Humanity Poems

The Tables Turned

by William Wordsworth

In ‘The Tables Turned,’ Wordsworth invites us to break free from the constraints of modern society and rediscover the natural world’s beauty and wisdom.

'The Tables Turned' discusses multiple concepts of humanity. First, humanity is ruining education by detailing it so finely that the original idea is unseen. Second, that nature, specifically a forest during springtime, can show someone more about humanity than any professor could teach. Both concepts interconnect with the persuasion to change from books to nature as the reader's true teacher.

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;

Or surely you'll grow double:

Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;

Why all this toil and trouble?

The Flock

by Derek Walcott

‘The Flock’ is a poem that meditates on the cyclical nature of time and the passage of the seasons. Through vivid imagery and a somber tone, the poet reflects on the inevitability of winter’s end, the unchanging nature of the world, and his own place within this cycle of time.

Walcott's poem addresses the topic of humanity through its exploration of human desires and our fascination with flight as well as its deep reflections on the enduring qualities of life.

The grip of winter tightening, its thinned

volleys of blue-wing teal and mallard fly

from the longbows of reeds bent by the wind,

arrows of yearning for our different sky.

Two Armies

by Stephen Spender

‘Two Armies’ by Stephen Spender describes two armies on a devastating battlefield where every individual is suffering. Their common humanity is highlighted. 

The poet sought to remind people of their common humanity in this poem.

Deep in the winter plain, two armies

Dig their machinery, to destroy each other.

Men freeze and hunger. No one is given leave

The Tyger

by William Blake

‘The Tyger’ is a well-known poem by William Blake. It explores the dark and destructive side of God and his creation.

This is a poem that explores the tensions between innocence and experience, which are hallmarks of human existence. Blake uses the tiger and the lamb as symbols for the darker and lighter aspects of human nature, inviting the reader to contemplate the complexities of the human condition.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain

by Emily Dickinson

‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’ by Emily Dickinson is a popular poem. In it, she depicts a very unusual idea of life after death.

The images conveyed in this poem of death, madness, and the afterlife relate to all of humanity

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,

And Mourners to and fro

Kept treading - treading - till it seemed

That Sense was breaking through -

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died

by Emily Dickinson

‘I heard a Fly Buzz – when I died’ by Emily Dickinson is an unforgettable depiction of the moments before death. The speaker emphasizes the stillness of the room and the movements of a single fly.

All of humanity experiences what the speaker does in this poem.

I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -

The Stillness in the Room

Was like the Stillness in the Air -

Between the Heaves of Storm -

Easter Hymn

by A. E. Housman

‘Easter Hymn’ by A. E. Houseman unearths the contradictions between religious teachings and their implementation. The poet is juxtaposing biblical moments of violence with modern ones to highlight the incomplete nature of Christ’s promise to save humanity from itself.

The poem’s vision of humanity is a depressing one, seen as a rabble that has used religion to wreak untoward suffering upon others and the world as a whole.

If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,

You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,

Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright

Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night


by Allen Ginsberg

‘Howl’ is Allen Ginsberg’s best-known poem and is commonly considered his greatest work. It is an indictment of modern society and a celebration of anyone living outside it.

This poem is a celebration of humanity in all its forms, from the outcasts and the madmen to the poets and the lovers. Ginsberg recognizes the inherent dignity and value of every individual.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

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 humanity and treating all people with care is a critical part of the poem.

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn

In the place of their self-content;

There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,

In a fellowless firmament;

Taking Leave of a Friend

by Li Bai

Li Bai’s ‘Taking Leave of a Friend’ uses different literary techniques to convey the themes of transience, nature, longing, and friendship.

This poem emphasizes the universal experience of human relationships and the feelings of separation that are often part of them. The poem portrays a deep sense of humanity and empathy, as it evokes the emotions of missing someone, contentment, and hope. It highlights the value of connection and the shared experiences of all people, regardless of distance or culture, underscoring the universality of human emotions and relationships.

Blue mountains lie beyond the north wall;

Round the city's eastern side flows the white water.

Here we part, friend, once forever.

You go ten thousand miles, drifting away

There’s No Power Like Home

by Amanda Gorman

‘There’s No Power Like Home’ by Amanda Gorman is a beautiful testament to the difficulties associated with COVID-19 restrictions. 

The poet taps into subjects in this poem related to all of humanity. The world is endured COVID-19 in different ways but everyone experienced the same distance from family and friends, mask-wearing, and illness.

We were sick of home,

Home sick.

That mask around our ear

Hung itself into the year.

[love is more thicker than forget]

by E.E. Cummings

‘[love is more thicker than forget]’ by E.E. Cummings conveys the idea that love can be a source of hope, comfort, and joy in times of darkness.

Within this E.E. Cummings poem, the poet speaks about love in a way that should appeal to all readers. He alludes to its universal impact on humanity throughout time and the various ways it has impacted relationships and outcomes.

love is more thicker than forget

more thinner than recall

more seldom than a wave is wet

more frequent than to fail


by Amanda Gorman

‘Alarum’ by Amanda Gorman speaks about extinction and the climate crisis, alluding to the fate of humankind if nothing changes. 

The poet taps into a subject (climate change) that's related to all of humanity. The world is enduring climate change in different ways but the divisions persist within American society.

We're writing as the daughter of a / dying world / as

its new-faced alert. / In math, the slash / also called

the solidus / means division, divided by. / We were

divided / from each other, person / person. / Some

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

by William Shakespeare

‘How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!’ by William Shakespeare is an excerpt from The Merchant of Venice, a famous Shakespearean play. The lines are found in Act V Scene 1 and are spoken by Lorenzo.

The music in this poem is a calming presence that impacts all of humankind or at least all those who have a good heart and soul.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

Here will we sit and let the sounds of music

Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night

Become the touches of sweet harmony.

The Fool’s Prayer

by Edward Rowland Sill

‘The Fool’s Prayer’ by Edward Rowland Sill is a religious poem that reminds readers, and all the characters in the poem, what it takes to live a good, morally righteous life. 

The message the Fool conveys in this poem relates to all of humanity. The Fool chastizes those listening who pretend to honor God but, in reality, do not do so.

The royal feast was done; the King

Sought some new sport to banish care,

And to his jester cried: “Sir Fool,

Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!”

The Miracle of Morning

by Amanda Gorman

‘The Miracle of Morning’ by Amanda Gorman is a direct message of hope in the face of suffering. Specifically, Gorman uses this poem to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and its outcome. 

This is a poem that truly applies to all of humanity. People from all walks of life can relate to the situations Gorman presents. She believed that her message of hope in this poem would also resonate with the public.

I thought I’d awaken to a world in mourning.

Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.

But there’s something different on this golden morning.

Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

For Your Lanes, My Country

by Faiz Ahmad Faiz

In ‘For Your Lanes, My Country,’ Faiz Ahmad Faiz passionately addresses the social and political struggles of Pakistan through powerful imagery and metaphors, urging its people towards a more just and equal society.

This poem addresses the issue of humanity by highlighting the struggles and sacrifices made by ordinary people in the face of oppression and injustice. The poem encourages the people of Pakistan to stand up for their rights and work towards a more just and equal society, emphasizing the importance of human dignity and equality.

For your lanes, my country,

I can sacrifice all I have

But the custom these days is

No one walks with head held high.

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. 

The poet suggests that humanity is unified in its fear and respect for the ocean and its inability to conquer it. There is no way to truly harness the ocean's strength or to even adequately depict it.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society where none intrudes,

By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:


by John Dryden

‘Dreams’ by John Henry Dryden presents a vivid illustration of the ways in which dreams are steeped in paradox and irrationality.

This poem applies to humanity in its discussion of dreams and their absurdity. The poet directs his words to anyone reading, knowing that all people are going to be able to relate to his poem in one way or another.

Dreams are but interludes which Fancy makes;

When monarch Reason sleeps, this mimic wakes:

Compounds a medley of disjointed things,

A mob of cobblers, and a court of kings:

Everything I touch

by Kobayashi Issa

‘Everything I touch’ by Kobayashi Issa is a beautiful Japanese haiku written by one of the four great haiku masters. This piece speaks on what one might receive in return when they reach out with tenderness.

The poem speaks to the common experiences that unite us all as human beings, regardless of our differences. The pain and suffering that the speaker experiences are universal themes that are relevant to people of all cultures and backgrounds.

Everything I touch

with tenderness, alas,

The Three Oddest Words

by Wislawa Szymborska

‘The Three Oddest Words’ is a poem that addresses peculiarities of language in ways that reflect the peculiarities themselves.

The poem ultimately explores humanity and the human experience, as the speaker uses words to connect with the world around them. The poem suggests that through the act of writing and creation, we are able to connect with others.

When I pronounce the word Future,

the first syllable already belongs to the past.

Christmas Everywhere

by Phillips Brooks

‘Christmas Everywhere’ by Phillips Brooks is an uplifting Christmas and religious poem about the power of the season. The poet implies that if people wanted to, they could carry the same feeling of faithfulness throughout the whole year. 

The poet addresses this piece to humanity, indicating that he believes the feelings Christmas inspires could be used to make the world a better place throughout the year.

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas to-night!

Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,

Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine,

Christmas where snow-peaks stand solemn and white,

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. 

This poem is address to all of humanity. Any reader, no matter who they are or where they're from, can connect to this poem.

He who plants a tree

Plants a hope.

Rootlets up through fibres blindly grope;

Leaves unfold into horizons free.

A Brave and Startling Truth

by Maya Angelou

‘A Brave and Startling Truth’ by Maya Angelou is a commonly quoted poem about humanity’s future. The poet alludes to the “truth” that humanity will arrive at when “we” realize we are the one true wonder of the world. 

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet

Traveling through casual space

Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns

To a destination where all signs tell us

A Coffin is a Small Domain

by Emily Dickinson

‘A Coffin—is a small Domain’ by Emily Dickinson explores death. It is characteristic of much of the poet’s work in that it clearly addresses this topic and everything that goes along with it.

A Coffin — is a small Domain,

Yet able to contain

A Citizen of Paradise

In it diminished Plane

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.’

Cruelty has a Human Heart

And Jealousy a Human Face 

Terror the Human Form Divine 

And Secrecy, the Human Dress

A little Dog that wags his tail

by Emily Dickinson

In ‘A little Dog that wags his tail’ Emily Dickinson explores themes of human nature, the purpose of life, and freedom. She compares animals, cats and dogs, to adults and children.

A little Dog that wags his tail

And knows no other joy

Of such a little Dog am I

Reminded by a Boy

a man who had fallen among thieves

by E.E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings’ ‘a man who had fallen among thieves’ is a modern retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped a robbed man lying unconscious on the road. In this poem, the speaker helps one such person who faced a similar accident.

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