Famous Poems About Life to Inspire You

What is life? People have been asking themselves this fundamental question since the time immemorial. However, it seems that the only right answer doesn’t exist. If you look up the word “life” in dictionaries, you will be surprised to discover that each one suggests a different definition. Believe it or not, each person tends to understand and accept this or that phenomena in their own way. Life is no exception.
You can express the way you see and feel this world and life in it through various forms of art. As a genre of literature, poetry has been trying to give its rhymed answer to an eternal question what the meaning is behind our life. Some poems about life are just the result of the author’s reflecting on his/her own life. Other poets let their inner voices speak through 4 stanzas and 5 stanza poems in order to be heard and understood.
Every single lyricist has his own original purpose for writing poems about real life and life problems. The best thing is that we all can learn a lot from those precious pieces of poetry. Bet that you all will find something familiar or close to your heart in every poem presented below.
Here you will find a great variety of poems on life in English written by both contemporary authors and classic poets. If you are looking for the best short poems about life, free poems to share with your friends on Facebook or some great poem examples that suit your way of life, you are in the right place at the right time. We have the best selection of modern and traditional poems for every taste.

Nice Motivational Short Poems About Life

We all know that life is a strict teacher. Sometimes life treats us good, other times, it punishes us for no reason. But despite of all the challenges and obstacles which life gives us, the point is to be strong and ready to overcome anything. Here come short motivational poems that prove that life has a lot of bright colors, not only black and white.

Bumpy Ride

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!


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.

Those We Love

They say the world is round – and yet
I often think it’s square,
So many little hurts we get
From corner’s here and there.

But there’s one truth in life I’ve found
While journeying east and west,
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.

We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those we love the best

My Wage

By Jessie B. Rittenhouse

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.

Life Steps 

By Catherine Pulsifer

Our entire life is made up of choices,
What we decide, the action we take,
the attitude we display
All represent the steps of life.

Sometimes we take two steps forward
And one-step back.
Some of us take baby steps
Some of us take giant steps

But the secret is not to let that
one step back turn into a failure.
Learn from backward steps
And keep on stepping forward in this dance Called Life!

Making Life Worth While

By George Eliot

Every soul that touches yours –
Be it the slightest contact –
Get there from some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies –
To make this life worthwhile
And heaven a surer heritage.

I Love Life

Our life, we may shape and mold,
It’s more precious, than all the gold.
As we wake, there’s a shine,
From our sun, the day is fine.

With our family, life we share,
They love us back, they truly care.
We are never, ever alone,
We are people, we’re not stone.

I love life, for the little things,
When a little child sings.
Abundant joy, we may create,
I love life, it’s truly great!

Awesome Poems About Life with Deep Meaning

While being quite subjective in terms of poetry, the word “deep” is inevitable when it comes to poems about life. What we mean is that it’s not enough to know the right rhymes to words to create a decent poem. If you want it to be meaningful, you have to think outside the box. That’s exactly what we like about the next life poems – they have a deep meaning.


By Joseph Cacciotti

Have you ever driven down a road?
Just to drive with no destination in mind.
The road seems to go on and on
With no stopping point
Life is like that long road going on and on
Not knowing when it’s going to end.
But still you strive for another tomorrow
Hoping that in the long run
Everything will turn out alright
Just like the road though
It must come to an end.

The Span Of Life

by Robert Frost

The old dog barks backwards without getting up.
I can remember when he was a pup.

Poem about life

by Emily Dickinson

A Death blow is a Life blow to Some
Who till they died, did not alive become—
Who had they lived, had died but when
They died, Vitality begun.

I Climb

By Lucy Larcom

Still must I climb if I would rest;
The bird soars upward to his nest;
The young leaf on the tree-top high
Cradles itself within the sky.

I cannot in the valley stay:
The great horizons stretch away;
The very cliffs that wall me round
Are ladders unto higher ground.

I am not glad till I have known
Life that can lift me from mine own;
A loftier level must be won.
A mightier strength to lean upon..

Foundation of Life

By Dorsey Baker

If you are always looking for fault,
that is what you will find-
If you are always looking for fault,
that is what you will find-
and you’ll never have peace of mind.
If you are always looking for the bad,
you’ll never see the good,
If you are always looking for the bad,
you’ll never see the good, surely must be clearly understood-
Don’t look for the shadow and the sun you will see,
Don’t look for the shadow and the sun you will see.
and a better human being you will surely be!


By JV Beaupre

Life is curved
in the shape of a flower,
a curved trajectory
that loops back on itself
repeatedly until the
last petal falls.

The Lesson

By Maya Angelou

I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live.

The Best Famous Poems About Life

When we want to read some interesting poems (whether they are about love, life or flowers – the topic doesn’t really matter), we all search for famous poets first. It seems to us that since these people became famous because of writing, they probably knew more about this life than we do and their poems are definitely worth reading. Well, it’s true, the life poems by famous authors below deserve your attention for sure.

I shall imagine life

by E. E. Cummings

I shall imagine life
is not worth dying, if
(and when) roses complain
their beauties are in vain

but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed’s
a rose, roses (you feel
certain) will only smile

What Are Heavy?

By Christina Rossetti

What are heavy? Sea-sand and sorrow;
What are brief? Today and tomorrow;
What are frail? Spring blossoms and youth;
What are deep? The ocean and truth

The life we have is very great

By Emily Dickinson

The Life we have is very great.
The Life that we shall see
Surpasses it, we know, because
It is Infinity.
But when all Space has been beheld
And all Dominion shown
The smallest Human Heart’s extent
Reduces it to none.

Fire And Ice

By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

The Life That I Have

by Leo Marks

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The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.


by Henry Van Dyke

Let me but live my life from year to year,
With forward face and unreluctant soul;
Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal;
Not mourning for the things that disappear
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear
From what the future veils; but with a whole
And happy heart, that pays its toll
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.

So let the way wind up the hill or down,
O’er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy:
Still seeking what I sought when but a boy,
New friendship, high adventure, and a crown,
My heart will keep the courage of the quest,
And hope the road’s last turn will be the best.


by Pablo Neruda 

I am not jealous
of what came before me.
Come with a man
on your shoulders,
come with a hundred men in your hair,
come with a thousand men between your breasts and your feet,
come like a river
full of drowned men
which flows down to the wild sea,
to the eternal surf, to Time!
Bring them all
to where I am waiting for you;
we shall always be alone,
we shall always be you and I
alone on earth
to start our life!

Beautiful Long Poems About Life

Let’s face it, when it comes to poetry about life, it’s quite hard to keep it short. The chances that you will be able to put everything you know about life and everything you feel about it just in a few words are miserable. Frankly, if someone can explain what life is in a poem consisting of 3 or 4 lines, well, that person is a genius, agree? But, if you aren’t short on time, take a look at some beautifully written long poems.

The Life Of Man

By Sir Francis Bacon

The world’s a bubble; and the life of man less than a span.
In his conception wretched; from the womb so to the tomb:
Curst from the cradle, and brought up to years, with cares and fears.
Who then to frail mortality shall trust,
But limns the water, or but writes in dust.
Yet, since with sorrow here we live oppress’d, what life is best?
Courts are but only superficial schools to dandle fools:
The rural parts are turn’d into a den of savage men:
And where’s a city from all vice so free,
But may be term’d the worst of all the three?

Domestic cares afflict the husband’s bed, or pains his head:
Those that live single, take it for a curse, or do things worse:
Some would have children; those that have them none; or wish them gone.
What is it then to have no wife, but single thralldom or a double strife?
Our own affections still at home to please, is a disease:
To cross the sea to any foreign soil, perils and toil:
Wars with their noise affright us: when they cease,
We are worse in peace:
What then remains, but that we still should cry,
Not to be born, or being born, to die.

To Life

By Thomas Hardy

O Life with the sad seared face,
I weary of seeing thee,
And thy draggled cloak, and thy hobbling pace,
And thy too-forced pleasantry!

I know what thou would’st tell
Of Death, Time, Destiny—
I have known it long, and know, too, well
What it all means for me.

But canst thou not array
Thyself in rare disguise,
And feign like truth, for one mad day,
That Earth is Paradise?

I’ll tune me to the mood,
And mumm with thee till eve;
And maybe what as interlude
I feign, I shall believe!

Each Day A Life

By Robert William Service

I count each day a little life,
With birth and death complete;
I cloister it from care and strife
And keep it sane and sweet.

With eager eyes I greet the morn,
Exultant as a boy,
Knowing that I am newly born
To wonder and to joy.

And when the sunset splendours wane
And ripe for rest am I,
Knowing that I will live again,
Exultantly I die.

O that all Life were but a Day
Sunny and sweet and sane!
And that at Even I might say:
“I sleep to wake again.”

The Test

By L.F. Richard Smith

What mettle are you made of my son?
From what fiber have you been cast?
In glass, or wood, or iron are thee?
By your life are these questions asked.

You may learn much about a man
By his fortitude and his grain,
Only in time will each be tested
Under stress, through fire, or disdain.

When life’s pressures are brought to bear
On the road which you have been sent,
Will you shatter or splinter in angst,
Or will your mettle only be bent?

When love is blessed, but then meets dour;
Enter your heart ‘pon the funeral pyre,
Will you warp and crack, or fume in rage,
Or shall you temper while engulfed by fire?

Now a man of glass can be seen through
With simply a look or a glance.
A man of wood, or what’s left of him
Is by grace of hatchet or lance.

But an iron man, steadfast and true,
With fortitude that time has shapened,
May be bent, and marred, and hardened, but
He can laugh at the test he’s taken.

Ignorant Before The Heavens Of My Life

By Rainer Maria Rilke

Ignorant before the heavens of my life,
I stand and gaze in wonder. Oh the vastness
of the stars. Their rising and descent. How still.
As if I didn’t exist. Do I have any
share in this? Have I somehow dispensed with
their pure effect? Does my blood’s ebb and flow
change with their changes? Let me put aside
every desire, every relationship
except this one, so that my heart grows used to
its farthest spaces. Better that it live
fully aware, in the terror of its stars, than
as if protected, soothed by what is near.

Life is

By Michael Sage

Life is like a river, constantly flowing,
Life is like a tree, constantly growing.
Life is like the desert, constantly changing,
Life is like the oceans, constantly re-arranging,
Life is accepting, both others and yourself,
Life is understanding, and believing in oneself,
Life is committing, and doing the best you can,
Life is believing, and being your own very best fan.
Life is for loving, and also for caring,
Life is for helping, and giving and sharing.
Life is the seeds that you plant each day,
Life is creating a better world in which to stay.

Really Good Poems about Life Everyone Should Read

As a way of expressing oneself, poems have always been popular. Whether you like the way the words are rhymed in a poem or you choose a blank verse over a rhymed one, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you have a chance to see this world through the eyes of other people and you can experience the same feelings as an author of a poem, and it’s great.

It Is

By John McLeod

It’s the little bit of sunshine
Lighting up the dullest day,
That brings a glow of pleasure
As we journey on Life’s way.
It’s the simple things that please us
Like a willing kindness done,
That son blow away each storm-cloud
‘Till once more we see the sun.

Turn again to life

By Mary Lee Hall

If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand
to do something to comfort other hearts than mine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.


By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

IF thou wouldst live unruffled by care,
Let not the past torment thee e’er;
As little as possible be thou annoy’d,
And let the present be ever enjoy’d;
Ne’er let thy breast with hate be supplied,
And to God the future confide.

Point To Life

By Sean Schroeder

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

Life and Death

Life begins with something so small,
Innocent baby, could barely crawl.
Beautiful toddler, grows into a child,
Those teenage years, are often quite wild.

During adulthood, we all try to find,
Unique experiences, rewire each mind.
For several decades, we become so busy,
This is life, sometimes it’s dizzy.

Years go by, we continue to age,
We approach, our final page.
The meaning of life we understand.
Death converts, our body to sand.

Upon the road of my life

by Stephen Crane

Upon the road of my life,
Passed me many fair creatures,
Clothed all in white, and radiant.
To one, finally, I made speech:
“Who art thou?”
But she, like the others,
Kept cowled her face,
And answered in haste, anxiously,
“I am good deed, forsooth;
You have often seen me.”
“Not uncowled,” I made reply.
And with rash and strong hand,
Though she resisted,
I drew away the veil
And gazed at the features of vanity.
She, shamefaced, went on;
And after I had mused a time,
I said of myself, “Fool!”

The Great Rhyming Poems about Life That Are Easy to Remember

Everyone knows that a blank verse and prose in general is far harder to learn by heart. We have singled out a few rhyming poems about life which will be easy for you to remember.

Life’s Harmonies

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Let no man pray that he know not sorrow,
Let no soul ask to be free from pain,
For the gall of to-day is the sweet of to-morrow,
And the moment’s loss is the lifetime’s gain.

Through want of a thing does its worth redouble,
Through hunger’s pangs does the feast content,
And only the heart that has harbored trouble,
Can fully rejoice when joy is sent.

Let no man shrink from the bitter tonics
Of grief, and yearning, and need, and strife,
For the rarest chords in the soul’s harmonies,
Are found in the minor strains of life.


By Dr. Janice Marie Murrell

Sprinkle some seed along
your road of life, for the
growth of love that blossoms
bright, and when your life
is in full bloom. Separate
strife that has no room.
Nurture your life with sun light
and prayer, for such loveliness
for others to share. Although
storms of life, touches all
God will help you not to fall.
for your seeds are abundantly
blessed, and from them grows
lifes best, your life will thrive
steadfast and strong from the
seeds you have strewn.


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.

Life’s Too Short

Life’s too short, to simply waste,
Slow it down, don’t move with haste.
Time is once, you get to spend,
Carefully choose, every friend.

Life’s too short, to change careers,
Choice is yours, they’re your years.
Maybe once, or maybe twice,
Look inside, to find advice.

Life’s too short, to just complain,
Rid negativity from your brain.
Life’s too short, time won’t freeze,
Enjoy it all, won’t you please.

Life Is A Short Venture
By Sidney Johnson

The weight of the world is grievous,
That any man should wish to bear,
Would be a foolish vocation,
Heavy burdened and despair.
Fools would be wise to shun such onus,
Life is a short venture into the ages,
The passage of which must be taken,
And we might yet determine its wages.

Three score and ten we are measured,
More if by faith we are blest,
Toil and trouble and then tis over,
Bowing heads enter then into rest,
So let lay away every burden we may,
Grasping the staff as we go,
Onward to kingdoms yet to be won,
Winding rivers will carry the flow.

Life Still Has Meaning

By Anonymous

If there is a future, there is time for mending-
Time to see your troubles coming to an ending.
Life is never hopeless however great your sorrow-
If you’re looking forward to a new tomorrow.

If there is time for wishing then there is time for hoping-
When through doubt and darkness you are blindly groping.
Though the heart be heavy and hurt you may be feeling-
If there is time for praying there is time for healing.

So if through your window there is a new day breaking-
Thank God for the promise, though mind and soul be aching,
If with harvest over there is grain enough for gleaning-
There is a new tomorrow and life still has meaning.

Beautiful Poetry Answering the Question ‘What is life?”

What’s the meaning of life? This and many other similar questions have always been at the top of the list of questions that cannot be answered in a simple way. Each person’s life is unique and so each person has their own understanding of life. Luckily, there’s poetry with the help of which it is easier to give an answer to such questions as “what is life”.

What Is Life

by Samuel Coleridge

Resembles Life what once was held of Light,
Too ample in itself for human sight?
An absolute Self an element ungrounded
All, that we see, all colours of all shade
By encroach of darkness made?
Is very life by consciousness unbounded?
And all the thoughts, pains, joys of mortal breath,
A war-embrace of wrestling Life and Death?


By James Grengs

suffering, endless
(until the end.)
consumed with obsessions,
driven by emotions,
blessing but bane of men.
enjoy it, drink it,
feel it: only thus do you truly

It’s Life

By Andrew Long

Pain, sorrow, guilt and shame,
What is it? It’s life.

Triumph, success, glory, and fame,
What is it? It’s life.

Life is of truth, happiness, success, and such; life is also pain, lies, sorrow, loss, and much.
It changes every day in many ways, it’s true, It’s life.

The way it changes is unknown, because the change comes out of the blue.
What is it? It’s life.


By William Henry 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.

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.

Journey of Life

By Neptune Barman

Life`s a journey
Every journey has beginning and an end
We`re travellers in this journey of life
Our thoughts direct ways in the journey
This journey full of obstacles
But, need to face happily,
it has great value.
We born here for experience of this journey
This journey consists both positive and negative
It teaches us move forward and fulfill our dreams.
Life`s a journey, an unavoidable journey
Whichever way we want, we travel
And the path, we choose leads us our destiny

My meaning of Life

By Emily David

The meaning of life has no definition,
it’s never the same,
how it’s different,
makes it unique,
for every living soul,
My meaning of life is like a tree filled with leaves,
some leaves fall and others don’t,
Like the million of stars struck in space,
waiting to be discovered,
Like fire, can cause war or peace,
Like money,
used and wasted,
abused and hated,
loved and wanted,
But is there a meaning to it?
Is there a meaning to your life?
I don’t know, you decide.


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