God Poems

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow

by Robert Duncan

‘Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow’ by Robert Duncan is often regarded as the poet’s best work. It analyzes the poet’s dream of a meadow while also exploring the new technique of projective verse.

‘Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow’ reaches toward the spiritual realm, tracing Duncan's own beliefs about spirituality. As a learned theologist, Duncan's interpretation of his dream is that he is somewhere beyond the physical realm in a place where the divine light, the creator of the universe, manifests forms and structure within the universe.

Dover Beach

by Matthew Arnold

‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold is dramatic monologue lamenting the loss of true Christian faith in England during the mid 1800s.

The poem can be seen as a meditation on the absence of God in the modern world. The Sea of Faith, once full, has now retreated like the tide, leaving the world a darker and more uncertain place.

Morning Swim

by Maxine Kumin

‘Morning Swim’ by Maxine Kumin is a thoughtful lyric poem that’s written in couplets. The poem engages with themes of God and Nature. 

God is one of the most important topics at work in this poem. The presence of religion does not come into the poem until the end of the poem, when the speaker begins humming a Christian hymn.

Each In His Own Tongue

by William Herbert Carruth

‘Each In His Own Tongue’ by William Herbert Carruth depicts the world and all its beauty and suffering, attributing the elements to evolution, longing, consecration, or God. 

God is an important part of the poem. Depending on how the reader interprets the lines of the poem, the poet may or may not have been interested in speaking for or against the existence of God.


by Josiah Gilbert Holland

‘Gradatim’ by Josiah Gilbert Holland is a poem about the lifetime of work it takes to climb the ladder to Heaven. One needs to dedicate themselves to a life of good deeds to reach God. 

God is one of the central topics readers will encounter in this religious poem. The poet is very concerned with the amount of effort it takes to reach Heaven and wants to inspire readers to engage in as many good deeds as possible.


by Anne Sexton

‘Rowing’ by Anne Sexton is a moving and unforgettable poem about depression. It was written two years before Sexton took her life in 1974.

The poem describes Sexton's search for God, as she feels Him to be present in her life, but remains "ignorant" of Him. She uses the metaphor of an island to depict the divine presence she seeks.

High Flight

by John Gillespie Magee

‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Maggee Jr. is a powerful WWII poem that was written in the weeks prior to the poet’s death. It explores flying, God, and human mortality.

The poem contains a religious reference in its final lines, in which the speaker suggests that he has "touched the face of God" during his flight. This is the best-known part of the poem and is meant to remind readers that all people are mortal and that, before long, everyone will be in a similar position.

The Eternal Goodness

by John Greenleaf Whittier

‘The Eternal Goodness’ by John Greenleaf Whittier is a relatively unknown 19th-century poem that explores religious themes and the various ways that God’s love comes through. 

God is the primary topic at work in this 19th-century poem. The poet considers his beliefs about God and how they differ from his friends' beliefs about God. He acknowledges that everyone does not think the same way.

The Windhover

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

‘The Windhover’ is an incredibly important poem that Hopkins considered to be his best. It uses symbolism to speak about God and faith.

The power of the poet's faith comes through quite clearly in the lines of this poem. The poet uses natural images to acknowledge and celebrate God's creation and power.

Apostrophe to the Ocean

by Lord Byron

‘Apostrophe to the Ocean’ by Lord Byron is an excerpt from Byron’s long, epic poem ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.’ The excerpt includes seven stanzas from the poem, starting with stanza CLXXVIII, or 178, and ending with stanza 184. 

God is one of the most important parts of this poem. While the poet doesn't allude to God or religion until more than halfway through the poem, he is also celebrating the strength of God's creation by celebrating the ocean.

‘Twas the old — road — through pain—

by Emily Dickinson

‘Twas the old — road — through pain—’ by Emily Dickinson describes a woman’s path from life to death and her entrance into Heaven. 

The woman believes in God in this poem and hopes that she's lived a good enough life to go to Heaven.

Plant a Tree

by Lucy Larcom

‘Plant a Tree’ by Lucy Larcom is a nature and religion-themed poem that speaks about the benefits of planting trees. 

God is another important topic at work in this 19th-century poem. The poet continually alludes to the ways that creating life brings one close to God.

A Child Of Mine

by Edgar Guest

‘A Child Of Mine’ is told from the perspective of God. He is speaking to prospective parents, informing them of their duties to His child.

A Crowned Poet

by Anne Reeve Aldrich

‘A Crowned Poet’ by Anne Reeve Aldrich describes the various types of happiness that exist in the world and how different they can be from one another.

A Divine Image

by William Blake

Although prepared and etched for publication, William Blake dropped ‘A Divine Image’ from Songs of Innocence and Experience in favor of ‘The Human Abstract.’ This poem comes from Songs of Experience and was intended to be the counterpart to ‘The Divine Image.’

A Dream within a Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

Published in 1849, ‘A Dream Within a Dream’ by Edgar Allan Poe examines the subtleties of time. His speaker delves into our perception of it and its effects.

A Hymn to God the Father

by John Donne

‘A Hymn to God the Father’ by John Donne is a well-loved poem about God and religion. It contains a speaker’s prayers that he be forgiven a series of unnamed sins.

A Hymn to the Evening

by Phillis Wheatley

‘A Hymn to the Evening’ by Phillis Wheatley describes a speaker’s desire to take on the glow of evening so that she may show her love for God.

A Light Exists in Spring

by Emily Dickinson

‘A light exists in spring’ is about the light in spring that illuminates its surroundings. Though this poem is about nature, it has a deep religious connotation that science cannot explain.

A Limb Just Moved

by Mirabai

‘A Limb Just Moved’ is a poem attributed to Mirabai, a Hindu mystic and Bahkti saint who lived in the sixteenth century and was well-known for her incredible devotion to Krishna, and to her faith.

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. 

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