Care Poems

The term “care” is wide-ranging and can apply to many different poems written by poets throughout time. A poem that deals with care as a major theme likely contains emotions like empathy, longing, passion, love, and themes like health, equal rights, relationships, and animals.

Care poems consider how important it is to set aside one’s needs and wants and dedicate oneself to loving and supporting someone or something else. This could be a mother selflessly setting aside her dreams to care for her children or a child looking out for their younger sibling while at school.

One might also find poems that define a lack of care. These poems may be written from the perspective of someone hoping to improve themselves and care for those in their life better or someone who is witnessing a need for care.

Care poems are likely to inspire readers to be kinder to those in their life and seek out opportunities to impact those around them in a positive way.

The House by the Side of the Road

by Sam Walter Foss

‘The House by the Side of the Road’ by Sam Walter Foss was a once-popular American poem about caring for and helping other people. 

Caring for other people is at the heart of the poem.

Somebody’s Mother

by Mary Dow Brine

‘Somebody’s Mother’ by Mary Dow Brine is a heartbreaking and heartwarming poem about caring for strangers.

Caring for other people is a critical part of this poem. The speaker focuses on a specific scenario that is playing out on the street and the lack of care that the public shows in their reaction to it. That is until one person shows how much they do care.


by Alice Cary

‘Nobility’ by Alice Cary is a straightforward, inspirational poem about where honor and nobility truly come from. 

Caring for others in need is a very important topic in this poem. The speaker repetitively alludes to how important it is to take care of those one loves and even strangers one has the chance to help.

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. 

The speaker cares deeply about America and, in turn, about the American flag, which is a symbol for all the country does/can do.

Behaving Like a Jew

by Gerald Stern

‘Behaving Like a Jew’ by Gerald Stern is a lyric poem with elements of an elegy. It includes poet’s understanding of how suffering and death should be approached.

The speaker cares for the opossum in this poem in a way that no one else does. He's the only one who stops to check on the creature and feels isolated in a world where violence and death are celebrated.

The Flag Goes By

by Henry Holcomb Bennett

‘The Flag Goes By’ by Henry Holcomb Bennett is a patriotic American poem that focuses on the symbolism of the American flag. It encourages those reading to respect the flag as a symbol. 

It's clear from this poem that the speaker, and likely the poet, cares deeply about the United States and its history. They deeply respect the country, its flag, and its people.

We Rise

by Amanda Gorman

‘We Rise’ by Amanda Gorman is a beautiful and inspirational poem that explores women’s power. The poet emphasizes how important it is for women to raise each other and ensure everyone has a voice. 

The poet hopes to evoke feelings of care and empathy for other women in one's life through her reading of this poem. She uses motivational language to inspire readers to act in a certain way.


by Elizabeth Jennings

‘Admonition’ by Elizabeth Jennings describes how one should maintain control over their own life rather than designate their responsibilities to others. 

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.

Hold Your Own

by Kae Tempest

‘Hold Your Own’ by Kae Tempest is an inspiring and easy-to-read poem. It emphasizes how important happiness and love are in life.

If I can stop one heart from breaking

by Emily Dickinson

‘If I can stop one heart from breaking’ by Emily Dickinson is a selfless proclamation of one’s desire to help. The poet’s speaker offers help in a variety of ways in some cases to better her own life.

Is it Still the Same

by Eavan Boland

‘Is it Still the Same’ is a brilliant, affirming poem that explores memory and its relationship to a particular place and time.

On Her Blindness

by Adam Thorpe

‘On Her Blindness’ by Adam Thorpe is a loving poem dedicated to the poet’s mother. It explores how lost sight can impact one’s life and the frustration of not being understood.

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.  

Sonnet 8

by Louise Labé

The French poet Louise Labé, who wrote Sonnet 8, lived as a middle-class citizen in 16th century France. In this poem, she used the Petrarchan form to explain the positive and negative effects of love.

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. 


by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Valentine’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a memorable poem that talks about an onion that the poet gives her partner as a valentine-gift.

The Best-Kept Secrets of Poetry

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry ever straight to your inbox

Discover and learn about the greatest poetry, straight to your inbox

Start Your Perfect Poetry Journey