Gratitude Poems

A Farewell

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

‘A Farewell’ challenges the reader to reflect upon the fleeting nature of human life, especially when compared to nature.

The narrator appears grateful for their life and for the time they still have left. This gratitude is principally expressed towards the natural world, which is presented to be their constant, unwavering companion.

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,

Thy tribute wave deliver:

No more by thee my steps shall be,

For ever and for ever.


In Memory of the Utah Stars

by William Matthews

‘In Memory of the Utah Stars’ captures the manner in which memories can provide us with both pleasure and pain.

The narrator appears grateful for the many happy memories the team gave them. This is in spite of their bitterness and the fact they feel as though they should have been more appreciative at the time.

Each of them must have terrified

his parents by being so big, obsessive

and exact so young, already gone

and leaving, like a big tipper,

I Give You Thanks My God

by Bernard Dadié 

‘I Give You Thanks My God’ by Bernard Dadié describes the nature of blackness and the speaker’s gratitude for the strength to carry the world. 

In addition to feelings of general happiness, this poem expresses gratitude. Centrally, it's about being thankful for who one is and how God "made" them. This poem feature's the poet's gratitude for being made Black.

I give you thanks my God for having created me black

For having made of me

The total of all sorrows,

and set upon my head

The Red Wheelbarrow

by William Carlos Williams

‘The Red Wheelbarrow’ by William Carlos Williams depicts, in very simple language, a red wheelbarrow outside in the rain.

In this poem, Williams expresses his appreciation for the beauty of the world around him. The poem suggests that gratitude is an essential part of a fulfilling life, as it allows us to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the world. By cultivating a sense of gratitude, Williams encourages readers to live with a sense of purpose and appreciation for the world around them.
so much depends upon a red wheel barrow  

Taking Leave of a Friend

by Li Bai

Li Bai’s ‘Taking Leave of a Friend’ uses different literary techniques to convey the themes of transience, nature, longing, and friendship.

The poem brings out the emotion of gratitude through the speaker's appreciation for their departed friend. Despite the sadness of parting, the speaker expresses gratitude for the time they spent together and for the memories that they will carry with them. The repetition of the word "Oh" in the poem emphasizes the speaker's emotional state, conveying a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude.

Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;

Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.

Here we part, friend, once forever.

You go ten thousand miles, drifting away

A Child is Something Else Again

by Yehuda Amichai

‘A Child is Something Else Again’ by Yehuda Amichai is a poem about parenthood and childhood. A child represents a great deal, the speaker says, and provides a parent with the will to live. 

Gratitude is a recurring theme in Yehuda Amichai's poetry, often expressed through a deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of life. The poem expresses gratitude for the gift of parenthood and the wonder of watching a child grow and develop.

A child is something else again. Wakes up

in the afternoon and in an instant he's full of words,

in an instant he's humming, in an instant warm,

instant light, instant darkness.

In the twilight rain

by Matsuo Bashō

‘In the twilight rain’ by Matsuo Bashō is a beautiful 3-line haiku that juxtaposes an evening rain with a bright hibiscus flower. 

Bashō's poetry often emphasizes the importance of appreciating life and the natural world. The poem encourages readers to be grateful for the beauty and transience of nature and appreciate it while they can.

In the twilight rain

these brilliant-hued hibiscus . . .

A lovely sunset

The shallows

by Matsuo Bashō

‘The shallows’ by Matsuo Bashō  is a beautiful, traditional haiku about a crane landing in cool, shallow water and the ripples it makes. 

The poem suggests a deep appreciation and gratitude for the beauty and harmony of the natural world. Through its focus on the crane's thighs splashing in the cool waves, the poem asks readers to remember how important it is to appreciate everyday life and everything that it demonstrates day after day.

The shallows –

a crane’s thighs splashed

in cool waves


by Giusue Carducci

‘Virgil’ by Giusue Carducci uses nature imagery to evoke historical and mythical themes and events.

This poem expresses a sense of gratitude for nature's beauty and poetry's power to inspire and console. It expresses the solace these things can bring in difficult times and evokes a sense of wonder and gratitude in the speaker's heart.

As when above the heated fields the moon

Hovers to spread its veil of summer frost,

The brook between its narrow banks half lost

Glitters in pale light, murmuring its low tune;

Dear Basketball

by Kobe Bryant

‘Dear Basketball’ by Kobe Bryant depicts the poet’s love for the sport. He expresses his appreciation for basketball and how it made him into the person he became.

More than anything, Bryant feels gratitude toward the sport of basketball for all the joy it brought him. It's taught him a great deal, and he'll never forget the time he spent playing.

From the moment

I started rolling my dad’s tube socks

And shooting imaginary

Game-winning shots

Lincoln, Man of the People

by Edwin Markham

‘Lincoln, Man of the People’ by Edwin Markham is a unique poem about Abraham Lincoln that paints him, and his legacy, in idealized, universal terms. The speaker spends the poem describing Lincoln the perfect leader.

The speaker feels extreme gratitude for the type of person Lincoln was and what he was able to accomplish in his life. This is a feeling that should translate to the reader.

When the Norn Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour

Greatening and darkening as it hurried on,

She left the Heaven of Heroes and came down

To make a man to meet the mortal need.

Jenny Kiss’d Me

by Leigh Hunt

‘Jenny Kiss’d Me’ by Leigh Hunt is a powerful declaration of happiness in the face of the passage of time. A great deal of joy can be found in a single happy memory, the speaker suggests. 

Gratitude is an important emotion felt in this short 19th-century poem. The speaker feels gratitude for Jenny's kiss, especially as it continues to bring him joy many years later.

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in!


I, the Poet

by Leonard Gorski

‘I, the Poet’ by Leonard Gorski is a thought-provoking and multi-layered free-verse poem that explores themes of identity, mortality, and the search for meaning in an often confusing and uncertain world. 

Although the poem acknowledges the struggles and hardships of life, it ultimately suggests that gratitude and appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the world can bring comfort and solace. This is an emotion that many readers are likely going to feel as well.

I, the poet, wandering and amazed

Nailed by unhappiness to the wall

By age and poverty,

On which floor of stupidity or ignorance I dwell?

A Friend’s Greeting

by Edgar Guest

Edgar Guest’s ‘A Friend’s Greeting’ is a heart-touching poem about a speaker’s gratitude for his dearest friend. This poem is written in the form of a greeting in verse.

I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me;

I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be;

I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day

As you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way.

A Thank-Offering

by Ella Higginson

‘A Thank-Offering’ by Ella Higginson is addressed to God. It outlines all the beautiful sights and sounds in a speaker’s everyday life and thanks to God for creating them. 


by William Carlos Williams

‘Blizzard’ by the American poet William Carlos Williams is filled with vivid imagery of a blinding snowstorm and its aftermath. This poem taps on the themes of time, human history, and personal experiences.

Floral Tribute

by Simon Armitage

‘Floral Tribute’ by Simon Armitage uses symbolism to relate flowers and the British landscape to Queen Elizabeth’s reign and death in 2022.

For Nanabhai Bhatt

by Sujata Bhatt

‘For Nanabhai Bhatt’ is about the poet Sujata Bhatt’s grandfather, Nanabhai Bhatt, who was an educationist and activist active during the Indian independence movement.

Full Moon and Little Frieda

by Ted Hughes

In ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda,’ Ted Hughes describes his daughter’s observations of the world around her, reflecting on nature and family.

I Started Early – Took my Dog

by Emily Dickinson

‘I Started Early – Took my Dog’ by Emily Dickinson personifies the sea. Dickinson depicts it as a lover and alludes to her speaker’s fears in regard to sex and love.

I started Early – Took my Dog –

And visited the Sea –

The Mermaids in the Basement

Came out to look at me –

In the Seventh Year

by Jackie Kay

‘In the Seventh Year’ by Jackie Kay is a short, beautiful lyric poem. It describes the timeless and changing nature of a speaker’s relationship.


by Meena Alexander

‘Muse’ by Meena Alexander is a poem about the poet’s muse or source of inspiration. The poet recalls meeting and being positively influenced by a girl in her youth. 

My Mother

by Ellen Bryant Voigt

‘My Mother’ by Ellen Bryant Voigt explores a speaker’s understanding of her mother and how her mother considered her as she aged.

Nature is what we see

by Emily Dickinson

‘Nature is what we see’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about how humanity tries and fails, to define nature. 

“Nature” is what we see—

The Hill—the Afternoon—

Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—

Nay—Nature is Heaven—

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by Robert Frost

The poem, ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’, by Robert Frost, is about the impermanence of life. It describes the fleeting nature of beauty by discussing time’s effect on nature.

Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

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