15 Deeply Moving Poems About Letting Go

Sometimes, poetry hits the spot.

It moves us verbally and emotionally and has the power to lay bare the complexities of life’s ups and downs from different vantage points.

Letting go of the past is a challenging charge, but poetry about moving on in life is a balm to help you navigate rough waters.

As such, today, we’re celebrating 15 moving poems about letting go and walking forward with confidence. 

15 Deeply Moving Poems About Letting Go

Reading poems about letting go can give you the motivation and inspiration needed to move on in a healthy direction. We hope the 15 selections below do exactly that for you. 

1. Letting Go by Nelson Mandela

To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring: it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off; it is the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences. To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another;
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about. To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own outcomes. To let go is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it
comes and to cherish the moment.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what I dream I can be
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.

2. She Let Go by Reverend Safire Rose

She let go.
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

3. The Peace of Wild Things by Wendall Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
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.

4. Letting Go Is A Sure Cure by Catherine Pulsifer

What is the point of hanging on to a grudge
Who are you to point the finger and be the judge
Letting go will help you more
It is, for sure, a great cure.
What is the point of being mad
In the end, it is just you who is sad.
Moving on will help you more
It is, for sure, a great cure.
What is the point of trying to force love
It is like putting on a mismatched glove.
Set yourself free will help you more
It is, for sure, a great cure.
What is the point of not forgiving
It is like missing out on living.
To forgive will help you more
It is, for sure, a great cure.
For all of the things that upset you so
The best cure is letting go.
Move on, don’t get stuck
Holding on and in a rut.

5. Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

6. We Never Let Go by Jocelyn Soriano

We do not really let go of love;
We hold on to it.
We hold on to what remains
After all the dross is put away.
And after all the pain has
Purified the heart,
We know that we need only part
With things that cannot last.
But we hold on to what is pure;
We cherish the truth we’ve found.
And what is beautiful shall always remain
Because we never really let go of love.

7. After great pain, a formal feeling comes by Emily Dickinson

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?
The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –
This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

8. Pain Ends by Katy A. Brown

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.


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9. Letting Go by Alexandra Vasiliu

Letting go will teach you 
the art
of being humble,
yet strong.
The less you control,
the more you grow.

10. Let Go of Your Worries by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Let go of your worries
and be completely clear-hearted,
like the face of a mirror
that contains no images.
If you want a clear mirror,
behold yourself
and see the shameless truth,
which the mirror reflects.
If metal can be polished
to a mirror-like finish,
what polishing might the mirror
of the heart require?
Between the mirror and the heart
is this single difference:
the heart conceals secrets,
while the mirror does not.

11. In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
go,
to let it go.

12. Ghosts by Alexandra Vasiliu

When you remember
painful things from your past
and when you feel
empty,
lonely,
or heartbroken,
don’t run.
Look into the eyes
of those memories
and declare,
“Don’t visit me anymore.
I don’t belong to you.
I belong to love.”

13. Vertigo: Of Love and Letting Go by Analog De Leon

I reach in and unearth
the false agreements
that have walled up
my secret places for so long,
then I step back from the ledge.
Change begins with one step.

14. The Art of Letting Go by Rania Naim

As you keep learning the art of letting go
let go of your fears, of your past
of your mistakes, of your insecurities,
of your failures, of your self-doubt,
forgive yourself enough to let go
of even the parts of you
that dim your light.

15. Letting Him Go by Lang Leav

There is a particular kind of suffering 
to be experienced when 
you love something greater than yourself. 
A tender sacrifice. 
Like the pained silence felt in the lost song of a mermaid; 
or the bent and broken feet of a dancing ballerina. 
It is in every considered step I am taking 
in the opposite direction of you.

How to Use These Letting Go Poems 

Spending a half-hour reading and contemplating poems is physically relaxing and intellectually stimulating. We highly recommend it.

But it’s not the only way to interact with poems. Other options include:

  • Using them as writing guides. Copying poems and works of writing is an old-fashioned way of learning to become a better scribbler. The practice also helps you connect better with the words.
  • Using them as inspiration. Don’t copy word for word, but use the structure to create your own poems. It’s an excellent way to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Holding a poetry reading. Why not get a bunch of people together for a poetry reading? Invite everyone to bring a poem that resonates with them to read at the event. Add some wine, cheese, and other snacks, and you’ve got a fun, artsy, interesting night on your hands.

Reading poems is an excellent way to unwind and contemplate life’s nuances. They also have the power to lift our moods and put things in perspective.

We hope you found a letting go poem in the list that works for you and wish you the best of luck letting go. Great things are ahead.

Just like songs, there is something about poems that will make your sentiments go deeper. Here are some poems about letting go you can relate to.

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