Poems about Life (An Account of Hardships, Joys, and Sadness)

“Life” is such a wide umbrella; a word that covers many, many things, and everyone’s experience of it is different. So let’s narrow it down. Let’s look at some poems about life that crack open how life can feel when we’re struggling and things are hard…but also ones that put a balm on that wound.

Life Poems about Life

Poems about Life

There’s a lot of shit going on right now. There always is, but it’s been sharp and thorny lately, and sometimes we need someone to put that into the words we just don’t have in us.

Words that make us feel heard and understood, that acknowledge our pain and how heavy life can feel.

1. My Life Was the Size of My Life

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

Poem by Jane Hirshfield


2. Daisy Cutter

Pause here at the flower stand—mums
And gladiolas, purple carnations

Dark as my heart. we are engaged
In a war, and i want to drag home

Any distraction i can carry. Tonight
Children will wake to bouquets of fire

That will take their breath away. Still,
I think of my life. The way you hold me,

Sometimes, you could choke me.
There is no way to protect myself,

Except by some brilliant defense. I want
The black iris with their sabered blooms.

I want the flame throwers: the peonies,
The sunflowers. I will cut down the beautiful ones

And let their nectared sweetness bleed
Into the careless air. this is not the world

I’d hoped it could be. it is horrible,
The way we carry on. last night, you catalogued

Our arsenal. You taught me devastation
Is a goal we announce in a celebration

Of shrapnel. Our bombs shower
In anticipation of their marks. You said this

Is to assure damage will be widely distributed.
What gruesome genius invents our brutal hearts?

When you touch me i am a stalk of green panic
And desire. Wait here while i decide which

Of these sprigs of blossoming heartbreak i can afford
To bring into my home. Tonight dreams will erupt

In chaotic buds of flame. This is the world we have
Arranged. it is horrible, this way we carry on.

Poem by Camille T. Dungy

3. Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
Love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and i will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
Are moving across the landscapes,
Over the prairies And the deep trees,
The mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
Are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
Over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.

Poem by Mary Oliver

4. The Rose that Grew from Concrete

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.


Poem by Tupac Shakur

5. I Took My Power in My Hand

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?

Poem by Emily Dickinson

6. The Guest House

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’re 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Poem by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Life Poems about Life

7. 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 God’s 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 God’s glory
At every single chance.

Poem by Nordica D Lindgren

8. 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 life goes on,
and it hurts when someone leaves and is gone.

So always remember, keep your head up,
because another door is opened every time one is shut.

Poem by Desiree Kimbrue

Life Poems about Life

9. See it Through

When you’re up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim,
But don’t let your nerve desert you;
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,
When with troubles you’re beset,
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met.
You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don’t give up, whate’er you do;
Eyes front, head high to the finish.
See it through!

Poem by Edgar Guest

Life is a beautiful “thing” although it throws us some sadness occasionally, there were also sometimes we experienced joy, and let’s be honest it’s not all the times we went through hardship in Life.

We need to appreciate life, and when it hits you, get back up, keep pushing hard, have goals, work towards them, and ensure you achieve them.

Daily Time Poems.

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