78 Meaning of Life Poems to Inspire You

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

The quest for the meaning of life has long been a central theme in literature and philosophy.

From Socratic discussions to contemporary studies in the field of existential psychology, the search for purpose continues to captivate intellectual minds.

Amid this profound exploration, we invite you to embark on a poetic odyssey into the meaning of life poems.

Our collection features the best poems about life that encapsulate life’s essence in verses that resonate with the human spirit.

Let us now take a look at this life poetry.

Best Meaning of Life Poems

In the realm of meaning and purpose, these poems stand as beacons of wisdom and insight. Immerse yourself in the profound verses that offer a glimpse into the best poems about meaning of life.

1. The Road not Taken

       by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

2. The Guest House

       by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

3. The Journey

       by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice.

4. The Voice of the Rain

       by Walt Whitman

And the voice of the rain is a soft,
And the mist of the meadows is sweet,
And the green creepers come,
And the lizards come out of their holes,

5. If

       by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

6. The Purpose of Life

       by Ralph Waldo Emerson

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others;
To give one’s self away to a worthy cause;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

7. The Meaning of Life

       by Thich Nhat Hanh

The meaning of life is just to be alive.
It is so plain and simple.
And yet, we all spend our lives searching for something more.
We search for happiness, we search for love, we search for fulfillment.
But all of these things are already within us.
They are the essence of who we are.
All we need to do is open our eyes and see them.

The meaning of life is to live it to the fullest.
To experience all that it has to offer.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
To learn from our mistakes and to grow as individuals.
To love and be loved.
To make a difference in the world.

The meaning of life is to find our purpose.
What are we passionate about?
What do we want to achieve?
Once we know our purpose, we can start to live our lives in alignment with it.
We can start to make a real difference in the world.

Famous Meaning of Life Poems

Throughout history, poets have grappled with life’s profound questions, leaving us with verses that have achieved timeless fame. Explore the works of renowned wordsmiths in the realm of famous poems about the meaning of life.

1. Risk

       by Anaïs Nin

And then the day came,

when the risk

to remain tight

in a bud

was more painful

than the risk

it took

to blossom.

2. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

       by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

3. Hope is the Thing with Feathers

       by Emily Dickinson

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

4. The Peace of Wild Things

       by Wendell Berry

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

5. The Summer Day

       By Langston Hughes

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

6. From Milk and Honey

       by Rupi Kaur

what is stronger

than the human heart

which shatters over and over

and still lives

7. Stream of Life

       by Rabindranath Tagore

The same stream of life that runs

through my veins night and day runs

through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy

through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and

breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

8. Sonnet 29

       by William Shakespeare

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings

9. I Took My Power in My Hand

       by Emily Dickinson

I aimed by Pebble—but Myself

Was all the one that fell—

Was it Goliath—was too large—

Or was myself—too small

10. O Me! O life!

       by Walt Whitman

O Me! O life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

11. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

       by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall

Noises down the hall

Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud

Big ghosts in a cloud

Life doesn’t frighten me at all

12. A Psalm of Life

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

13. Do not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

       by Dylan Thomas

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

14. Desiderata

       by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,

even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

15. Leisure

       by W. H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

16. Opportunity

       by Berton Braley

With doubt and dismay you are smitten

You think there’s no chance for you, son?

Why, the best books haven’t been written

The best race hasn’t been run,

The best score hasn’t been made yet,

The best song hasn’t been sung,

The best tune hasn’t been played yet,

Cheer up, for the world is young!

17. The Builders

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All are architects of Fate,

Working in these walls of Time;

Some with massive deeds and great,

Some with ornaments of rhyme.

18. Life

       by Charlotte Brontë

Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,

But these are transient all;

If the shower will make the roses bloom,

O why lament its fall?

19. What Is This Life

       by Sir Walter Raleigh

What is our life? The play of passion

Our mirth? The music of division:

Our mothers’ wombs the tiring-houses be,

Where we are dressed for life’s short comedy.

20. Lines on a Skull

       by Ravi Shankar

life’s little, our heads

sad. Redeemed and wasting clay

this chance. Be of use.

21. The Room of My Life

       by Anne Sexton

Here,

in the room of my life

the objects keep changing.

Ashtrays to cry into,

the suffering brother of the wood walls,

the forty-eight keys of the typewriter

each an eyeball that is never shut,

22.  A Question

       by Robert Frost

A voice said, Look me in the stars

And tell me truly, men of earth,

If all the soul-and-body scars

Were not too much to pay for birth.

23. Futility

       by Wilfred Owen


Was it for this the clay grew tall?

—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil

To break earth’s sleep at all?

Inspirational Meaning of Life Poems

Life’s mysteries are best unraveled by inspiration. Join us in the pursuit of motivation and insight through inspirational poems about meaning of life. Let these verses guide your path to enlightenment.

1. Let It Go

       by William Empson

It is this deep blankness is the real thing strange.
The more things happen to you the more you can’t
Tell or remember even what they were.

2. The Teasers

       by William Empson

Not but they die, the teasers and the dreams,
Not but they die,
and tell the careful flood
To give them what they clamour for and why.

You could not fancy where they rip to blood,
You could not fancy
nor that mud
I have heard speak that will not cake or dry.

Our claims to act appear so small to these,
Our claims to act
colder lunacies
That cheat the love, the moment, the small fact.

Make no escape because they flash and die,
Make no escape
build up your love,
Leave what you die for and be safe to die.

3. Life Is

       by Mother Teresa

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

4. The Small Claim of Bones

       by Cindy Williams Gutiérrez

What my body knows
is not a lie it’s not
a lie I tell you it is not
it’s nothing short of truth
and nothing larger
my past lodges
in my marrow and if
I wanted a transplant
There’d be no match
Others’ sorrows dwarf
my petty traumas still
these bones are mine
when they creak
when they moan
when they whine
there’s only one thing
I can claim these bones
are mine I tell you
they are mine and kind
to abandon no thing
that makes this pulse
no one but me.

5. Life

       by Sarojini Naidu

Children, ye have not lived, to you it seems
Life is a lovely stalactite of dreams,
Or carnival of careless joys that leap
About your hearts like billows on the deep
In flames of amber and of amethyst.

Children, ye have not lived, ye but exist
Till some resistless hour shall rise and move
Your hearts to wake and hunger after love,
And thirst with passionate longing for the things
That burn your brows with blood-red sufferings.

Till ye have battled with great grief and fears,
And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years,
Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife,
Children, ye have not lived: for this is life.

6. Later Life

       by Christina Rossetti

Something this foggy day, a something which
Is neither of this fog nor of today,
Has set me dreaming of the winds that play
Past certain cliffs, along one certain beach,
And turn the topmost edge of waves to spray:


Ah pleasant pebbly strand so far away,
So out of reach while quite within my reach,
As out of reach as India or Cathay!
I am sick of where I am and where I am not,
I am sick of foresight and of memory,
I am sick of all I have and all I see,
I am sick of self, and there is nothing new;

Oh weary impatient patience of my lot!
Thus with myself: how fares it, Friends, with you?

7. My Life Was The Size of My Life

       by Jane Hirshfield

My life was the size of my life.
Its rooms were room-sized,
its soul was the size of a soul.
In its background, mitochondria hummed,
above it sun, clouds, snow,
the transit of stars and planets.
It rode elevators, bullet trains,
various airplanes, a donkey.
It wore socks, shirts, its own ears and nose.
It ate, it slept, it opened
and closed its hands, its windows.
Others, I know, had lives larger.
Others, I know, had lives shorter.
The depth of lives, too, is different.
There were times my life and I made jokes together.
There were times we made bread.
Once, I grew moody and distant.
I told my life I would like some time,
I would like to try seeing others.
In a week, my empty suitcase and I returned.
I was hungry, then, and my life,
my life, too, was hungry, we could not keep
our hands off our clothes on
our tongues from

8. Each Moment Is Precious

       by Pat A. Fleming

Live in the moment,
Just take it all in.
Pay attention to everything,
Right there and right then.
Don’t let your mind wander
To what’s coming next.
Cherish this moment
And give it your best.
Don’t let tomorrow
Make you rush through today,
Or too many great moments
Will just go to waste.
And the person you’re with,
In that moment you share,
Give them all of your focus;
Be totally there.
Laugh till it hurts,
Let the tears drop.
Fill up each moment
With all that you’ve got.
Don’t miss the details;
The lesson is there.
Don’t get complacent;
Stay sharp and aware.
It can take but a moment
To change your life’s path.
And once it ticks by,
There is no going back.
In just 60 seconds,
You may make a new friend.
Find your true love,
Or see a life start or end.
You become who you are
In those moments you live.
And the growth’s not in taking
But in how much you give.
Life is just moments,
So precious and few.
Whether valued or squandered,
It’s all up to you!

9. Life

       by Sir Walter Raleigh

What is our life? A play of passion,
Our mirth the music of division,
Our mother’s wombs the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.
Our graves that hide us from the setting sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest, that’s no jest.

10. ‟Hope” Is the Thing with Feathers

       by Emily Dickinson

‟Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

11. Life Is a Privilege

       by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Life is a privilege. Its youthful days
Shine with the radiance of continuous Mays.
To live, to breathe, to wonder and desire,
To feed with dreams the heart’s perpetual fire,
To thrill with virtuous passions, and to glow
With great ambitions – in one hour to know
The depths and heights of feeling – God! in truth,
How beautiful, how beautiful is youth!
Life is a privilege. Like some rare rose
The mysteries of the human mind unclose.
What marvels lie in the earth, and air, and sea!
What stores of knowledge wait our opening key!
What sunny roads of happiness lead out
Beyond the realms of indolence and doubt!
And what large pleasures smile upon and bless
The busy avenues of usefulness!

Life is a privilege. Thought the noontide fades
And shadows fall along the winding glades,
Though joy-blooms wither in the autumn air,
Yet the sweet scent of sympathy is there.
Pale sorrow leads us closer to our kind,
And in the serious hours of life we find
Depths in the souls of men which lend new worth
And majesty to this brief span of earth.

Life is a privilege. If some sad fate
Sends us alone to seek the exit gate,
If men forsake us and as shadows fall,
Still does the supreme privilege of all
Come in that reaching upward of the soul
To find the welcoming Presence at the goal,
And in the Knowledge that our feet have trod
Paths that led from, and must wind back, to God.

12. Dust of Snow

       by Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

13. Changing the Past

       by Donna

The past is the past for a reason.
That is where it is supposed to stay,
But some cannot let it go.
In their heads it eats away

Until all their focus becomes
The person they used to be,
The mistakes they made in their life.
Oh, if only they could see

That you cannot change what happened,
No matter how hard you try,
No matter how much you think about it,
No matter how much you cry.

What happens in your lifetime
Happens for reasons unknown,
So you have to let the cards unfold.
Let your story be shown.

Don’t get wrapped up in the negative.
Be happy with what you have been given.
Live for today not tomorrow.
Get up, get out, and start living,

Because the past is the past for a reason.
It’s been, and now it is gone,
So stop trying to think of ways to fix it.
It’s done, it’s unchangeable; move on.

14. Desiderata

       by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

15. Death and Life

       by Robert William Service

’Twas in the grave-yard’s gruesome gloom
That May and I were mated;
We sneaked inside and on a tomb
Our love was consummated.
It’s quite all right, no doubt we’ll wed,
Our sin will go unchidden,
Ah! sweeter than the nuptial bed
Are ecstasies forbidden.
And as I held my sweetheart close,
And she was softly sighing,
I could not help but think of those
In peace below us lying.
Poor folks! No disrespect we meant,
And beg you’ll be forgiving;
We hopes the dead will not resent
The rapture of the living.

And when in death I, too, shall lie,
And lost to those who love me,
I wish two sweethearts roving by
Will plight their troth above me.
Oh do not think that I will grieve
To hear the vows they’re voicing,
And if their love new life conceive,
’Tis I will be rejoicing.

16. Life Is Fine

       by Mary Oliver

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.
Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

17. A Simple Plan

       by Anonymous

Simple Sam was a simple man.
He lived each day by a simple plan.
Enjoy your life and live while you can.
Make each day count and take a stand.

Stand on the left or stand on the right,
Whichever one you think is right.
Live each day as if your last.
Life’s too short and gone too fast.

Short Meaning of Life Poems

Sometimes, profound thoughts are best expressed succinctly. Dive into the world of brevity with short poems about life. Discover the beauty of concise wisdom in these compact verses.

1. Desiderata

       by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

2. A Psalm of Life

       by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

3. To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

       by Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

4. Ozymandias

       by Percy Bysshe Shelley


Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

6. Invictus

       by William Ernest Henley

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

7. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

       by T.S. Eliot

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”

8. Fire and Ice

       by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.

9. The Summer Day

       by Mary Oliver

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

10. A Dream Within a Dream  

       by Edgar Allan Poe

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

11. Eternity

       by William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

12. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

       by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Long Meaning of Life Poems

In the realm of complexity, some ideas require more space to bloom. Journey with us through long poems that intricately explore the meaning of life. Delve into the depths of these poetic expressions.

1. What Is This Life?

       by Sir Walter Raleigh

What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows?

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass?
No time to mark the passing light,
That gleams across the fields of night?

No time to turn at Beauty’s call,
No time, no time for one and all.
Is this the life that we shall know,
Not to observe, not to feel, not to grow?

2. Life is a Test

       by Khalil Gibran

Life is a test, it is not a punishment.
Give thanks for the difficult moments.
Without them, we would not be able to appreciate the good times.

Life is a puzzle, we are the pieces.
We are all trying to find our place in the world.
The important thing is to keep trying, even when we fall.

Life is a book, we are the authors.
We write our own stories with our choices and actions.
Make sure your story is one that you will be proud of.

Life is a gift, we are the receivers.
We should cherish every moment, both the good and the bad.
For we never know when it will be over.

3. Ode to Broken Things

       by Pablo Neruda

Things get broken
at home
like they were pushed
by an invisible, deliberate smasher.
It’s not my hands
or yours
It wasn’t the girls
with their hard fingernails
or the motion of the planet.
It wasn’t anything or anybody

It wasn’t the wind
It wasn’t the orange-colored noontime
Or night over the earth
It wasn’t even the nose or the elbow
Or the hips getting bigger
or the ankle
or the air.
The plate broke, the lamp fell
All the flower pots tumbled over
one by one. That pot

which overflowed with scarlet
in the middle of October,
it got tired from all the violets
and another empty one
rolled round and round and round
all through winter
until it was only the powder
of a flowerpot,
a broken memory, shining dust.

And that clock
whose sound
was
the voice of our lives,
the secret
thread of our weeks,
which released
one by one, so many hours
for honey and silence
for so many births and jobs,
that clock also
fell
and its delicate blue guts
vibrated
among the broken glass
its wide heart
unsprung.

Life goes on grinding up
glass, wearing out clothes
making fragments
breaking down
forms
and what lasts through time
is like an island on a ship in the sea,
perishable
surrounded by dangerous fragility
by merciless waters and threats.

Let’s put all our treasures together
— the clocks, plates, cups cracked by the cold —
into a sack and carry them
to the sea
and let our possessions sink
into one alarming breaker
that sounds like a river.
May whatever breaks
be reconstructed by the sea
with the long labor of its tides.
So many useless things
which nobody broke
but which got broken anyway.

4. Daisy Cutter

       by Robert William Service

Pause here at the flower stand—mums
and gladiolas, purple carnations

dark as my heart. We are engaged
in a war, and I want to drag home

any distraction I can carry. Tonight
children will wake to bouquets of fire

that will take their breath away. Still,
I think of my life. The way you hold me,

sometimes, you could choke me.
There is no way to protect myself,

except by some brilliant defense. I want
the black iris with their sabered blooms.

I want the flame throwers: the peonies,
the sunflowers. I will cut down the beautiful ones

and let their nectared sweetness bleed
into the careless air. This is not the world

I’d hoped it could be. It is horrible,
the way we carry on. Last night, you catalogued

our arsenal. You taught me devastation
is a goal we announce in a celebration

of shrapnel. Our bombs shower
in anticipation of their marks. You said this

is to assure damage will be widely distributed.
What gruesome genius invents our brutal hearts?

When you touch me I am a stalk of green panic
and desire. Wait here while I decide which

of these sprigs of blossoming heartbreak I can afford
to bring into my home. Tonight dreams will erupt

in chaotic buds of flame. This is the world we have
arranged. It is horrible, this way we carry on.

5. Against Dying

       by Maya Angelou

If the body is just a parable
about the body if breath
is a leash to hold the mind
then staying alive should be
easier than it is most sick
things become dead things
at twenty-four my liver was
already covered in fatty
rot my mother filled a tiny
coffin with picture frames
I spent the year drinking
from test tubes weeping
wherever I went somehow
it happened wellness crept
into me like a roach nibbling
through an eardrum for
a time the half minutes
of fire in my brainstem
made me want to pull out
my spine but even those
have become bearable so
how shall I live now
in the unexpected present
I spent so long in a lover’s
quarrel with my flesh
the peace seems over-
cautious too-polite I say
stop being cold or make
that blue bluer and it does
we speak to each other
in this code where every word
means obey I sit under
a poplar tree with a thermos
of chamomile feeling
useless as an oath against
dying I put a sugar cube
on my tongue and
swallow it like a pill.

6. My Inner Life

       by Katy A. Brown

’Tis true my garments threadbare are,
And sorry poor I seem;
But inly I am richer far
Than any poet’s dream.
For I’ve a hidden life no one
Can ever hope to see;
A sacred sanctuary none
May share with me.

Aloof I stand from out the strife,
Within my heart a song;
By virtue of my inner life
I to myself belong.
Against man-ruling I rebel,
Yet do not fear defeat,
For to my secret citadel
I may retreat.

Oh you who have an inner life
Beyond this dismal day
With wars and evil rumours rife,
Go blessedly your way.
Your refuge hold inviolate;
Unto yourself be true,
And shield serene from sordid fate
The Real You.

7. Still I Rise

       by Joyce Alcantara

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

8. Pain Ends

       by Pat A. Fleming

Breathe in the fresh air,
Put your mind at ease.
Let down your hair,
Let it flow in the breeze.

Let your eyes wander,
To all the beauty to be seen.
If those toxic thoughts you still do ponder,
Then let out a scream.

Scream until the pain is gone,
Until you no longer feel afraid.
Open your eyes to a new dawn,
Let the darkness fade.

No longer compare yourself
Or your flaws to others’ perfections.
Take the negativity off the shelf.
Focus on your direction.

Pick the sadness up off the floor,
Sweep it into the wind.
Close the door on self-hatred.
Never let it back in.

For the lies it would often tell you,
You will no longer agree.
Happiness and love are what you should hold onto.
They are whom you should give the key.

Pay no attention to the toxic thoughts,
Listen to those who adore everything you are.
Overthinking was what you once were taught,
But now those thoughts you put in a jar.

Focus on your goals,
Never lose your fight.
It’s time to open new scrolls.
Everything will be all right.

9. Just Being Me

       by Elsa Nora

The life I seek must be fast”
The speed of life makes me laugh!
Death’s just around the corner for
a Queer like me!
Well so they say all of them Freaks.

Homophobia I really do detest
What I am is what I do best!
Like if you want, Answer! This ain’t no test
If you like me, “Great,” then we’re friends
If you hate me don’t make me get upset!
I’m just a Dike whom nobody Straight likes
Well forget you all, cause we love each other
my Baby and I!

You don’t have to shake my hand,
I’m not asking you to stare.
If you don’t like what you see,
then get the Hell out of here!
I am what I am,
So please understand
Even if you don’t
“Who really gives a damn?”

10. You Will Never See Me Fall

       by Irwin Mercer

You may see me struggle,
but you won’t see me fall.
Regardless if I’m weak or not,
I’m going to stand tall.
Everyone says life is easy,
but truly living it is not.

Times get hard,
people struggle
and constantly get put on the spot.
I’m going to wear the biggest smile,
even though I want to cry.

I’m going to fight to live,
even though I’m destined to die.
And even though it’s hard
and I may struggle through it all,
you may see me struggle…
but you will NEVER see me fall.

11. Finding Hope

       by Anonymous

I’ve always viewed life from the side lines,
Just watching it passing me by.
In the past, too afraid to just let go and live,
And lately too tired to try.

I’ve envied the people around me
So invested in living each day,
While I spent my time hiding out from the world
And searching for ways to escape.

For most of my life I truly believed
I was here to help somebody else,
But now it’s so clear it was just an excuse.
To avoid living life for myself.

It’s sad that our lives and the pain we endure
Can weaken our strength to move on,
But if we get lost in the scars of our past,
Without knowing our lives will be gone.

It’s true, people are disappointing,
They can turn in the blink of an eye,
But we can’t avoid hurting each other,
When we all want a chance at this life.

But there’s something I’ve learned through the wisdom of age,
A truth about all of our lives,
And that is no matter what path we each take,
In the end, we just want to survive.

So the time has now come to conquer my fears
And to stand up and face a new day.
Let the hurts of my past wash away with my tears
And stop letting my life slip away.

Meaning of Life Poems That Rhyme

Rhyme adds melody to meaning, making the pursuit of life’s purpose all the more engaging. Explore the musicality of thought in poems about the meaning of life that rhyme. Let the verses serenade your quest.

1. The Meaning of Life

       by Emily Dickinson

Each Life Converges to some Centre —
Expressed — or still —
Exists in every Human Nature
A Goal …

Before we breathe an earthly Life —
We sigh to know
The Purpose — so we reason Life —
Must answer — no —

The Purpose is the Being —
The Being is the Aim —
The Aim is what we have to do
Before we see the Same.

2. Full Life

       by D. H. Lawrence

A man can’t fully live unless he dies
And ceases to care, ceases to care.
But he who dies to live again,
Shall live to die no more.

3. Dockery and Son

       by Philip Larkin

They change the stops on buses,
And pull them down to the ground;
They cover the old names over
With new names that no one’s found.

But we shall go on forever
Like Dockery and Son:
The old-established firm
That nobody will run.

4. The Meaning of Life

       by Anonymous

What is the meaning of life?
Is it to be rich or famous?
Is it to have a lot of friends?
Or to travel the world?

5. The Dance of Life

       by Anonymous

Life is a dance,
So dance it well.
Live each day to the fullest,
And never lose your zest.

Dance with the people you love,
And cherish the moments you share.
For life is short,
And time is fleeting.

So dance, my friend, dance!

6. The Journey of Life

       by Anonymous

Life is a journey,
So enjoy the ride.
There will be ups and downs,
But never give up.

The journey is as important as the destination,
So savor every moment.
Learn from your mistakes,
And grow from your experiences.

The journey of life is a gift,
So cherish it.

7. The Gift of Life

       by Anonymous

Life is a gift,
So cherish it.
Every day is a new beginning,
So make the most of it.

Be kind to yourself and others,
And make the world a better place.
For life is too short to be anything but happy.

8. The Beauty of Life

       by Anonymous

Life is beautiful,
So open your eyes to see it.
There is beauty all around us,
In nature, in people, and in love.

Appreciate the simple things,
And be grateful for all that you have.
For life is a precious gift,
So cherish it every day.

Final Thoughts

The meaning of life, a profound question that has resonated through time, continues to captivate our thoughts and inspire poets.

As we conclude our poetic journey of these meaning of life poems, remember that life’s meaning is an ever-changing exploration that often finds expression through the art of poetry.

These poems about life a testament to the diverse ways in which humanity seeks purpose and understanding.

Your unique perspective is equally valuable.

We invite you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Engage with this journey of life poetry, for your insights enrich the tapestry of our collective understanding.

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