beautiful poetry quotes

Most Beautiful Poetry Ever Written, Part 1

I found the first proper book I ever owned. It’s a poetry collection, and I got it from my dad when I was 6 (or 7).

I immediately felt the desire to bury myself in my favorite verses. So, I opened up the messiest folder on my laptop. And the few days I’ve spent ruffling through my saved poems was healing in a way only poetry can describe.

I present to you some of the finest poetry I keep close to my heart.

1. E.E. Cummings 

My first encounter with ee cummings went something like this.  

A hot summer day in the late 2000s. Mom was watching some Hollywood rom-com with Cameron Diaz. I was slicing a giant watermelon.  

To be honest, there was nothing that compelling about the movie. However, then the wedding scene happened. I paused for a moment; I’ve never heard such a lovely thing.  

That was the day “I Carry Your Heart With Me (I Carry It In My Heart)” became my favorite poem ever. 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere 

i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done 

by only me is your doing, my darling) 

                                                      i fear 

no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want 

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant 

and whatever a sun will always sing is you 


here is the deepest secret nobody knows 

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart 


i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 



2. Mary Oliver 

Oh, my God. My adoration for this woman and her work is ocean deep. It’s like wandering through a forest of your own life, your own choices, your battles, and wins.  

And Mary Oliver is there, sitting under the tallest tree, pointing to a spot next to her. So you sit down, lean back, and close your eyes.  

Somewhere in the distance, even if just for a moment, you hear wild geese honking. 

I love all her poems, and it pains me to choose only one. But here it is, “The Journey”.

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice —

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voice behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save

the only life that you could save.



3. Banjo Paterson

I have this unexplained fascination with Australian 19th century bush poetry. You’ve got stories about Australian wildlife, cattle, horses, wars, dry seasons.

Australian scenery, the folklore, the music. So mesmerizing and magical. I get chills.   

And if you don’t know who Banjo Paterson is, you must have heard of Waltzing Matilda, the most Aussie song ever. It doesn’t get more Aussie than this, and I’m all for it.  

Let me ask you this. Have you ever listened to the sounds of the Australian bushland before sleep? It freaking cures insomnia, I tell you. 

Some of Peterson’s gems are “The Man From Snowy River”, “A Bushman’s Song”, “The Road to Gundagai”, and my favorite “As Long As Your Eyes Are Blue”. 

Wilt thou love me, sweet, when my hair is grey

And my cheeks shall have lost their hue?

When the charms of youth shall have passed away,

Will your love as of old prove true?


For the looks may change, and the heart may range,

And the love be no longer fond;

Wilt thou love with truth in the years of youth

And away to the years beyond?


Oh, I love you, sweet, for your locks of brown

And the blush on your cheek that lies —

But I love you most for the kindly heart

That I see in your sweet blue eyes.


For the eyes are signs of the soul within,

Of the heart that is leal and true,

And mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,

Just as long as your eyes are blue.


For the locks may bleach, and the cheeks of peach

May be reft of their golden hue;

But mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,

Just as long as your eyes are blue.



4. Rupi Kaur

I believe you stumble upon certain poetry at the time in your life when you need it the most. Perhaps you also need to live through certain stuff for such powerful poetry to reach you, meet you at your very core, and tell you: You’ll survive this.

That’s what Rupi Kaur‘s words do to you. They move you. They get you moving. They moved me towards writing my poetry.

“Milk and Honey”, I ate it up. “The Sun and Her Flowers”, I devoured it. Currently on the menu: “home body”

Rupi has been present since the woman in me started looking for her meaning. And she’s still here, watching me with delight. 

 i will never have

this version of me again 

let me slow down 

and be with her


always evolving – rupi kaur


5. Beau Taplin 

Say what you will about Instapoetry, but it’s one of the best parts of social media.  

Beau Taplin is high on my Instapoets list. Everything about his writing is so easy. Simple and unforced. There are no rules on expression or rhyme. It’s about the universal things in life, about love and loss, hope and despair. It’s about figuring all these things out.  

A must-read for all us 20-somethings. 

There are a few things in life  

so beautiful they hurt:  

swimming in the ocean while it rains,  

reading alone in empty libraries,  

the sea of stars that appear when you’re miles away from the  

neon lights of the city, bars after 2 am, every phase  

of the moon, all the things we do not know  

about the universe, and you. 


-Beau Taplin – and you



6. Maya Angelou 

If there’s one woman on this green Earth I wish I’d met, it’s Maya Angelou. The only person who had the same sassy life force within herself was my grandma. Man, those two ladies would have been great friends. 

Oh, damn. What else is there to say about this woman? 

My words are no match. So, here’s Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” that best portrays this fierce writer.

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.


 7. William Wordsworth 

There’s no love for poetry without love for William Wordsworth’s poetry. In my humble opinion, English romanticism is the heart and soul of poetry.

John Keats, Lord Byron, William Blake….I mean, lock me down with nothing but their verses, and I can die happy.

Sir Wordsworth is someone I reach for when I’m in a self-reflective mood. Holding my cup of Earl Grey (with a lot of milk and two teaspoons of sugar), I like to bask in the sun and enjoy the masterpiece that is “Daffodils”.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.


8. Bianca Sparacino 

The next two authors on my list have had the most profound impact on my life (and my writing).

Do you remember how I mentioned my theory of coming across a certain poet (doesn’t have to be a poet, it can be any person who inspires you) at exactly the right time in life?

It was the winter of 2018. I was at the crossroads between what I wanted and what they expected of me.

Rupi was pushing me towards this place of freedom and belonging. And I pushed back. What was she trying to tell me?

Brené Brown calls it “the wilderness”. Elizabeth Gilbert calls it the Big Magic. Glennon Doyle calls it the Knowing. Hell, Maya Angelou is there. Sounds like fun. But I don’t know if I’m brave enough.

Then May rolled around, and Twitter decided I should be introduced to Bianca SparacinoAnd after reading the following poem, I had the most liberating cry of my life. 

Happiness turned to me and said – “It is time. It is time to forgive yourself for all of the things you did not become. It is time to exonerate yourself for all the people you couldn’t save, for all the fragile hearts you fumbled with in the dark of your confusion. It is time, child, to accept that you don’t have to be who you were a year ago, that you don’t have to want the same things. Above all else, it is time to believe, with reckless abandon, that you are worthy of me, for I have been waiting for years”.


9. Brianna Wiest 

A few months ago, just before I decided to start this blog, I was listening to a podcast. A psychologist was talking about creating life visions. She mentioned something that I’ve always felt but was never able to put my finger on it.  

To put it simply, we all have something, an idea, a goal, a desire, a vision of a life we want. Yet, we suppress our deepest desires to fit in, to get accepted by our communities, society, family, etc.

So, your mind, your intuition, your most inner self naturally gravitates to that desire. Was it that weird that I, a business major, became obsessed with writers, poetry, and creativity?

I wrote my first short story in English when I was 10. So, no. It wasn’t weird. I was preparing myself to enter the wilderness. And the irrevocable step was Brianna Wiest‘s “Salt Water” and this exact poem:

But can I tell you

That what I had been looking for all that time

Was me

And there was no photo so beautiful

No dripping rose perfume

Sweat-stained towel

Dulled black cotton dress

Messy, bleached waves sticking to lip balm

Lukewarm air filling the car

Moment of stinging anxiety

That wasn’t filled with the same deep knowing

I didn’t fit in this world

Because I was born to help create a new one



10. The Bonus Poem 

If there’s only one poem I want you to read today, it’s “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Forth Grade” by Brad Aaron Modlin.

I found it by chance last week. It needs no explanation, just read it. You’re going to like it, I promise.

Before I wrap up, here it is:

Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen

to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,


how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took

questions on how not to feel lost in the dark


After lunch she distributed worksheets

that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s


voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep

without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—


something important—and how to believe

the house you wake in is your home. This prompted


Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing

how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,


and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts

are all you hear; also, that you have enough.


The English lesson was that I am

is a complete sentence.


And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math


look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,


and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking

for whatever it was you lost, and one person


add up to something.


Hi, I’m Lana And I Have A Problem

Finding a wonderful poem is like drinking excellent wine. And if it doesn’t excite your taste buds, it’s not for you. Go on and find another one. There’s enough for everyone.

Give me the cheesiest, sappiest, over-sentimental poetry that almost makes you cringe.

Show me the most morbid, death-obsessed Emily Dickinson rhymes that make your blood run cold.

Let me have it all.

I guess I have a (drinking) problem now.


Cover image: by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash