Ten Inspirational Poems that Everyone Must Hear

Ten Inspirational Poems that Everyone Should Hear


Creative Blog Article 10 Inspirational Poems that Everyone must Hear by Elle Smith Inspired By Elle


Some poems are unique in reminding us of where they have been while others remind us of where we want to go, or indeed want to be in the future. Some challenge all that we believe while others validate our view of the world. Poetry is a great means of inspiration in limited words, which is especially valid in an age where time is precious and scarce at the same time.

Only a select few poems have however passed the test of time to become poems that are timeless, becoming enduring inspirations, indispensable and rhythmic handbooks on love, life, and the pursuit of an existence that is truly meaningful. Below we have listed ten truly inspirational poems that everyone should hear in the lifetime: -


1.     Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata,”

The words of Ehrmann are full of simple and timeless wisdom. This original poem was penned way back in 1927 and resonates with anybody with an interest in today’s mindfulness movement. Written gracefully, yet plainly, hearing “Desiderata” gives one a feeling similar to finding the eye of a mighty storm amidst the surrounding relentless chaos. “Desiderata” is quiet, humble, inviting and comforting. Each line is an inspirational one for us to live by.


2.     Rudyard Kipling’s “If—”

Probably this is the most famous poem penned by Kipling and for very good reason. This epic ode is packed with priceless life lessons and has plenty of perfect lines that have been used in expressing them. This poem is a call to a moderation of our personality traits — humility but not shame, confidence but not arrogance. It’s all about striving for growth, both inwardly and in the world, about ultimately becoming a better individual.

Perhaps, most importantly, this is a unique message of human perseverance even as you watch the unfolding of things you have surrendered your life to, a broken person. This is probably the most enduring message embedded within his piece of inspirational poetry.


3.     Maya Angelou’s "Still I Rise" 

Angelou ranks among the most celebrated poets of our time. In this poem that dwells on African-American courage, Maya embodies the courage, tenacity, and power of the African-American experience. Maya Angelou makes a woman feel who she is — something very special and wonderful.  She draws from the many centuries of oppression and mistreatment of black people. The poem is essentially about victory over adversity.

Maya Angelou was a prolific poet of the 20th century, addressing themes like this in a powerful and inspiring manner. Sadly, she passed away in 2014 at the age of 86 years, but has left a wealth of materials which can educate future generations eloquently on many complex issues.


4.   Jane Hirshfield’s “Changing Everything”

This original poem is both a delight for the ears and the soul. At the poem’s outset, the main character, the walker, is traveling along a path under the sun’s warm glow. However, very similar to our individual paths in life, he runs into some obstacle on the path, a situation that demands change if he is to progress.

The walker then proceeds to pick up the obstacle, a stick and shifts it to the path’s other side. The walker says with great resolve, “There… now that’s done,” as he then wipes his hands. In a similar manner, we would be wiser if we approached the struggles of life like the walker.

Simple and yet so powerful, these verses are empowering as to how we can overcome struggle and move forward in life, if we dare to deal with those obstacles.


5.   Robert Frost’s "The Road Not Taken"

This poem by Robert Frost grapples with the big question of how one can make a difference in this world? It tells the reader that the choice made by one really does matter. It ends by stating that taking the less travelled route can make all the difference. 

This sonnet is much more than a simple call to choose your own path; it's really a reflection on the hard choices of life and the unknowns. We often overburden ourselves with things which we cannot alter, instead of dwelling on what we can change.


6.   Jackie Kay’s ‘Fiere’

Poet Jackie Kay’s “Fiere” poetry collection is the fascinating story of her search for both her Highland and Nigerian birth parents. This is a deep inquiry that delves into all types of human friendship. Infused with both Igbo and Scots speech, “Fiere” is also an amazing narration of self-identity formation, the search for self.


7.   Holly McNish’s 'Mathematics'

Sharp, rude, wise, and totally unique, Holly McNish's collection of poetry covers her personal experiences from friendship to football and from girlhood to motherhood, all of which are available in “Plum”, her 2017 collection. Holly has been described as one of the most influential spoken-word artists of her generation and her performances, including “Mathematics”, have been watched on YouTube by millions.

This contemporary piece of poetry is sadly reflective of the nationalist mindset arising in Europe and other parts of the world. Immigration has been under scrutiny for many generations, however those viewpoints are often misrepresented by the statistics skewed to reflect often a dishonest perspective of the reality.


8.  Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus”

This sonnet is inscribed on New York harbour’s Statue of Liberty. This epic ode has one of the greatest placements among English poems as well as in history. Emma Lazarus contrasts the Statue of Liberty with one of the Ancient World’s Seven Wonders, the Colossus of Rhodes. Similar to the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Colossus of Rhodes was also a gigantic god-like statue that was also positioned in a harbour setting.    Lazarus manages in the midst of this comparison between of the modern America and the ancient world to clearly portray the distinct character of America. “The New Colossus” brings forth the can-do spirit that takes the poor and persecuted across the globe, giving them new future hope and opportunity in what she has called “the golden door.” This poem succinctly crystallizes the clear link between the ancient world and a modern inspirational nation, America.  


9.  William Blake’s “The Tyger”

This original poem delves into a question that arises from the concept of creation done by an intelligent creator. What this poem poses is: If there is a compassionate, loving God (or gods) who was responsible for the creation of human beings, whose powers are great that they exceed the human comprehension, as held by most world religions, then why does such a powerful creator allow evil to pervade the world. This is a great poem as it compellingly and concisely presents a critical question that even today plagues humanity. “The Tygeralso offers a key clue towards answering this question.   


10. Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s “The Invitation”

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, a visionary author, has touched endless hearts through her beloved Invitation. This is a poem that brings a spirited and fresh call for us to live life more honestly, deeply, and well. The Invitation has been quoted and recited on the radio by countless spiritual leaders and at innumerable spiritual conferences. In this unique poem, Oriah is speaking from deep inside her heart, reflecting on things as diverse as desire and betrayal. She offers practical suggestions, often surprising, on how to live through the ecstasy of life daily, learning how to recognise true innate beauty in the world around us and in ourselves. It presents tips on how to find the kind of sustenance that is longed for by our spirit.



Well, we have delivered ten inspirational poems that everyone must hear. Each one diverse and meaningful with deep, inspirational verse. Poetry is becoming more and more relevant to our lives in the Twenty-First century, where time is precious and yet the creative inspiration delivered concisely in original poems is nevertheless popular.


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