When you get pounded by life, with one wave of despair crashing into the next, it’s easy to feel hopeless.
Maybe you’ve been holding on by your teeth and just don’t have the strength to go on.
But you do.
You do have the strength when you muster just the tiniest seed of inspiration and hope.
The poetry of hope we’ve curated below just may be that seed, motivating you to find your footing and envision a better tomorrow.
11 Powerful Poems About Hope
We know that optimistic poems alone aren’t going to change your life or circumstances.
But they are a starting point to remind you that all isn’t lost. Something better is around the corner, and you DO have the inner resources to make it happen.
Excerpt from The Hill We Climb, Amanda Gorman
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west.
We will rise from the windswept northeast,
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sunbaked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful.
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid,
the new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
I Promise Myself, Christian D. Larson
To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of
others as I am about my own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the
greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile
to every living creature I meet.
To give so much time to improving myself that I
have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side,
so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
Never Let Go of Hope, Jancarl Campi
you will see
that it all
has finally come together.
What you have
always wished for
has finally come to be.
You will look back
and laugh at what has passed
and you will ask yourself,
“How did I get through all of that?”
Just never let go of hope.
Just never quit dreaming.
And never let love
A Center, Ha Jin
You must hold your quiet center,
where you do what only you can do.
If others call you a maniac or a fool,
just let them wag their tongues.
If some praise your perseverance,
don’t feel too happy about it—
only solitude is a lasting friend.
You must hold your distant center.
Don’t move even if earth and heaven quake.
If others think you are insignificant,
that’s because you haven’t held on long enough.
As long as you stay put year after year,
eventually you will find a world
beginning to revolve around you.
Coming, Philip Larkin
On longer evenings,
Light, chill and yellow,
Bathes the serene
Foreheads of houses.
A thrush sings,
In the deep bare garden,
Its fresh-peeled voice
Astonishing the brickwork.
It will be spring soon,
It will be spring soon—
And I, whose childhood
Is a forgotten boredom,
Feel like a child
Who comes on a scene
Of adult reconciling,
And can understand nothing
But the unusual laughter,
And starts to be happy.
New Every Morning, Susan Coolidge
Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.
Dreams, Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Kindness, Nikita Gill
And maybe it is easier to learn kindness in these times.
When the whole world is like a small child with a fever,
trying her very best to make herself feel better.
Maybe we find our unity in the near-losing of everything.
Where we have no choice but to depend upon each other.
This is what it takes to realize we are in this together.
A man helps someone he dislikes because they are in danger.
A neighbor delivers groceries to everyone ill on her street.
Old friends forgive each other and stop acting like they are strangers.
Maybe this time, this is what the revolution looks like.
People helping each other despite their differences.
Understanding truly, that without the aid of others,
we would be all alone in this.
Don’t Quit, Rev Wade Watts
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road your trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when your hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit!
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Invictus, William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
A Time To Believe, B.J. Morbitzer
To believe is to know that
every day is a new beginning.
Is to trust that miracles happen,
and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels
dancing among the clouds,
To know the wonder of a stardust sky
and the wisdom of the man in the moon.
To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,
The innocence of a child’s eyes
and the beauty of an aging hand,
for it is through their teachings we learn to love.
To believe is to find the strength
and courage that lies within us
When it’s time to pick up
the pieces and begin again.
To believe is to know
we are not alone,
That life is a gift
and this is our time to cherish it.
To believe is to know
that wonderful surprises are just
waiting to happen,
And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.
Which of these famous poems on hope spoke to you? What words can you hang on to today to see you through challenging times?
When you find your thoughts returning to hopelessness, revisit these hope poems and remember you can always find a way forward.