me.


You locked me in a cell.

You made me freeze at night,

Made me deceive those I loved,

Made me live in constant fright.


Left broken, battered, and bruised,

My number of scars grew.

Both physical and mental,

While the number of wasted years flew.


Went through the motions like a zombie.

No longer did I see

Any type of future

In this world for me.


You erased any shred of hope

When everyone turned their backs.

Difficult to escape this dark hole and cope,

Impossible to defend against your attacks.


I knew no church, no God.

YOU, my ultimate power.

No way to know real love.

I was now a rotted, dead flower.


Then one day it happened.

Most amazing hope one moment brings,

And I decided then and there

That I would grow my wings.


No longer will you take from me

Like you have stolen all these years.

You will never take my life.

No longer will I cry these tears.


I will deal with the pain.

I will swallow all my pride.

I will deal with my life of rubble.

I’m prepared for this difficult ride.


If it kills me to leave you,

Then I will gladly die,

Because with you I’m only surviving,

And I have been destined to fly.


I will soar, laugh, and smile,

Will breathe my life once more.

I will go back to a time

Before you came knocking at my door.


12. Faith And Courage In Life

By: Angie


In life there are people that will hurt us and cause us pain,

but we must learn to forgive and forget and not hold grudges.


In life there are mistakes we will make,

but we must learn from our wrongs and grow from them.


In life there are regrets we will have to live with,

but we must learn to leave the past behind and realize it is something we can’t change.


In life there are people we will loose forever and can’t have back,

but we must learn to let go and move on.


In life there are going to be obstacles that will cause interference,

but we must learn to overcome these challenges and grow stronger.


In life there are fears that will hold us back from what we want,

but we must learn to fight them with the courage from within.


God holds our lives in his hands. He holds the key to our future.

Only he knows our fate.


He sees everything and knows everything.

Everything in life really does happen for a reason,God’s Reason.


13. A Wing And A Prayer

By: Michelle Butler


Under the wing of an angel, we feel protected.

Through prayers to God, we feel connected.


Peace is said to be offered on the wings of a dove.

Prayers can bring peace along with hope, faith, and love.


Wings of a jet plane provide a steady flight.

I pray you remain steady and strong through this fight.


Butterflies have wings to fly playfully free,

And free from this monster is what I pray you’ll soon be.


Birds spread their wings as they may leave their nest.

We’re spreading our prayers that you’ll always be blessed.


Go fight and win this battle you didn’t start.

On the wings of an angel and prayers from my heart.

Poems About Life

14. Perceptions

By: Abimbola T. Alabi


First impressions can be strong

About those we see around.

Yet how often are they wrong?

That is the truth I’ve found.


Not all who cry are weak.

Not everyone who looks can see.

Not all who are quiet are meek.

Not all who nod agree.


Not all who snarl are cruel.

Not everyone generous is just.

Not everyone clumsy is a fool.

Not all who wander are lost.


We never know people’s character.

In just a single instance.

We never know who people are

By judging from a distance.


But whether we like it or not,

We’ll always be around people.

Is it better to know a few people a lot

Or a lot of people a little?


I’d rather know a few people a lot

Than a lot of people a little.


15. Remember Me

By: Kathy J Parenteau


If I were to leave this world today, I’d want to be remembered, it’s true,

for going that extra mile just to show my love for you.

I’d want for you to be proud of me and know I always tried.

When you hurt, I did too, your tears I also cried.

I’d want you to be compassionate to never turn away

from someone who might need a hug or encouragement one day.

I’d want you to know I’m sorry if I ever caused you pain.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and

forgive me just the same.

There are no second chances when God

says it’s time to go.

We only have today to let our feelings show.

Remember this when you say your prayers and count your blessings tonight,

and treasure every precious moment God gives you in this life.


16. 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.


Nothing useless is, or low;

Each thing in its place is best;

And what seems but idle show

Strengthens and supports the rest.


For the structure that we raise,

Time is with materials filled;

Our to-days and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we build.


Truly shape and fashion these;

Leave no yawning gaps between;

Think not, because no man sees,

Such things will remain unseen.


In the elder days of art,

Builders wrought with greatest care

Each minute and unseen part,

For the Gods see everywhere.


Let us do our work as well,

Both the unseen and the seen;

Make the house, where Gods may dwell,

Beautiful, entire, and clean.


Else our lives are incomplete,

Standing in these walls of Time,

Broken stairways, where the feet

Stumble as they seek to climb.


Build to-day, then, strong and sure,

With a firm and ample base;

And ascending and secure

Shall to-morrow find its place.


Thus alone can we attain

To those turrets, where the eye

Sees the world as one vast plain,

And one boundless reach of sky.


17. What Is Our 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.

The earth the stage, heaven the spectator is,

Who sits and views whosoe’er doth act amiss. 

The graves which hide us from the scorching sun

Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.

Thus playing post we to our latest rest,

And then we die in earnest, not in jest.


18. 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.


No chance? Why the world is just eager

For things that you ought to create,

It’s store of true wealth is still meager,

It’s needs are incessant and great,


It yearns for more power and beauty,

More laughter and love and romance,

More loyalty, labor and duty,

No chance why there’s nothing but chance!


For the best verse hasn’t been rhymed yet,

The best house hasn’t been planned,

The highest peak hasn’t been climbed yet,

The mightiest rivers aren’t spanned,


Don’t worry and fret, faint hearted,

The chances have just begun,

For the best jobs haven’t been started,

The best work hasn’t been done.


19. 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.


No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.


No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.


No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.


No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.


A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

Poems About Life

20. Life Ain’t Easy


So you thought it is easy, but now you know.

It is all hailstones here, before the snow.

For what comes just goes, seeking unknown, searching something,

And one day you learn, without pain, we can have nothing.


Too afraid to let go, you hold on to fading memories,

Too sober to realize, melting life in a quest for basic groceries.

Day after day, exploring the vibes, you all learn to grasp.

Cheating with a smile, hoping for a lie, till for the last breath you gasp.


So you thought it is easy, but now you know it is not,

You have to live and enjoy, and never greed for a lot.

Playing games with a bless, a life, you forget what you need

And while you decide between heaven or hell, on earth you can only bleed.


21. Never Lose Hope


In life people come and go, like the waves on the shores,

There is never a dead end, there’s always more to explore.

It is more like an unfinished story where we are the writers,

We make our own life, we just got to hold on to our goals tighter.

So my dear friend don’t ever let the flame of hope out in your life,

And you will find happiness at your door, without having to strive.


22. You Bring The Change


Life is a journey where all good and bad people come your way,

However it doesn’t mean that only the good ones are here to stay.

So don’t be sad if you find bad people surrounding you all the time,

Simply set an example for them to be good, and soon they will mime.


This Is The Time

This is the time to succeed.

This is the time to inspire.

This is the time to think.

This is the time to work.

This is the time to befriend.

This is the time to accomplish.

This is the time to enjoy.

This is the time to adore.

This is the time to love.

This is the time to care.

This is the time to dream.

This is the time to live a great life.


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