Appreciation

Poems about appreciation are wide-ranging. They cover experiences of gratitude as well as a lack of gratitude when it may have been warranted.

Many appreciation poems ask readers to consider the simple things in their everyday life, from a red wheelbarrow to a shirt, family dinner, a trip to the store, and a healthy body to live in. Reminding readers of all the things one should be grateful for in an overwhelming world that always demands “more” is a common theme in these pieces of verse.

Whether the appreciation poem was written in the 1700s or 1900s, these highly-relatable poems cover various topics and life experiences. Some are addressed to the reader while others are addressed to the person or thing being appreciated.

A poet might dedicate their words to a loved one, praising them and thanking them for support during tough transitions or asking them to take the time to appreciate what they have sacrificed. Other writers might use apostrophes, addressing their words to inanimate objects, the dead, or divine forces, conveying their love, admiration, and appreciation for these objects or forces.

Winter Rain by Christina Rossetti

‘Winter Rain’ by Christina Rossetti is about the power rain has in the natural world and how without it nothing would be the same. She uses several examples and images to depict the world flourishing after a rainstorm.

Nature is what we see

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

One day is there of the series

‘One day is there of the series’ by Emily Dickinson explores the holiday Thanksgiving and how its celebrated in America.

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.

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.

For Sidney Bechet by Philip Larkin

‘For Sidney Bechet’ is a poetic tribute to Sidney Bechet, one of the early jazz maestros that poet Philip Larkin admired the most.

Fountain by Elizabeth Jennings

Elizabeth Jennings herself considered ‘Fountain’ as one of her favorite poems. This piece is about the controlled energy of a fountain.

The One Who Goes Away by Sujata Bhatt

‘The One Who Goes Away’ by Sujata Bhatt shares her emotional journey of leaving India and traveling to America. She entails the internal struggle to define what ‘home’ is during that period.

Solar by Philip Larkin

‘Solar’ by Philip Larkin is an unlikely Larkin poem that depicts the sun. The poet uses lyrical language to describe the sun through a series of metaphors and similes. 

The Bait by John Donne

‘The Bait’ by John Donne describes a speaker’s love and admiration for a woman. He emphasizes what her beauty and goodness are capable of. 

Muse 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 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.

Women and Roses by Robert Browning

‘Women and Roses’ by Robert Browning conveys a man’s perspective on women throughout time. They are represented by three apples on his metaphorical apple tree.

The Undertaking by John Donne

‘The Undertaking’ by John Donne is a poem about an elevated form of love that makes the speaker’s relationship superior to other people’s. 

Into My Own by Robert Frost

Robert Frost’s ‘Into My Own’ explores the concepts of maturity and growing up. The poet delves into the exploration of childhood and self.

Sonnet 8 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Sonnet 8’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, also known as ‘What can I give thee back, O liberal,’ is a Petrarchan sonnet. It explores the poet’s relationship with her new lover, Robert Browning. 

Sonnet 7 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Sonnet 7’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a love sonnet that is dedicated to the poet’s husband, Robert Browning. It expresses her happiness that he came into her life and changed her outlook as he did.  

Australia 1970 by Judith Wright

‘Australia 1970’ by Judith Wright speaks on the changing landscape of Australia in the 1970s. It promotes a version of Australia that is fierce, wild, and dangerous just like the animals that have always lived within its boundaries.

Forties Flick by John Ashbery

Published in John Ashbery’s award-winning poetry collection, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), the poem ‘Forties Flick’ is a postmodern, nostalgic lyric on film noir of the “classic period.” This piece vividly portrays a trademark scene of Hollywood crime dramas of the 1940s.

Recital by John Updike

‘Recital’ by John Updike is a poetic tribute to Roger Bobo, an American tuba virtuoso and brass pedagogue. This poem captures the popularity of Bobo’s tuba playing skills.

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’ is one of Emily Dickinson’s best-known poems. It features the poet’s growing disbelief regarding the customary Christian rituals and her intention to seek salvation without resorting to the conventional means.

The Lightning is a Yellow Fork

‘The Lightening is a Yellow Fork’ by Emily Dickinson is a highly original poem. It focuses on the sublime power of lightening and God.

How the old Mountains drip with Sunset

‘How the old Mountains drip with Sunset’ by Emily Dickinson celebrates the beauty of the natural world. She focuses specifically on a sunset and how impossible it is to capture it in words or paint.

A Bird, came down the Walk

‘A Bird, came down the Walk’ by Emily Dickinson is a beautiful nature poem. It focuses on the actions of a bird going about its everyday life.

Mountain Life by Henrik Ibsen

‘Mountain Life’ by Henrik Ibsen describes a paradise separate from the outside world and that plays host to isolated, peace loving farmers. 

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