Plants Poems

These poems celebrate the beauty and resilience of the natural world. They paint vivid portraits of flowers, trees, and green landscapes, capturing the harmony between nature and humanity.

Poets use plant imagery as symbols of growth, renewal, and interconnectedness, drawing parallels to the cycles of life and the human spirit. These poems become odes to the earth, reminding us of plants’ profound impact on our lives and the importance of nurturing and preserving our environment.

Spring

by Jean Bleakney

‘Spring’ is an unsettling poem that explores the dangers of devotion and deferring happiness instead of living in the present.

Much of the poem is concerned with the growth of plants, which appear both fragile and strong at various points in the poem.

It spills from sun-shocked evenings in March

and slit seed-packets, buckled into spouts.

She palms and strokes and shunts them, via heart-line;

index-fingers them to rows of labelled pots.

Plants

by Olive Senior

‘Plants’ by Olive Senior is a unique free verse poem that describes the deceptiveness of plants. It uses irony and humor to suggest that plants are trying to take over the world.

The poem's central subject is plants, and Olive Senior portrays them as complex and strategic organisms. By shedding light on their cunning and deceptive nature, the poem invites readers to reconsider their perception of plants and recognize the intelligence behind their survival mechanisms.

Plants are deceptive. You see them there

looking as if once rooted they know

their places; not like animals, like us

always running around, leaving traces.

Grasses wilt

by Yamaguchi Seishi

‘Grasses wilt’ by Yamaguchi Seishi is a unique poem that’s written in the form of a haiku. It describes two contrasting, yet related, images.

Plants, particularly the grasses in this poem, serve as symbolic representations of life and its impermanence. The wilting grasses embody the cycle of growth, decay, and renewal that characterizes both nature and human existence. Through the image of plants, Seishi draws attention to how important it is to find beauty and meaning within fleeting moments.

Grasses wilt:

the braking locomotive

grinds to a halt.

Strings in the earth and air

by James Joyce

‘Strings in the earth and air’ by James Joyce is a romantic poem that imagines love as a youth playing sweetly enchanting music.

A topic mentioned in James Joyce's poem comes in the form of the many types of plants that appear in the poem. Its setting is one of pastoral and verdant beauty, where "willows meet," and love's personification wanders with "pale flowers" and "dark leaves" in their hair. This lush presentation of plants adds to the poem's idyllic atmosphere.

Strings in the earth and air

Make music sweet;

Strings by the river where

The willows meet.

A Murmur in the Trees— to note

by Emily Dickinson

‘A Murmur in the Trees— to note’ by Emily Dickinson is a poem about nature’s magic. It includes mysterious images of fairy men, glowing lights in the woods, and the murmuring of trees. 

Save for the trees and the grass, there are no plants mentioned explicitly in the poem even though there likely were flowers growing in close proximity to the trees. Like nature more broadly, Dickinson offers a degree of deference towards plants as she believes they protect the magical elements of the world.

A Murmur in the Trees – to note –

Not loud enough – for Wind –

A Star – not far enough to seek –

Nor near enough – to find –

Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter

by John Clare

‘Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter’ by John Clare is a beautiful nature poem that describes a specific area in Northamptonshire in winter. The poem focuses on plants and birds. 

Plants are one of the key images in this John Clare poem. He explores plants, trees, flowers, shrubs, and birds (while also alluding to how people enjoy this landscape too).

I love to see the old heath's withered brake

Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,

While the old heron from the lonely lake

Starts slow and flaps his melancholy wing,

Hiawatha’s Childhood

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘Hiawatha’s Childhood’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes how the protagonist of ‘The Song of Hiawatha’ grew up and learned about his surroundings. It also focuses on the life of his grandmother.

Hiawatha learns a great deal about nature in this section of the epic poem. While the poem mainly focuses on animals, it does allude to learning about plants as well.

By the shores of Gitche Gumee,

By yhr shining Big-Sea-Water,

Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,

Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.

The Barefoot Boy

by John Greenleaf Whittier

‘The Barefoot Boy’ by John Greenleaf Whittier is a highly relatable poem that speaks on universal themes of aging and the beauty and joy of youth. The poem celebrates a young boy’s freedom and mourns the coming of age. 

The speaker cites the plants the boy explores in the woods as a source of the young boy's education. He has no time for books or school. The boy loves the outdoors and has clarity that others do not.

Blessings on thee, little man,

Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!

With thy turned-up pantaloons,

And thy merry whistled tunes;

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.

Die, wild country, like the eaglehawk,

dangerous till the last breath's gone,

clawing and striking. Die

cursing your captor through a raging eye.

Explore more poems about Plants

Old Man

by Edward Thomas

‘Old Man’ by Edward Thomas is a thoughtful piece about the loss of memory and a disconnect to one’s past. 

Root Cellar

by Theodore Roethke

‘Root Cellar’ by Theodore Roethke is a short eleven-line poem that describes a variety of disgusting and smelly plant life that exists within a speaker’s root cellar.

The Forest Path

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

‘The Forest Path’ by Lucy Maud Montgomery is an uplifting nature poem that describes the beauty and magic one can find in the forest.

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants-

by Emily Dickinson

‘The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants-’ by Emily Dickinson depicts the mushroom, its fleeting life, and personifies it alongside Nature. 

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants -

At Evening, it is not

At Morning, in a Truffled Hut

It stop opon a Spot

The Stinking Rose

by Sujata Bhatt

‘The Stinking Rose’ by Sujata Bhatt describes the way that garlic is judged based on its name and how a changed name might influence that fact. 

The Trees like Tassels — hit — and swung

by Emily Dickinson

‘The Trees like Tassels — hit — and swung’ by Emily Dickinson is a warm and optimistic poem. It focuses on the summer season and what one might observe during it.

The Trees like Tassels hit and swung

There seemed to rise a

Tune From Miniature Creatures

Accompanying the Sun

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.

Every valley drinks,

Every dell and hollow;

Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,

Green of Spring will follow.

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