Oliver Wendell Holmes Poems

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a skilled poet and physician. He’s considered to be one of the preeminent Fireside Poets and has been considered as one of the best poets of the mid-1800s. His writing is often referred to as family-friendly, conventional, and easy to relate to. Read more of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Biography.

God Save the Flag

by Oliver Wendell Holmes

‘God Save the Flag’ by Oliver Wendell Holmes is a simple, optimistic, and passionate poem in which the speaker emphatically delivers his opinion on the United States. 

This is a great Oliver Wendell Holmes poem. Saying this, though, there are many other more interesting and poetically complex poems to discover within his oeuvre.

Washed in the blood of the brave and the blooming,

Snatched from the altars of insolent foes,

Burning with star-fires, but never consuming,

Flash its broad ribbons of lily and rose.


The Last Leaf

by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes’s ‘The Last Leaf’ portrays the physical decline of an elderly man and explores themes of mortality and acceptance.

This poem is certainly a good representative example of Oliver Wendell Holmes' poetry. It embodies many of the themes and elements commonly found in his works, such as reflections on mortality, the passage of time, and the complexities of human emotions. The poem showcases Holmes' ability to create vivid imagery, use figurative language, and convey poignant messages through introspective and empathetic tones.

I saw him once before,

As he passed by the door,

And again

The pavement stones resound,