An open book next to a bouquet of pink flowers

 

Compiled by Jacob Terranova

 

Looking for inspiration for your holiday remembrance program this December? Here are some great poems to inspire reflection, instill hope, or evoke memories of a loved one this holiday season.

 

A Happy Man — Edwin Arlington Robinson

When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.

 

Children that I leave behind,
And their children, all were kind;
Near to them and to my wife,
I was happy all my life.

 

Read the full poem here.

 

Prayer at Sunrise — James Weldon Johnson

How darkness chases darkness to the west,
As shades of light on light rise radiant from thy crest!
For thee, great source of strength, emblem of might,
In hours of darkest gloom there is no night.
Thou shinest on though clouds hide thee from sight,
And through each break thou sendest down thy light.

 

Read the full poem here.

 

The Cross of Snow — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, cha
ngeless since the day she died.

 

Read the full poem here.

 

Forever — Paul Laurence Dunbar

The night is not all dark,

Nor is the day all it seems,

But each may bring me this relief—

My dreams and dreams.

 

I had not known before

That Never was so sad a word,

So wrap me in forgetfulness—

I have not heard.

 

Read the full poem here.

 

If I Should Die — Emily Dickinson

If I should die,
And you should live,
And time should gurgle on,
And morn should beam,
And noon should burn,
As it has usual done;
If birds should build as early,
And bees as bustling go,–
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
‘Tis sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with daisies lie,
That commerce will continue,
And trades as briskly fly.
It make the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene,
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!

 

When Great Trees Fall — Maya Angelou

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.

 

Read the full poem here.

 

The Flowers Appear on the Earth — Anonymous

Now the winter cold is past,
And blithe March winds are blowing,
In sheltered nooks we find at last
Bright flowers of spring are growing.

 

Along the hedgerow’s mossy bank,
Where ivy green is creeping,
We see through weeds and nettles rank
The dark-blue violet peeping.

 

And in the sunny garden beds
Gay aconites are showing,
And snowdrops bend their graceful heads,
And crocuses are glowing.

 

God makes the buds and leaves unfold,
All flowers are of His giving;
He guards them through the winter’s cold,
He cares for all things living.

 

Source

 

Trust in God — Anonymous

Though now the sky is overcast,
And heavy rains are falling fast,
And storm and sleet go driving past,
And day by day the moaning blast
Sweeps dead leaves from the tree,

 

November time, that seems so drear,
When days are dark and winter near,
Will pass at length, and Christmas cheer
The last hours of the dying year
With song and dance and mirth.

 

Read the full poem here.

 

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