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47 Famous Poems to Inspire You When You Feel Like Giving Up

Nothing can break you once you read these inspirational poems!

Published on May 29, 2020 6:00 AM EST
Famous Poems to Inspire You When You Feel Like Giving Up

Looking for short inspirational poems about hope and perseverance to give you the mental boost you need when things get tough?

Poetry is a method of expression that uses specific words, their meaning or interpretation and rhythm to deliver exciting and imaginative ideas as well as evoke emotional actions and reactions.

Famous Poems to Inspire You When You Feel Like Giving Up

Poetry has the potential to provide you with insightful advice as well as encourage you, strengthen your resolve, motivate you to succeed, and even give you direction and clarity when your hope is shaken.

There are oceans of poetry in different forms, length, from different time periods and written from varying perspectives.

But, for this piece, I am reflecting on 10 inspirational poems that I believe can do the job of picking you up at those times when you need just a tiny bit of inspiration to get us through a rough patch.

Some of these famous short poems you have heard before, but others may be new. Either way, we hope you love them!

Remember to also check out our collection of thoughtful quotes by Edgar Allan Poe as well as these Rumi quotes from his most famous poems.

Best short inspirational poems for when life and love get tough

Below are some of my favorite short inspirational poems for when life gets tough:

47. Don’t Disrespect Yourself By Shakira Wilkerson

Why are you disrespecting yourself girl?
Don’t you know you’re a pearl?
You’re a precious jewel,
Please honey, sweetie don’t be no fool!

Your body is a temple before the Lord.
Don’t mistreat it with harm.
Don’t disrespect yourself!
Don’t let no one slap you around and put you down.

Stand your ground and know who, and who’s you are.
You were created by the creator.
Fearfully and Wonderfully made.
So don’t disrespect your self

Put a stop and an end to this way of living.
Cease from the pain, get away from it all girl.
Don’t let anyone disrespect you!
Don’t you know you’re a queen, a precious gem.

If not, take a look in the mirror
and see all the beauty which God have mad you to be.
So girl, sister, friend and all women around the world,
Don’t disrespect yourself!

46. 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;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

45. Do It Now By Nixon Waterman

If you have a task worth doing,
Do it now!
In delay there’s danger brewing,
Do it now!
Don’t you be a “by-and-byer”
And a sluggish patience-trier;
If there’s aught you would acquire,
Do it now!

If you’d earn a prize worth owning,
Do it now!
Drop all waiting and postponing,
Do it now!
Say, “I will!” and then stick to it,
Choose your purpose and pursue it,
There’s but one right way to do it,
Do it now!

All we have is just this minute,
Do it now!
Find your duty and begin it,
Do it now!
Surely you’re not always going
To be “a going-to-be”; and knowing
You must some time make a showing
Do it now!

44. 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!

No chance? Why the world is just eager
For things that you ought to create
Its store of true wealth is still meagre
Its needs are incessant and great,
It yearns for more power and beauty
More laughter and love and romance,
More loyalty, labor and duty,
No chance–why there’s nothing but chance!

For the best verse hasn’t been rhymed yet,
The best house hasn’t been planned,
The highest peak hasn’t been climbed yet,
The mightiest rivers aren’t spanned,
Don’t worry and fret, faint hearted,
The chances have just begun,
For the Best jobs haven’t been started,
The Best work hasn’t been done.

43. How When Where By John Oxenham

It is not so much WHERE you live,
As HOW, and WHY, and WHEN you live,
That answers in the affirmative,
Or maybe in the negative,
The question Are you fit to live?

It is not so much WHERE you live,
As HOW you live, and whether good
Flows from you through your neighborhood
. And WHY you live, and whether you
Aim high and noblest ends pursue,
And keep Life brimming full and true.

And WHEN you live, and whether Time
Is at its nadir or its prime,
And whether you descend or climb.
It is not so much WHERE you live,
As whether while you live you live
And to the world your highest give,
And so make answer positive
That you are truly fit to live.

42. One by Shawnee Kellie

One word can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream;
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald Spring.

One smile can bring a friendship,
One handclasp can lift a soul;
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One cheer can obtain a goal.

One vote can change a Nation,
One sunbeam can lift a room;
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One look can change two lives;
One kiss can make love bloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer;
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true;
One life can make a difference,
One life is me and you….

41. You Cannot Change By Brian Tracy

You cannot change the world,
But you can present the world with one improved person – Yourself.

You can go to work on yourself to make yourself
Into the kind of person you admire and respect.
You can become a role model and set a standard for others.
You can control and discipline yourself to resist acting
Or speaking in a negative way toward anyone for any reason.
You can insist upon always doing things the loving way,
Rather than the hurtful way.
By doing these things each day, you can continue on your journey
Toward becoming an exceptional human being.

40. It Takes Courage

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

39. The Simple Things by Edgar A. Guest

I would not be too wise–so very wise
That I must sneer at simple songs and creeds,
And let the glare of wisdom blind my eyes
To humble people and their humble needs.

I would not care to climb so high that I
Could never hear the children at their play,
Could only see the people passing by,
And never hear the cheering words they say.

I would not know too much–too much to smile
At trivial errors of the heart and hand,
Nor be too proud to play the friend the while,
Nor cease to help and know and understand.

I would not care to sit upon a throne,
Or build my house upon a mountain-top,
Where I must dwell in glory all alone
And never friend come in or poor man stop.

God grant that I may live upon this earth
And face the tasks which every morning brings
And never lose the glory and the worth
Of humble service and the simple things.

READ MORE:  How Personal Satisfaction Transcends Money, Fame and Love

38. Letting Go

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’s 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 and 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 all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect 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 correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and 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.

37. Stalwart By Abimbola T. Alabi

Vagaries of this life can be
Tough and hard to fathom,
And yet have they conquered me?
Look how far I’ve come.

As I climb up its hill,
Slopes and jagged edges and all,
There are times I slip but still
At no time did I fall.

As I tread along its way
Sometimes I run into bends,
Stumbling blocks on some days
But never into dead ends.

As I sprint down its lane,
Hurdles seem to abound,
Yet the tripping now and again
Still can’t bring me down.

Whims of life that lie in wait
Though I may not have a clue,
Firm is my will, strong is my faith.
My God will see me through.

36. Mighty Oak By Daniel Baker

If the mighty oak could speak the words
Of the times that it’s been tried,
It’d speak about growing roots
Instead of how it died.

It’d say that it was strong enough
And stood the test of time.
Instead of falling to the ground,
It stood and held its line.

It’d speak about lightning strikes
And wind that cracked its core.
Though the dirt had softened,
It stood and took some more.

Though the tree bares scars
Of the times that it’s been struck,
All the other trees around
Gazed in pure awestruck.

Its roots dug deep and powerful.
No way it’d hit the ground.
The story of the mighty oak
Is one that is profound.

35. 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

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

34. Don’t Give Up By Jeff Bresee

We wait for what we long for.
We long for what we need.
Impatience and anxiety
Give root to errant deed,
Which grows to yield but heartache,
The fruit that poisons trust,
And so to shadow we recede
And hope descends to dust.
But somehow from the ashes
The will to try again
Doth mend the heart
And forge the path
In search of that one friend
Who never will betray us,
Who never will go astray.
But fear still lurks upon the thought
While waiting for that day.
We’ll simply stumble once again,
For we know not who to trust,
Thus thoughts becomes an enemy,
But conquer them we must.
For surely there is someone
Whether “Shining Knight” or “Bride.”
Then all shall have been worth it,
Our “Last Hope” justified.

33. Start Fresh By Ruchi Katendra

I wanna start fresh…

and forget this place, the wicked world I live in,
but not forget how glorious and essential it was to me.

Forget the memories that make me weak and sad,
but not forget the memories that are an anchor to my strength.

Forget the people who caused me pain,
but not forget those who were with me in heavy rain.

Forget my past, mistakes, and regrets,
but not forget the lessons I learned from them.

Forget the days when I cried silently, not aloud,
but not forget the same days that make me strong.

Forget the old me, find myself and explore,
and emerge and shine as never before.

This is why
I wanna start fresh.

32. Don’t Quit By M. Tarun Prasad

When times are hard, you might stop for a bit,
But it’s not over until the moment you quit.
On a river’s bridge, failures are the planks;
Take one step at a time until you reach its banks.

Don’t give up on your dreams; chase them instead;
You will find, one morning, as you wake up from bed,
That you are the person about whom you dreamed,
And you can reach great heights, impossible though it seemed.

When things go wrong and your back is to the wall,
Try to stand up; no more can you fall.
Life is full of ups and downs; take them in your stride.
You will discover your little star hidden inside.

31. The Time Is Now Bettina Van Vaerenbergh

We have but a short time
On this earth,
So value your life
For what it’s really worth.

Your life has purpose.
God sent you on a mission.
To live, to love, to learn –
Is His commission.

The world needs you.
Believe me, it’s true!
Some things need doing
That only you can do.

Character matters;
Be your own person,
Your own original self,
Not someone else’s version.

Develop your talents;
They are unique.
Use your time well;
Listen only to positive critique.

Go after your dreams.
Be bold. Be brave.
Swim against the stream;
It’s more than okay.

The time is now
To find your passion.
Time waits for no one,
So get into action.

To be free of regret
In your old age,
Never ever forget
To fully live today!

30. Believe In Yourself By Sagar

Believe in yourself and you can achieve
Things you never thought possible.
Believe in yourself and you can discover
New talents hidden inside of you.

Believe in yourself and you can reach
New heights that you thought immeasurable.
Believe in yourself and you can elucidate
The problem that defies every solution.

Believe in yourself and you can tackle
The hardest of all situations.
Believe in yourself and you can make
The complicated things seem simple.

Believe in yourself and you can enjoy
The beauty of nature’s creation.
Believe in yourself and you can learn
Skills of gaining knowledge from experience.

Believe in yourself and you can discern
New depths in your life.
Believe in yourself and you can perform
Way beyond your expectations.

Believe in your aim and work towards it,
With elation, determination and dedication.
Believe in yourself and you’ll feel blessed,
As you are God’s special creation.

READ MORE:  50 Freedom Quotes on Destiny, Leadership and Independence

29. Time Goes By Crystal Lewis

Time goes by and slips away
Just as the sky turns from blue to grey.
We are here but only for a short stay.
Don’t let life pass with words you never say.

Don’t live in anger, with fear and regrets.
Seek forgiveness and lay your pain to rest.
Don’t judge too quickly, as you may be wrong.
Instead, choose to live life as an uplifting song.

When tears fall, wipe them away
As they will only last but for a day.
Sometimes we hurt because we care.
Sometimes life seems unfair.

We make mistakes we wish we could change
And wonder how our life could be rearranged.
Second chances last only for so long, reach out to others
As we are all sisters and brothers.

There are angels in heaven that watch us every day.
They look over us as we laugh and play.
Live with joy, and when you lie down at night,
Thank the Lord and release any strife.

28. While You Weren’t Here By Janet Michael

While you weren’t here
I cried every night.
A million tears fell,
Still my heart wasn’t right.

While you weren’t here
I did what I could,
Hoping against hope
My decisions were good.

While you weren’t here
I gained some in age.
Things just went on
And life turned a page.

While you weren’t here
I just tried to go on,
Knowing what didn’t kill me
Would only make me strong.

While you weren’t here
A whole lot got changed.
My life became different,
My world rearranged.

While you weren’t here
I had to learn to be alone,
To stand on my two feet,
To make my own home.

So that’s where I am now,
At this stage of my life,
Still scared and alone,
Still coping with strife.

And oh how I wish that
Things could be different,
That I could go back
To a time in the past,

To a time before
You weren’t here.

27. 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.

26. Never Stop Being You By Terrie Brushette

Never stop caring about the little things in life.
Never stop dreaming, and don’t give into strife.
Never stop wondering are we on our own.
Never stop thinking has your spirituality grown.

Never stop building bridges that lead to better tomorrows.
Never stop trying, and don’t give into sorrow.
Never stop feeling amazed at the beauty that surrounds you.
Never stop hearing the music, and don’t give into the blues.

Never stop pushing away negative thoughts that make you feel sad.
Never stop looking at all the miracles we have had.
Never stop loving the ones you hold dear.
Never stop giving, and don’t give into the fear.

Never stop smiling, but look forward to each new day.
Never stop shining in your own special way.
Never forget that all storms will clear.
Remember brighter tomorrows are always near.

25. You Will Never See Me Fall Joyce Alcantara

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.

24. I am The Captain of My Soul By Nideesh

I decide what i am to be
never would be the one
who would be held down
by the chains of time
no man, no fear
no superstitions, no tears
would pull me down
into where i came from

I need nothing
nothing, but my soul
nothing, but my will
nothing ,but myself
to take me up
to where i have to get

don’t matter what it takes
or what i have to do
even the torments of hell,
the fierce winds,
the raging tides,
I would withstand them all

I would destroy an army,
an army of a million lies
walk over the failures
like men who never give up
n climb over mountains
of difficulties,
break trough the dams
of uncertainty,
face the darkness
just to be who i am

I am the captain of my soul
and i decide my fate
I choose to be what I am

23. Circle of Life By Carly Nasch

Life is a carousel, always going forward, never going back.
Existence is a hard thing to keep when you stop trying.
To live a life, you must want to live.
To want to live you must find a way.
When all hope is lost, you must stand tall.
When all others retreat, you must prevail.
You are the conscience inside your head.
You create your own destiny.
Life is a very hard thing to keep
When your life does not always go the way you plan.
Fight for your life and the right to keep dreaming.
If you feel you were gifted, share your gift.
If you feel you were cursed, fix it.
As you get older, your life becomes a challenge.
Who are you?
What do you want in life?
What will you be?
What is your purpose in life?
If you worry, these things will turn into burdens.
But if you hold on to them in the back of your mind,
All of the answers will come in time.
Life is a carousel, always going forward, never going back.
Look to the future, not to the past.

22. Be The Best Of Whatever You Are By Douglas Malloch

If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley — but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass —
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here,
There’s big work to do, and there’s lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail —
Be the best of whatever you are!

21. Aspirations By Garry Cadd

you gotta aspire
before you climb the highest mountain
reach the highest peak
breathe in that breathe of life
take your first step
self satisfaction
self realization
you did it on your own
overcame all those obstacles
that waited on every turn
every turn of your life
every hurdle that was put in front
put in front of you
still you ran that race
still raised a smile or two
a moment of self discovery
you discovered the real you

20. Phenomenal Woman By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

READ MORE:  50 Simple Quotes To Help You Live a Simply Beautiful Life

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

19. I Bend By Selena Odom

I bend but do not break.
I’ve been lost, but I’m not a loser.
I’m a wreck, but I’m not totaled.
I’m fractured but not broken.
I’ve failed, but I’m not a failure.
I’ve fallen hard but can get up again.
I’m isolated, but still I’m free.
I have been destroyed but will rebuild.
My heart is broken, but it will mend.
See, no matter how close I come to breaking, I just continue to bend.

18. A Voice Behind By Pearlyn

When into sorrow, my poor soul sinks
When a sound of despair in my heart rings
I’m strongly pushed to do my best
By a voice that says, “There is still hope you dare not rest.”

When chains of sorrow surround me well
When in my self, I feel like hell
I’m forced to face life with its tests
By a voice that says,”There is still hope you dare not rest.”

When I just feel like crying aloud
When all my worries rise like a cloud
I’m guarded safe like a bird in its nest
By a voice that says,”There is still hope you dare not rest.”

From all my fears, I now am free
I’m good and strong, I could clearly see,
But can anyone say, is it from east or west
That I hear the voice, “There is still hope you dare not rest.”

With hope and courage, I just am full
Because of the voice, that gave me a very strong pull
It’s my loving God, the unseen guest
Who says,”There is still hope you dare not rest.”

17. Note To Self By Donna Marie

Be like the willow that bends,
shade that it sends,
peace that it lends.

During the breeze
its leaves will appease
and shift with ease.

Enduring, alluring, maturing.
Be like the willow that bends.

16. The Will To Win By Berton Braley

If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and
your sleep for it

If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry
and cheap for it

If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,

If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it, Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,

If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,

If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!

15. Success By Niderah

The road to success is not straight.
There is a curve called Failure,
A loop called Confusion,
Speed bumps called Friends,
Red lights called Enemies, and
Caution lights called Family.
But if you have a spare called Determination,
An engine called Perseverance,
Insurance called Faith, and
A driver called Jesus,
You will make it to a place called Success!!

14. If You Believe By Abimbola T. Alabi

When your mind is set
On a splendid thing you want to do,
There are some who will shrug,
Like you don’t have a clue.

When you proceed,
Some will say it can’t be done
And that there is really no need
For you to take it on.

And halfway through,
Some may deem your progress small,
Or others will ask if what you’re doing
Is even worthwhile at all.

But when you succeed,
Then with flattering tongue,
The same folks will say they knew
That you’d do it all along.

Now, folks may mean well
When they say it can’t be done,
But then who is to lose
If they are actually wrong?

But if you take note of why
Some doubt your point of view
And stick close to those
Who see the strength in you,

If you put your faith in God,
No matter how tough it may seem,
If you work hard, if you believe,
You will achieve your dream.

For what others think,
Whether or not you’re strong or smart,
Sometimes, doesn’t really count
As what you believe in your heart.

13. Today’s Walk By Kathy Russell

I will walk slowly through this day;
I leave what is not needed behind from yesterday.
I will treasure all the knowledge to move forward.
What I do today will not change or erase the past..
I move on knowing that today I will do differently than before.
If I fail, there will be another tomorrow and a future tomorrow for hope..

12. A famous poem to exalt your self-worth

If you are having one of those days where you are questioning your abilities and your self-worth, just read “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson and I have no doubt the tide will turn.

You will not simply gain a better appreciation for your capabilities, but you will realize that you are a “priceless” commodity.

After reading this poem, you will certainly be empowered to develop and comfortably display your talents to the world, without fear of judgment.

Williamson reminds you that you shouldn’t fear the brightness of your own light (skill, ability, talent, accomplishment); never hide it under a bushel.

Instead let it shine and inspire others to do the same and together you can stamp out darkness and keep the world aglow with success, joy and happiness.

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness

That most frightens us.We ask ourselves

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.Your playing small

Does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking

So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.We are all meant to shine,

As children do.

We were born to make manifest

The glory of God that is within us.It’s not just in some of us;

It’s in everyone.And as we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we’re liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.

11. A famous short poem to strengthen your resolve

 In his poem titled, “IF”, Rudyard Kipling’s words prod you to stay on course and not stray in thought or action in order to live out your calling as a human.

This work forces you to focus on behaviors that reflect your heart and concern for others instead of allowing negative forces to take over your being and direct your path.

It implores you to stand strong in any situation, be patient regardless of the circumstance, understand that failure is simply an opportunity to start a new venture, reminds you to smile in times of tragedy as widely as you do in times of triumph, and treat each person with love and respect – no matter their status knowing that you hold the power to be great within yourself.

 

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!

10. A short inspirational poem of perseverance

Sometimes life is a struggle, obstacles seem to be everywhere and each task become overwhelming.

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When you feel like the task at hand is too much remember the words of the poet, Edgar Guest in his poem, “It Couldn’t Be Done.”

In this work, Guest reminds you that there will always be nay-sayers and detractors encouraging you to quit – give up – throw in the towel.

But, his words encourage you to always try!

Don’t take someone else’s word.

Instead give it your very best effort, because you really never know how things will turn out until you try.  It’s like the old saying, “It ain’t over until the Fat Lady Sings!”

If you never make the effort, you will never know how great you could be and what wonderful things you could achieve.

Never, let anyone discourage you for at the end of the day, by making the effort you just might find that you can do it!

It Couldn’t Be Done

By Edgar Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,

But, he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he had tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

 

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one has done it”;

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

 

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

 

There are thousands to prophesy failure;

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That “couldn’t be done” and you’ll do it.

9. A short inspirational poem encouraging you to believe in yourself

Your dreams, desires and goals can never come to fruition if you do not first believe!

You can talk about them and write them down, but if you really don’t believe them you will either never act on them or you will quit pursuing them at the first sign of an obstacle.

So, it is important that you are firm in your beliefs regarding the things you aim to achieve.

Your heart can be passionate for the dreams, desires and goals, but if you are not confident in your ability to make them come true – they will remain in your heart and never be actualized.

So, confidence – belief in yourself, your goals and your dreams – is critical in reaching the heights you imagine.

In his poem, “Them Man Who Thinks He Can”, Walter D. Winkle gives you words of wisdom to remind you that confidence comes from your own thinking – your own beliefs.   So, think it, believe it, do it and achieve it!

 

  

The Man Who Thinks He Can

By Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think that you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,

It’s almost certain that you won’t.If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;

For out in the world you’ll find

 

Success begins with a fellow’s will—

It’s all in the state of mind.If you think that you are out-classed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.Life’s battles don’t always go

 

To the stronger or faster man;

But sooner or later, the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can!

8. A famous love poem about the power of small acts of kindness

As you go from day to day, you may encounter situations that depict the need for helping hands.  Sometimes, you never take action because you think your small contribution or action will not make a difference.

But, in the poem, “Just One”, the author clearly details for you the power that you have.   You can in fact make a difference with one small act or one tiny gesture.

And remember if each person performs one small act of kindness, it all adds up and not only does your act of kindness make a difference, but when combined with the same from others, it becomes even more powerful!

Just One

By Anonymous

One song can spark a moment,

One flower can wake the dream

One tree can start a forest,

One bird can herald spring.One smile begins a friendship,

One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,

One word can frame the goal.One vote can change a nation,

One sunbeam lights a room

One candle wipes out darkness,

One laugh will conquer gloom.One step must start each journey.

One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise our spirits,

One touch can show you care.One voice can speak with wisdom,

One heart can know what’s true,

One life can make a difference,

You see, it’s up to you!

 

7. A short inspirational poem on finding happiness

The pursuit happiness may likely be important to you.  You seek that deep down joy and fulfillment which result in a peace that is unmatched.

There a days when you feel well on your way and others when the thought is nothing more than a “pipe dream”. But, in her short poem, “Help Yourself to Happiness”, Helen Steiner Rice show us how simple it really is to achieve happiness.

It doesn’t take riches, it doesn’t require public recognition and it really isn’t as unreachable as it sometimes appears to be. So, read this poem daily to remind yourself of the simplicity and ease with which you can achieve happiness.

Help Yourself To Happiness

By Helen Steiner Rice

Everybody, everywhere seeks happiness, it’s true,

But finding it and keeping it seem difficult to do.

Difficult because we think that happiness is found

Only in the places where wealth and fame abound.And so we go on searching in palaces of pleasure

Seeking recognition and monetary treasure,

Unaware that happiness is just a state of mind

Within the reach of everyone who takes time to be kind.

For in making others happy we will be happy, too.

For the happiness you give away returns to shine on you.

6. A famous poem on the importance of pursuing your dreams

The path to victory and success is often long and filled with obstacles.

It may seem easier to give in and give up rather than stay the course, especially when you experience failures along the way.   But, having a purpose and something to look forward to and strive for gives you daily motivation.

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So, when you have dreams and plans for the future, you have to keep pushing ahead despite setbacks.  Because, if you stop pursuing the things that make you happy, you will find your heart, soul and life will begin to feel empty and burdensome.

In his poem, “Dreams”, Langston Hughes succinctly tells you why it is important to never stop dreaming.   Your dreams drive you to pursue the best life possible.

Dreams

By 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.

 

5. A short inspirational poem for personal direction

 Your life experiences (positive and negative) have great influence on guiding your actions and setting the direction for your future.

It is easy to focus on the things that went wrong or the people that failed to cover you, using these situations as your compass for future relationships and decision making.

But, in the poem, “Always Remember to Forget”, the author reminds you that holding on to the sadness, trials and tribulations will do nothing to enhance your future.

But, staying close to those who always supported you and using the good times as your guiding light is more likely to keep you in a positive frame of mind and staying positive is necessary to recognize and take advantage of your blessings.

Always Remember to Forget

By Unknown

Always remember to forget

The things that made you sad

But never forget to remember

The things that made you glad

Always remember to forget

 

The friends that proved untrue

But don’t forget to remember

Those that have stuck by you

Always remember to forget

 

The troubles that have passed away

But never, never forget to remember

The blessings that come each day.

4. A motivational poem to inspire action

 It is extremely easy to think that your actions, deeds and thoughts are insignificant to the world and the people around you.

But, in the poem, “I Am”, Ella Wheeler Wilcox reminds you of the influence (power) you have to contribute to the events in this life.

You are here living in this universe and you can choose to make life better or make it worse.   Yes, little old you can make a difference.

You can decide to help someone or some cause or you can choose to hurt someone or derail a cause.

So, don’t take for granted the choices you make, consider them carefully because you do indeed hold the power to set the outcome of many situations.

I Am

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I know not whence I came,

I know not whither I go;

But the fact stands clear that I am here

In this world of pleasure and woe.

And out of the mist and murk

Another truth shines plain –

It is my power each day and hour

To add to its joy or its pain.

3. A famous short inspirational poem on living

“Desiderata” are the things that we need, want or desire.  So, it is fitting that in his poem titled, “Desiderata”, author Max Ehrmann gives you words of wisdom to use as you seek the things you need, and desire in this life.

This work serves as a daily instructional manual of sorts for living each day to get the best results and achieve the fulfillment you seek.

Step, by step, “Desiderata” takes you through key encounters and situations that can be expected throughout this life.  And, it gives you frank, clear and useful advice for handling each experience and reaching out to live the best life possible.

Desiderata

By Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the 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 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 or 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 in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

2. A famous short inspirational poem about power, courage, and tenacity

Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread 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 back yard.

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.

1. A short inspirational poem about stepping forward in life

Life Steps

By Catherine Pulsifer

Our entire life is made up of choices,
What we decide, the action we take,
the attitude we display
All represent the steps of life.

Sometimes we take two steps forward
And one-step back.
Some of us take baby steps
Some of us take giant steps

But the secret is not to let that
one step back turn into a failure.
Learn from backward steps
And keep on stepping forward in this dance Called Life!

Also read these Dead Poets Society quotes that will make you think differently.

Did you enjoy these short inspirational poems?

Poetry can be entertaining, but it also has the ability to be educational and advisory in nature. Reading and re-reading these verses will give you the power to shape your thoughts. And by doing that, you’ll then have the ability to in which to compel specific behaviors and actions.

The 10 poems reviewed in this piece run the gamut in length and style, but they all aim at encouraging you and helping you as you move forward with the aim of reaching your destiny.

Which one of these short inspirational poems was your favorite? What other famous short poems would you add to the list?

4 Comments
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4 Comments

  1. Sabina

    May 12, 2019 at 12:05 AM

    Thank you for this beautiful collection! I adore the poem by Marianne Williamson and Just One (by Maryam Kazmi) All the best from Switzerland, Sabina

  2. SirPhren

    April 18, 2018 at 4:18 AM

    6 & 3 are my favorites.
    I would like to add “Psalm of Life” by Henry Longfellow

    • Olga

      February 25, 2019 at 10:50 AM

      8 and 6 were mine

      • Jackie Walker

        February 25, 2019 at 2:45 PM

        I love them all…and of course the one that hits me most depends on the season of life I am in. 6 is really important now…hanging on to those dreams. Thanks for sharing.

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