Journey Poems

‘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 poet depicts a very important journey in this poem, that of one's life leading up till death.

In Chambers bright —

Too out of sight — though —

For our hoarse Good Night —

To touch her Head!

Explore more poems about Journey

A Watery City

by Jean Bleakney

‘A Watery City’ engages with themes of friendship and journeying, significantly how they are affected by the passage of time.

The poem is principally concerned with the narrator's journey to Cork but also her symbolic journey to acceptance of the inevitability of time.


by Marilyn Nelson

‘Star-Fix’ by Marilyn Nelson is a poem that lionizes the noble role of the navigator onboard an aircraft.

The journey is a large theme in the poem, one that's conducted under the watchful and skillful eye of the navigator. Without their selfless dedication to their work the crew would be both lost and most likely dead. They are the leader on the journey simply because they are the only way capable of guiding the aircraft.

Song of the Chattahoochee

by Sidney Lanier

‘Song of the Chattahoochee’ is a 19th century American poem that takes the perspective of the Chattahoochee river as it flows from northern Georgia to the sea.

This poem follows the course of the Chattahoochee river all the way from the north to the southern coast of Georgia. The river-speaker seems to enjoy its journey but knows that its duty to water crops and turn waterwheels comes before any pleasure it could have on its adventure to the coastline.

Far over the misty mountains cold

by J.R.R. Tolkien

‘Far over the misty mountains cold’ by J.R.R. Tolkien depicts the destruction of Thorin Oakenshield’s home and his desire to win it back from Smaug. 

This poem is centered around the theme of a journey, as the dwarves must embark on a perilous adventure to reclaim their stolen treasure from the dragon. The journey requires great courage, determination, and endurance as the dwarves must navigate through dungeons and caverns, facing various dangers.

Go to Ahmedabad

by Sujata Bhatt

‘Go to Ahmedabad’ shows the psychological struggle of an immigrant dealing with disturbing past events and contemporary issues with newly developed views.

The poem shows the journey of an immigrant speaker as she goes through chaotic emotions before understanding her liminal position as a distinct empowering space.

First Flight

by U.A. Fanthorpe

‘First Flight’ by U.A. Fanthorpe follows a narrator’s first flight as they rise above the ground and commentate on their journey.

This U.A. Fanthorpe poem depicts the experience of travel as both a physical journey and a transformational experience. The poem's speaker reflects on the excitement and novelty of traveling to new places and the mundane aspects of travel, such as discussing business and observing familiar landscapes.

A Nation’s Strength

by William Ralph Emerson

‘A Nation’s Strength’ by William Ralph Emerson asks readers to consider what it is that makes a country great and why countries fail.

The journey that a nation or country goes on is of the utmost importance in this poem.

August, Los Angeles, Lullaby

by Carol Muske-Dukes

‘August, Los Angeles, Lullaby’ by Carol Muske-Dukes is a contemporary poem about bringing life into the world and the worries that plague a mother after giving birth. 

The journey through life that this speaker is taking, and that many others take, is the primary theme of the poem. It encompasses changing, growing, and understanding more about those who have come before you.

Facing West From California’s Shores

by Walt Whitman

‘Facing West From California’s Shores’ by Walt Whitman is a unique poem that alludes to the state of California and the potential expansion of the United States.

The poem is a meditation on the joys and challenges of embarking on a journey of physical and spiritual exploration. The journey has ended, but the poet's speaker doesn't seem entirely satisfied with what he's experienced or learned.

The Almond Trees

by Derek Walcott

‘The Almond Trees’ By Derek Walcott is a confessional poem about identity, history, and cultural identity.

This poem takes us from before the colonization of the beach to a time long after. The poem is a journey through history, dissecting a culture's changes as the speaker attempts to configure an accurate representation of today's feelings about their cultural Identity.


by Joaquin Miller

‘Columbus’ by Joaquin Miller is a perfectly rhymed poem that narrates a few moments in Columbus’ voyage to the new world. It focuses on the hardship the crew had to endure. 

Columbus' journey and the perseverance it took to continue on that journey is the main theme of this poem. When everyone else wanted to turn around, Columbus stayed true to what he wanted to accomplish, believing they'd get there eventually.

Don’t kill yourself today

by Hannah Dains

‘Don’t kill yourself today’ by Hannah Dains is a thoughtful and powerful poem about suicide. The poet explores all the reasons someone has to stay alive and expresses her love for those struggling with depression.

The poem is a journey in itself, taking the reader from a place of despair to a place of hope. It encourages the reader to take things one day at a time and to keep moving forward, even if it takes 10,000 "one more mornings" to get to a place of happiness.

To Beachey, 1912

by Carl Sandburg

‘To Beachey, 1912‘ by Carl Sandburg is a poem that expresses the author’s appreciation for aviation. The main character of the poem is flying in an airplane, and from high up, he is able to really appreciate the beauty of the blue sky.

The poem describes the journey of an aviator "riding against the east" and venturing into the "big blue beyond" in pursuit of adventure and freedom.

I died for beauty but was scarce

by Emily Dickinson

‘I died for beauty but was scarce’ by Emily Dickinson reflects her fascination for death and the possible life to follow.

The characters in this poem have been on a journey through life and into the afterlife.


by Alice Cary

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

The journey one takes through life, including its ups and downs, is the central theme of this poem. The speaker spends the lines outlining what exactly it takes to live a good life.

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. 

One of the main themes of this piece is the journey that all people took through the COVID-19 pandemic and how the pandemic changed everyday life.


by John Burroughs

‘Waiting’ by John Burroughs is an interesting, powerful poem written by a poet born in the mid-19th century. It asserts his, or a persona’s opinion about his fate. 

The main theme of this piece is the journey one takes through life, specifically as it applies to fate. The speaker knows that his journey is already set in stone, so there is nothing that he can do to change it.

At First

by Amanda Gorman

‘At First’ by Amanda Gorman is a poem about language in the COVID-19 pandemic. The poem uses text messages to speak about how the pandemic changed everyone. 

One of the main themes of this piece is the journey that all people took through the pandemic and how it altered everyday life.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon

by Ogden Nash

‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’ by Ogden Nash is a ballad about a young girl, Belinda, and her four pets, one of whom is a cowardly dragon named Custard.

'The Tale of Custard the Dragon' takes readers on a journey of self-discovery. Custard begins as a cowardly dragon who is constantly teased and ridiculed by his animal friends. Still, he eventually discovers his bravery and protects Belinda and her household from a pirate invasion.

Keep A-Goin’

by Frank Lebby Stanton

‘Keep A-Goin’’ by Frank Lebby Stanton is a simple poem about the path one walks in life and what should happen if one runs into hardship. 

This poem focuses on life's difficulties and how one has to face many stressful challenges. Throughout these challenges, one has to persevere with strength.

A Long Journey

by Musaemura Zimunya

‘A Long Journey’ by Musaemura Zimunya is based on the changes that came to Rhodesia, a small country in southern Africa, after British colonial rule. The speaker explores the positive changes and the negative.

A Picture of Otto

by Ted Hughes

‘A Picture of Otto’ by Ted Hughes is addressed to Sylvia Plath’s father, Otto. It contains Hughes’ disagreements about how he and Otto were depicted in Plath’s work.

A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map

by Stephen Spender

‘A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map’ by Stephen Spender explores the Spanish Civil War through the lyrical depiction of one man’s death. It is marked by a stopwatch, the olive trees, and the continued conflict around him. 


by Eavan Boland

‘Anorexic’ by Eavan Boland conveys the mindset of a woman determined to destroy her physical body through starvation and filled with hatred for her sinful past, as according to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve.


by Sophie Jewett

‘Armistice’ by Sophie Jewett describes a brief moment of magic, contemplation, and peace that two travellers experience as they journey across the ocean.

At Grass

by Philip Larkin

‘At Grass’ by Philip Larkin is a poem about fame and happiness. It focuses on racehorses and how they found new homes away from their previous lives.


by William Carlos Williams

‘Blizzard’ by the American poet William Carlos Williams is filled with vivid imagery of a blinding snowstorm and its aftermath. This poem taps on the themes of time, human history, and personal experiences.

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