Last Updated on December 20, 2022
“Life” is such a broad and elusive term that it means different things to different people.
To some people, life is simply the state of mere survival. While to others, life denotes the sum of all the experiences we’ve amassed from the day we came into this world, as well as what we’re yet to encounter as we match on into the unpredictable future.
Regardless of what you perceive life to be, one thing is for sure; you’ll need constant inspiration to be able to get through it all. And that’s where life poems come in.
As you may already know, no single experience in life lasts forever. There will be moments of joy and moments of utter disappointment. Moments of hope and moments of despair. There will also be moments when you feel powerfully motivated to face your adversities and moments when you must surrender gracefully to the inevitable.
During such times, life poems can go a long way in helping you embrace your situation.
We’ve prepared a collection of 35 most powerful life poems to turn to when you need comfort and motivation.
1. 26 Things That Are Completely Under Your Control by Caleb LP Gunner
How honest you are
Who your friends are
What books you read
How often you exercise
The type of food you eat
How many risks you take
How you interpret the situation
How kind you are to others
How kind you are to yourself
How often you say “I love you.”
How often you say “thank you.”
How you express your feelings
Whether or not you ask for help
How often you practice gratitude
How many times you smile today
The amount of effort you put forth
How you spend / invest your money
How much time you spend worrying
How often you think about your past
Whether or not you judge other people
Whether or not you try again after a setback
How much you appreciate the things you have
2. A Life in Progress by Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui
Fear is loud and bossy.
She can be vicious at times.
And the worst of it is that
she often mingles truth with fiction.
But you must learn to challenge
the stories she feeds you.
You get to be the boss of your thoughts.
You can learn to question
whether or not
everything she tells you
and nothing but the truth.
Since you have done the work
to deepen self-awareness
when she throws all your past failings
in your face you won’t crumble
because you already know you are imperfect…
AND you are beautiful
of building a
thoughtfully crafted life.
3. Barefoot Five by Brooke Hampton
but not in the way
most people accept.
I’m busy calming my fear
and finding my courage.
I’m busy listening to my kids.
I’m busy getting in touch
with what is real.
I’m busy growing things and
connecting with the natural world.
I’m busy questioning my answers.
I’m busy being present in my life.
4. Before I… by Insiya K. Patanwala
Before I became strong, I knew what it was like
To be weak,
How difficult it is to love yourself,
To find the wholeness that you seek.
Before I knew the light,
I have had my fair share of darkness, too,
Where my world fell into a hopelessness
And I didn’t know how to get through.
For I have known the tears it takes,
The courage to stand up again,
When you are broken down and bruised
And you know nothing but the pain.
You forget to appreciate love,
If you haven’t seen the hate,
Till you forget the meaning of smile and laughter,
And your heart is left abate.
I have known the strength and courage
It requires to get it right,
To face the things that hold you down
And hold your head up and fight.
Before I was who I am now,
I was someone I didn’t want to be.
I was lost, battered, and defeated,
Before I knew how to be me!
5. Butterflies and Pebbles by S.C. Lourie
Go into this week
with the attitude that
your health of mind,
and your heart
mean more than
getting everything else done.
That your smile matters,
That feeling rested matters.
That holding the hand
of your loved ones matter.
So pause lots,
function at a pace
that doesn’t pull you apart.
Honour the things that
make you feel good inside,
the things that make you feel alive.
Give time to those things this week.
Make time the gift it is,
by giving it to what really matters to you.
6. Changing the Past by Donna
The past is the past for a reason.
That is where it is supposed to stay,
But some cannot let it go.
In their heads it eats away
Until all their focus becomes
The person they used to be,
The mistakes they made in their life.
Oh, if only they could see
That you cannot change what happened,
No matter how hard you try,
No matter how much you think about it,
No matter how much you cry.
What happens in your lifetime
Happens for reasons unknown,
So you have to let the cards unfold.
Let your story be shown.
Don’t get wrapped up in the negative.
Be happy with what you have been given.
Live for today not tomorrow.
Get up, get out, and start living,
Because the past is the past for a reason.
It’s been, and now it is gone,
So stop trying to think of ways to fix it.
It’s done, it’s unchangeable; move on.
7. Death Is Nothing At All by Harry Scott-Holland
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Each Moment Is Precious by Patricia A. Fleming
Live in the moment,
Just take it all in.
Pay attention to everything,
Right there and right then.
Don’t let your mind wander
To what’s coming next.
Cherish this moment
And give it your best.
Don’t let tomorrow
Make you rush through today,
Or too many great moments
Will just go to waste.
And the person you’re with,
In that moment you share,
Give them all of your focus;
Be totally there.
Laugh till it hurts,
Let the tears drop.
Fill up each moment
With all that you’ve got.
Don’t miss the details;
The lesson is there.
Don’t get complacent;
Stay sharp and aware.
It can take but a moment
To change your life’s path.
And once it ticks by,
There is no going back.
In just 60 seconds,
You may make a new friend.
Find your true love,
Or see a life start or end.
You become who you are
In those moments you live.
And the growth’s not in taking
But in how much you give.
Life is just moments,
So precious and few.
Whether valued or squandered,
It’s all up to you!
11. Faith and Courage in Life by Angie M Flores
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”
12. Finding Hope Patricia A. Fleming
I’ve always viewed life from the side lines,
Just watching it passing me by.
In the past, too afraid to just let go and live,
And lately too tired to try.
I’ve envied the people around me
So invested in living each day,
While I spent my time hiding out from the world
And searching for ways to escape.
For most of my life I truly believed
I was here to help somebody else,
But now it’s so clear it was just an excuse.
To avoid living life for myself.
It’s sad that our lives and the pain we endure
Can weaken our strength to move on,
But if we get lost in the scars of our past,
Without knowing our lives will be gone.
It’s true, people are disappointing,
They can turn in the blink of an eye,
But we can’t avoid hurting each other,
When we all want a chance at this life.
But there’s something I’ve learned through the wisdom of age,
A truth about all of our lives,
And that is no matter what path we each take,
In the end, we just want to survive.
So the time has now come to conquer my fears
And to stand up and face a new day.
Let the hurts of my past wash away with my tears
And stop letting my life slip away.
13. Happiness by Carl Sandburg
I ASKED the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell
me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of
thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though
I was trying to fool with them
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along
the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with
their women and children
and a keg of beer and an
14. Help Yourself to Happiness By Helen Steiner Rice
Everybody, everywhere seeks happiness, it’s true,
But finding it and keeping it seem difficult to do.
Difficult because we think that happiness is found
Only in the places where wealth and fame abound.
And so we go on searching in palaces of pleasure
Seeking recognition and monetary treasure,
Unaware that happiness is just a state of mind
Within the reach of everyone who takes time to be kind.
For in making others happy we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away returns to shine on you.
15. 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.
16. I Am By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I Know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go;
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and murk
Another truth shines plain –
It is my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.
17. I Am Not Everyone by Sylvester McNutt III
I am not for everyone.
I know my truth,
I know who I am,
I know what I do and
do not bring to the table.
I’m not easy to deal with
but I do bring tons of value.
I bring love and strength,
but I am not perfect,
and if I don’t fit in
with a person or group
that is okay with me.
18. 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?
19. 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!
20. Live Life by Livelovelaugh
Life is crazy
And totally unpredictable…
It’s going to push you over,
Kick you while you’re down,
And hit you when you try to get back up.
Not everything can beat you.
Things are going to change you,
But you get to choose which ones you let change you.
Listen to your heart,
Follow your dreams,
And let no one tell you what you’re capable of.
Push the limits,
Bend the rules,
And enjoy every minute of it.
Laugh at everything.
Live for as long as you can.
But trust none.
Believe in yourself,
And never lose faith in others.
Settle for nothing but only the best,
And give 110% in everything you do.
Live on the edge,
Yet stay safe,
And cherish every moment of it.
Life is a gift.
Appreciate all the rewards,
And jump on every opportunity.
Not everyone’s going to love you,
But who needs them anyway?
And fight for what you believe.
Back down to nothing,
But give in to the little things in life,
After all, that is what makes you.
Forget the unnecessary,
But remember everything.
Bring it with you everywhere you go.
Learn something new,
And appreciate criticism.
But dislike what you want.
Never forget where you came from,
And always remember where you are going.
Live life to its fullest,
And have a reason for everything,
Even if it’s totally insane.
Find your purpose in life,
And live it!
21. Living an Inspirational Life by Unknown Author
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
22. Living in the Present by Unknown Author
An amazing thing happens when
you get honest with yourself and
start doing what you love,
what makes you happy.
You stop wishing for the weekend.
You stop merely looking forward to special events.
You begin to live
in each moment
and you start feeling
like a human being.
You just ride the wave that is life,
with this feeling of
contentment and joy.
You move fluidly,
A veil is lifted,
and a whole new perspective
23. My Credo of Life by Patricia A. Fleming
Let me live within the moment.
Let me feel all that I can.
Let me cherish life for all it’s worth,
With everything I am.
Let me see what’s right in front of me,
With vision crystal clear.
And face what’s waiting there for me,
With no hesitance or fear.
May I wake each day with gratitude,
For all my life may be.
And always feel that wonderment
At the world surrounding me.
May I welcome any strangers
With an open heart and mind.
And always stand for what is right
With all the strength that I can find.
Let me forgive myself for my mistakes,
While forgiving others theirs.
And never grow indifferent
But always strive to care.
Let me not forget what matters
In the scheme of every day,
To live each precious moment
In a kind and loving way.
For this moment now is everything,
Nothing matters but today.
So I’ll willingly embrace it
And not let it slip away.
For it passes all so quickly,
And one chance is all we get.
And a life of wasted moments
Is a life filled with regrets.
24. On The Radio by Regina Spektor
This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath
No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again
25. Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
26. Pain Ends by Katy A. Brown
Breathe in the fresh air,
Put your mind at ease.
Let down your hair,
Let it flow in the breeze.
Let your eyes wander
To all the beauty to be seen.
If those toxic thoughts you still do ponder,
Then let out a scream.
Scream until the pain is gone,
Until you no longer feel afraid.
Open your eyes to a new dawn,
Let the darkness fade.
No longer compare yourself
Or your flaws to others’ perfections.
Take the negativity off the shelf.
Focus on your direction.
Pick the sadness up off the floor,
Sweep it into the wind.
Close the door on self-hatred.
Never let it back in.
For the lies it would often tell you,
You will no longer agree.
Happiness and love are what you should hold onto.
They are whom you should give the key.
Pay no attention to the toxic thoughts,
Listen to those who adore everything you are.
Overthinking was what you once were taught,
But now those thoughts you put in a jar.
Focus on your goals,
Never lose your fight.
It’s time to open new scrolls.
Everything will be all right.
27. Still Here by Langston Hughes
I been scarred and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun has baked me,
Looks like between ’em they done
Tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’–
But I don’t care!
I’m still here!
28. Symphony by William Henry Channing
To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion,
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages,
with open heart,
to bear all cheerfully,
to all bravely await occasions,
In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden
and unconscious grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
29. 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
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live.
30. The Man Who Thinks He Can by Walter D. Wintle
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t;
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the word we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will,
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outcasted, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.
31. The Parent’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
32. The Strongest Girl I Ever Knew by Ronald Doe
She never got to dance
Or go to her own prom.
She never got the chance
To forget where she came from.
She never got to kiss,
A man she idolized.
She never felt love’s bliss,
‘Cause she was paralyzed.
She never got to talk
About love with a smile.
She never got to walk
Down a church’s aisle.
She never got to say
Those precious words, “I Do.”
But she was far and away
The strongest girl I ever knew.
She couldn’t brush her hair
Or put make up on her face.
She couldn’t hold you dear
Or give you a warm embrace.
She couldn’t clasp her hands
As if in the form of prayer.
She couldn’t understand
Why she was in a wheelchair.
She never showed her fears
Or let you hear her cries.
She never showed the tears
That fell down from her eyes.
She never looked for pity
Or sympathy from you.
That’s why she’ll always be
The strongest girl I ever knew.
33. The True Meaning of Life by Patricia A. Fleming
The Years have passed by,
In the blink of an eye,
Moments of sadness,
And joy have flown by.
People I loved,
Have come and have gone,
But the world never stopped,
And we all carried on.
Life wasn’t easy,
And the struggles were there,
Filled with times that it mattered,
Times I just didn’t care.
I stood on my own,
And I still found my way,
Through some nights filled with tears,
And the dawn of new days.
And now with old age,
It’s become very clear,
Things I once found important,
Were not why I was here.
And how many things,
That I managed to buy,
Were never what made me,
Feel better inside.
And the worries and fears,
That plagued me each day,
In the end of it all,
Would just fade away.
But how much I reached out,
To others when needed,
Would be the true measure,
Of how I succeeded.
And how much I shared,
Of my soul and my heart,
Would ultimately be,
What set me apart.
And what’s really important,
Is my opinion of me,
And whether or not,
I’m the best I can be.
And how much more kindness,
And love I can show,
Before the Lord tells me,
It’s my time to go.
34. Time by Joe Massocco
Tick tock…tick tock…
Life is counting down on your internal clock.
Memories that feel 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 once was 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.
35. You Will Never See Me Fall by Joyce Alcantara
You may see me struggle,
but you won’t see me fall.
Regardless if I’m weak or not,
I’m going to stand tall.
Everyone says life is easy,
but truly living it is not.
Times get hard,
and constantly get put on the spot.
I’m going to wear the biggest smile,
even though I want to cry.
I’m going to fight to live,
even though I’m destined to die.
And even though it’s hard
and I may struggle through it all,
you may see me struggle…
but you will NEVER see me fall.
The Bottom Line
Memorizing the above life poems isn’t enough. You must also put them into practice if you wish to overcome every challenge that life throws your way.
To do that, you can consider reciting one poem each morning and aligning your life with the poem’s underlining theme. What’s more, you can even harness these poems into positive affirmations and recite them whenever the situation calls for it.