Happiness Poems

Happiness-themed poems are vibrant and uplifting, celebrating the joyous moments of life. They capture the beauty of joyful experiences, shared laughter, and contentment.

The poet uses a lively, buoyant language, radiating positivity and exuberance. These verses spark joy in the reader, creating a shared celebration of life’s simple pleasures. Such poetry is a toast to happiness, encouraging us to savor the joyful moments in our lives.

My Grandmother’s Houses

by Jackie Kay

‘My Grandmother’s Houses’ by Jackie Kay is a thoughtful recollection of youth and a young speaker’s relationship with her eccentric grandmother, who is forced to move homes.

The narrator's grandmother was clearly happy in her tenement building and laments having to move. The poem thereby reminds us that we cannot always control or perpetuate our own happiness, dependent as it is on circumstances beyond our control.

She is on the second floor of a tenement.

From her front room window you see the cemetery.

June (from “The Vision of Sir Launfal”)

by James Russell Lowell

‘June’ by James Russell Lowell is a religiously-charged romantic narrative poem about the overwhelming beauty and rejuvenating power of summer. 

The speaker is overwhelmed by happiness in this poem, and the feeling is a bit infectious. The poem depicts a rush of beauty as the sun casts a beautiful golden glow over the American countryside. All in all, it's a really pleasant scene.

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;

Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays:

A Murmur in the Trees— to note

by Emily Dickinson

‘A Murmur in the Trees— to note’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about nature’s magic. It includes mysterious images of fairy men, glowing lights in the woods, and the murmuring of trees. 

For all its mystery and other worldliness, nature is presented as a happy and affirming place, in contrast to the human world represented by the ominous "road". Likewise, the magical creatures that reside among the trees appear happy with their lives and receptive to the presence of humans that are willing to believe in their existence.

A Murmur in the Trees – to note –

Not loud enough – for Wind –

A Star – not far enough to seek –

Nor near enough – to find –

Beeny Cliff

by Thomas Hardy

‘Beeny Cliff’ by Thomas Hardy examines the disenchantment of a location that was once fondly beloved for its setting as a happy memory.

The poem might end in melancholy (as most retrospections can), but the poem features more happy moments than sad ones. It's clear that Hardy's focus was to present the memory of his joy as vividly as possible, and the impression it gives is beatific. Although the present might be depressing without their beloved, at least they still possess such a happy memory.

O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,

And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free–

The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.

Three with the Moon and his Shadow

by Li Bai

In ‘Three with the Moon and his Shadow,’ Li Bai contemplates solitude, friendship, and the transcendent power of revelry, invoking the beauty of the moon and the playful dance of the shadow. The poem celebrates the unity found in shared experiences and yearns for connections that surpass mortal boundaries.

This poem evokes the emotion of happiness through its portrayal of unity, camaraderie, and celebration. The speaker's invitation for the moon and their shadow to join in revelry suggests a joyful and festive atmosphere. The poem celebrates the shared moments of merriment and the sense of connection, creating a sense of happiness and contentment in the reader as they envision the harmonious gathering.

With a jar of wine I sit by the flowering trees.

I drink alone, and where are my friends?

Ah, the moon above looks down on me;

I call and lift my cup to his brightness.


by Walter de la Mare

‘Music’ by Walter de la Mare is a passionate poem about the transcendent effects of music upon the world around us.

One of the evident emotions expressed by the speaker is their happiness at listening to the music. The poem's imagery and figurative language portray it as a highly enjoyable experience. It is clear that de la Mare held an ardent appreciation for the art, and this poem serves as their heartfelt dedication to the feelings of joy it brings.

When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,

And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;

Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

by Edward Lear

‘The Owl and the Pussy-Cat’ by Edward Lear is a simple, joy-filled poem that tells the marriage story of an owl and a cat. 

This poem is a lighthearted and joyful poem that celebrates the power of love, friendship, and nature to bring happiness into our lives. The poem's playful language and whimsical imagery create a sense of joy and delight that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

Corsons Inlet

by Archie Randolph Ammons

‘Corsons Inlet’ is a complex, nuanced poem on the natural world and the character of reality by one of the major American poets of the latter half of the 20th century.

Happiness is an emotion that can be associated with the reading of 'Corsons Inlet' because of how the poem ends. Ammons concludes the poem with the revelation that "tomorrow a new walk is a new walk." In context, this means that since "no finality of vision" of nature is ever possible, taking a walk through nature will always provide a new experience. While not being able to find absolute truth in nature could be framed negatively, in 'Corsons Inlet,' this fact is a source of freedom. Thus, the final message of the poem inspires happiness.

I went for a walk over the dunes again this morning

to the sea,

then turned right along

the surf

The Song of the Jellicles

by T.S. Eliot

‘The Song of the Jellicles’ introduces merry and bright felines – Jellicle cats awaiting to dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.

The "merry and bright" Jellicle cats seem very happy with the event of the Jellicle ball in 'The Song of the Jellicles'. The happy "white and black" cats of "moderate size" who like "a jumping-jack" and have "moonlit eyes" evoke readers' happiness with their merriment.

Jellicle Cats come out to-night

Jellicle Cats come one come all:

The Jellicle Moon is shining bright—

Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.

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. 

Happiness shines through Dadie's words. Despite the hardships and pain experienced, the speaker finds happiness in their identity and the ability to carry the world. This poem is also likely to inspire happiness and contentment in the reader.

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

Explore more poems about Happiness


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

‘Solitude’ by Ella Wheeler Wilcox describes the connection between one’s outlook on life and the friends and community one attracts. 

In this Wilcox poem, happiness is portrayed as a social magnet. The world is willing to partake in your happiness but is unwilling to share your sorrow. This could be seen as a critique of society's obsession with happiness, often at the expense of acknowledging and dealing with pain.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.


Try to Praise the Mutilated World

by Adam Zagajewski

‘Try to Praise the Mutilated World’ by Adam Zagajewski focuses on the most important ways that people can find happiness in their everyday lives. They can step out into nature or return to memories.

Despite the poem's acknowledgment of the darkness and tragedy of the world, it ultimately suggests that there is still hope for happiness and a brighter future. The poem encourages the reader to focus on the positive aspects of life, such as the simple pleasures of strawberries and music, and to find joy in the midst of adversity.

Try to praise the mutilated world.

Remember June's long days,

and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.

The nettles that methodically overgrown

Dear Mama

by Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur’s ‘Dear Mama’ expresses heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for a mother’s love and sacrifices, showcasing profound emotions.

The poem elicits the emotion of happiness through its expressions of gratitude and appreciation. The speaker reflects on the sweet things his mother did, highlighting the positive memories and the joy they brought. The poem celebrates the love and support received, creating a sense of happiness and contentment in the reader as they are reminded of the cherished moments and the happiness that comes from a loving relationship.

There's no way I can pay you back

But my plan is to show you that I understand

You are appreciated


The Crocodile

by Lewis Carroll

‘The Crocodile’ by Lewis Carroll tells, very briefly, of a crocodile who sneakily attracts fish and then swallows them with a big smile on his face.

The poem's whimsical and lighthearted tone can bring joy and delight to its readers. Carroll's playful language, exaggerated imagery, and nonsensical wordplay are all designed to evoke a sense of amusement and lightheartedness, which can be a source of happiness for those who enjoy this type of humor.

How doth the little crocodile

     Improve his shining tail,

And pour the waters of the Nile

     On every golden scale!

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth’s literary classic, ‘Daffodils,’ also known as ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,’ is one of the most popular poems in the English language. It is a quintessential poem of the Romantic movement.

This is a joyful poem, as the speaker revels in the beauty of the natural world and the sense of wonder it inspires. The poem showcases the importance of finding happiness in everyday experiences, as the speaker finds joy in the simple beauty of a field of daffodils.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

The Thanksgivings

by Harriet Maxwell Converse

Harriet Maxwell Converse’s poem ‘The Thanksgivings’ expresses profound gratitude for nature and the Great Spirit, emphasizing unity and harmony.

This poem elicits happiness through its expressions of gratitude and celebration. The poem's joyful tone and appreciation for nature, community, and spiritual connection evoke a sense of contentment and happiness in the reader. The recognition of life's blessings and the communal gathering for a pleasant occasion contribute to an overall mood of happiness and appreciation for the beauty and interconnectedness of the world.

We who are here present thank the Great Spirit

that we are here to praise Him.

We thank Him that He has created men and

women, and ordered that these beings shall

Amoretti LXVII: Like as a Huntsman

by Edmund Spenser

Edmund Spenser’s ‘Amoretti LXVII: Like as a Huntsman’ explores the pursuit of love and the unexpected rewards it brings.

This poem triggers the emotion of happiness through the triumph and fulfillment of the speaker's pursuit of love. The moment of connection between the speaker and the beloved deer-like figure brings a sense of joy and satisfaction. The successful capture and binding of the beloved's heart evoke a feeling of happiness, highlighting the power of love and its ability to bring happiness to the pursuer.

Like as a huntsman after weary chase,

Seeing the game from him escap'd away,

Sits down to rest him in some shady place,

With panting hounds beguiled of their prey:

Late Love

by Jackie Kay

‘Late Love’ explores the transformative power of love, contrasting its passionate heights with the fading memories and passage of time.

This poem delicately explores the topic of happiness through its portrayal of people in love. The descriptions of lovers strutting, growing tall, and pleased with themselves evoke a sense of joy and contentment. The anticipation of a phone call and the transformative power of love imply a deep-seated happiness and fulfillment. The poem captures the radiant and uplifting aspects of love, emphasizing the potential for happiness and fulfillment within romantic relationships.

How they strut about, people in love,

how tall they grow, pleased with themselves,

their hair, glossy, their skin shining.

They don’t remember who they have been.

Still I Rise

by Maya Angelou

‘Still I Rise’ is an inspiring and emotional poem that’s based around Maya Angelou’s experiences as a Black woman in America. It encourages readers to love themselves fully and persevere in the face of every hardship.

Despite the challenges faced, the poem celebrates the ability to find happiness within oneself, independent of external circumstances. It serves as a reminder that true happiness is not contingent on the approval or acceptance of others but is a product of self-love and inner strength.

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter

by John Clare

‘Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter’ by John Clare is a beautiful nature poem that describes a specific area in Northamptonshire in winter. The poem focuses on plants and birds. 

The thoughtful and beautiful descriptions of plants and animals convey the speaker's happiness in exploring the landscape. He takes joy from these simple sights and sounds and conveys that joy to readers.

I love to see the old heath's withered brake

Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,

While the old heron from the lonely lake

Starts slow and flaps his melancholy wing,

My True Love Hath My Heart

by Philip Sidney

‘My True Love Hath My Heart’ by Sir Philip Sidney is a Shakespearean sonnet. It captures the intensity and depth of two people who experience love at first sight.

The poem inspires joy and happiness, which isn’t surprising given it’s a love poem. The speaker describes their love in a euphoric manner but doesn't shy away from some darker parts of love.

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,

By just exchange one for the other given:

I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;

There never was a bargain better driven.

November Blue

by Alice Meynell

‘November Blue’ by Alice Meynell draws attention to the weather in November and what people do to make up for it.

Alice Meynell's ‘November Blue’ elicits happiness. The November season is usually windy and rainy, and this makes London (talked about in the poem) dull. So, what the people there do is buy lamps to add color and light to the place. When this is done, the excitement returns and they become happy again.

O, Heavenly colour! London town

Has blurred it from her skies;

And hooded in an earthly brown,

Unheaven'd the city lies.

On the Beach at Night Alone

by Walt Whitman

‘On the Beach at Night Alone’ by Walt Whitman is a powerful poem. In it, Whitman discusses how everything that has ever existed or will ever exist is connected.

Whitman's poem presents a vision of happiness rooted in a deep appreciation for the beauty of the universe. By contemplating the mystery of the cosmos, Whitman finds joy and contentment in his place within it.

A vast similitude interlocks all,

All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,

All distances of place however wide,

All distances of time, all inanimate forms,

When Spring Comes

by Alberto Caeiro

‘When Spring Comes’ by Alberto Caeiro is a poem dedicated to nature, while emphasizing the insignificance of our human life.

Caeiro finds incredible happiness in realizing that his death has no bearing on the world. His acceptance of mortality and the nature of life brings him happiness. He embraces the idea that everything is real and right, even if personal preferences or likes and dislikes do not determine the order of existence.

When spring comes,

If I've already died,

The flowers will bloom in the same way

Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

by Gary Snyder

‘Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout’ by Gary Snyder is a beautiful two-stanza poem. In it, the speaker conveys descriptions from the top of Sourdough Mountain.

While the poem doesn't exactly discuss happiness, there's a sense of fulfillment in the speaker's solitude and immersion in nature. The happiness derived here isn't from social engagement or accomplishments but from a basic, almost primal connection with the earth.

Down valley a smoke haze

Three days heat, after five days rain

Pitch glows on the fir-cones

Around the Campfire

by Emilie Pinet

Amidst scarlet flames and camaraderie, ‘Around the Campfire’ captures transformative connections. Vivid imagery illuminates rekindled friendships, binding souls in tranquility.

The poem 'Around the Campfire' elicits happiness through its portrayal of shared camaraderie, laughter, and storytelling. The vivid imagery of scarlet flames, captivating colors, and the hypnotic beauty of the scene create a sense of joy. The bonds formed, and the tranquil escape from worries inspire a heartwarming emotion of happiness.

Rising from the fire like a phoenix,

ash morphs into flights of flaming darts.

And shadows mark the fringes of light,

extinguishing all unwary sparks.


A Child Asleep

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem celebrates the ethereal beauty of a sleeping child and his profound connection to the divine.

The poem generates happiness through its celebration of the child's innocence and radiance. The striking imagery and tender language evoke a sense of joy and delight. The depiction of the child's serene state and connection to the divine inspires a feeling of contentment and inner peace. The poem invites readers to bask in the beauty and purity of the child's presence, evoking a genuine sense of happiness.

How he sleepeth! having drunken

Weary childhood's mandragore,

From his pretty eyes have sunken

Pleasures, to make room for more---


by Edgar Guest

Edgar Albert Guest’s ‘Thanksgiving’ radiates familial warmth, intertwining laughter, gratitude, and time-honored traditions in shared gatherings.

This poem brings about happiness through its portrayal of joyful family reunions. The poem's imagery of smiling, rejoicing, and laughter creates an atmosphere of merriment. The interactions described, such as kissing, sharing stories, and declarations of beauty, convey a sense of affection and delight. The overall tone and imagery radiate a heartfelt happiness in the midst of familial togetherness.

Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,

An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;

An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they

Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;

Learning to Read

by Frances Harper

‘Learning to Read’ by Frances Harper is a powerful poem about formerly enslaved people learning to read and gaining independence and strength through education. 

The pursuit of knowledge in this poem is associated with happiness and personal fulfillment. The characters find happiness and joy in the discovery of literacy, experiencing a newfound sense of purpose and pride. Chloe's attainment of literacy in her later years symbolizes the enduring joy that comes with achieving personal goals.

Very soon the Yankee teachers

Came down and set up school;

But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,—

It was agin’ their rule.

The Broken Oar

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Longfellow’s contemplative journey reveals the weariness of the human experience and the limitations of language.

The poem evokes a sense of happiness through moments of revelation and self-discovery. The poet's joyous realization likened to finding something lost, inspires a feeling of happiness and relief. The act of writing the words from the inscription and the subsequent act of discarding the pen conveys a sense of liberation and acceptance, which can bring about a sense of happiness and contentment.

Once upon Iceland's solitary strand

A poet wandered with his book and pen,

Seeking some final word, some sweet Amen,

Wherewith to close the volume in his hand.

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