Life is like a beautiful journey, filled with moments of joy, wonder, challenges, and growth. When you need a quick dose of inspiration or want to gain fresh perspectives with life lessons, most famous short poems will capture the essence of life’s beauty and complexity.
Get ready to smile, reflect, and share the wisdom of these most beautiful short poems about life with your friends and family. These inspirational short poems about life will touch your heart, uplift your spirit, and make you appreciate the incredible adventure that is life itself.
Table of Contents
Short Life Poems
Risk, by Anaïs Nin
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
Life is something we all share,
Just like oxygen in the air.
The way we live it, is up to us,
With a negative or with a plus.
Life is something we should cherish,
We never know when we’ll perish.
Live each and every single day,
Smell the flowers, stop and play.
Life is something we’ve been blessed,
Choice is yours; choose your quest.
Follow your passions, and you’ll be fine,
With the right attitude, you will shine.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers, by Emily Dickinson
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
Perseverance, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe, golden ears,
Unless we have first been sowers,
And watered the flowers with tears.
It is not just as we take it,
This wonderful world of ours
Life’s field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.
The Dust of Snow, by Robert Frost
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
Unity, by Susan Coolidge
If I were told that I must die to-morrow,
That the next sun
Which sinks should bear one past all fear and sorrow
All the fight fought, all the short journey through:
What should I do?
I do not think that I should shrink or falter,
But just go on,
Doing my work, nor change, nor seek to alter
Aught that is gone;
But rise and move and love and smile and pray
For one more day.
The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
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.
The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost
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.
A Life Built, by William Arthur Ward
A life built on the sands of celebrity
Can be wrecked by the rains of reverses.
A life built on the sands of materialism
Can be destroyed by the floods of adversity.
A life built on the sands of pleasure
Can be blown down by the winds of disillusionment.
Only the life that is built on the rock of character
Can withstand the tempests of time.
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
Inspirational Short Poems About Life
The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
this grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
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?
Paint Your Life
Life is like a piece of art,
It requires lots of heart.
Choose your paint and your brush,
Take your time, avoid the rush.
Before you paint, choose your theme,
Don’t be afraid to follow your dream.
It’s alright to make a mistake.
Your painting is real; it’s not fake.
Look at your painting, don’t be crying,
Begin again; keep on trying.
Your painting is never fully complete,
Enjoy the process; make sure it’s sweet.
The Guest House, by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Invictus, by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Time Is Swift
Pluck the rose while blooming;
Now ’tis fresh and bright;
Wait not till to-morrow;
Time is swift in flight.
Do thy deeds of kindness.
Ere to-morrow’s light;
What may come, we know not;
Time is swift in flight.
Would’st thou makes life useful.
Work before ’tis night;
Else thou’llt be regretting.
Time is swift in flight.
Life has many ups and downs,
Loving smiles and also frowns.
Good events and some are bad,
Happy emotions, others mad.
It can be a bumpy ride,
How you handle it, you decide!
Dreams, By Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Nothing Gold Can Stay, by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Beautiful Short Poems About Life and Love
Love After Love, by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
34 from Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur
most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
where you’re sitting
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them
Later Life, by Christina Rossetti
Something this foggy day, a something which
Is neither of this fog nor of today,
Has set me dreaming of the winds that play
Past certain cliffs, along one certain beach,
And turn the topmost edge of waves to spray:
Ah, pleasant pebbly strand so far away,
So out of reach while quite within my reach,
As out of reach as India or Cathay!
I am sick of where I am and where I am not,
I am sick of foresight and of memory,
I am sick of all I have and all I see,
I am sick of self, and there is nothing new;
Oh, weary impatient patience of my lot!
Thus with myself: how fares it, Friends, with you?
Sonnet 29, by William Shakespeare
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope
With what I most enjoy contented least;
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.
When I Die I Want Your Hands on My Eyes, by Pablo Neruda
When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me one more time
to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.
I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep,
I want for your ears to go on hearing the wind,
for you to smell the sea that we loved together
and for you to go on walking the sand where we walked.
I want for what I love to go on living
and as for you I loved you and sang you above everything,
for that, go on flowering, flowery one,
so that you reach all that my love orders for you,
so that my shadow passes through your hair,
so that they know by this the reason for my song.
Life, by Sir Walter Raleigh
What is our life? A play of passion,
Our mirth the music of division,
Our mother’s wombs the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.
Our graves that hide us from the setting sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest; that’s no jest.
Make Me Feel, by Mariah Chandan
Take my heart; I’ll give it with ease.
Take my hand and walk this journey with me.
Take these scars and heal them all up.
Take these fears and make them vanish when things get tough.
Take this smile and make it stretch so wide.
Take these arms and hold me oh so tight.
Take these feelings and make them real.
At the end, show me how to feel.
Passing Time, by Maya Angelou
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a
The Rose Family, by Robert Frost
The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose –
But were always a rose.
Haiku Poems About Life
All Is Not Lost, by Barrie Davenport
The moments of birth
A slick baby cries in awe:
No, all is not lost . . .
Haiku Triad, by Millard Lowe
nature made her decisions:
disaster rained down…
The water rose—
Life sank beneath the level;
hope floated above…
Like Noah, we wait…
flooding water standing still—
Vultures roost on wires.
A World of Dew, by Kobayashi Issa
A world of dew,
And within every dewdrop
A world of struggle.
This Tea, by Barrie Davenport
why should I struggle
to seize life when all I need
is this cup of tea?
Lines on a Skull, by Ravi Shankar
life’s little, our heads
sad. Redeemed and wasting clay
this chance. Be of use.
Care, by Barrie Davenport
The world spins and turns
Slowly — but without mercy
Or care. A leaf falls.