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Poem Sampler

Poems of Hope and Resilience

The words of others can help to lift us up.

How can we find hope amid uncertainty, conflict, or loss? When we feel we have lost hope, we may find inspiration in the words and deeds of others. In this selection of poems, hope takes many forms: an open road, an unturned page, a map to another world, an ark, an infant, a long-lost glove that returns to its owner. Using metaphors for hope seems appropriate, as the concept of hope is difficult to describe. It is deeper than simple optimism, and more mysterious, delicate, and elusive. It is a feeling we must develop and cultivate, but like faith, it is also a state with which we are graced. Hope can foster determination and grit—the ability to bounce back and to remain determined despite failures and setbacks—when we make daily efforts to change and improve what we can control. These poems speak to the importance of hope and resilience.


won't you celebrate with me“ by Lucille Clifton

Grace” by Joy Harjo

Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson

Carrion Comfort” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson

Second Attempt Crossing” by Javier Zamora

 “Psalm 150” by Jericho Brown

Cymothoa Exigua” by Roger Reeves

Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by Adam Zagajewski

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” by Amiri Baraka

It Was the Animals” by Natalie Diaz

The African Burial Ground” by Yusef Komunyakaa

Saint Francis and the Sow” by Galway Kinnell

There Are Birds Here” by Jamaal May

from Miss Crandall's Boarding School for Young Ladies of Color by Marilyn Nelson

Interpretation of a Poem by Frost” by Thylias Moss

Goodbye to Tolerance” by Denise Levertov

To Be of Use” by Marge Piercy

Enlightenment” by Natasha Trethewey

Of History and Hope” by Miller Williams

from Don't Let Me Be Lonely: “Cornel West makes the point...” by Claudia Rankine

Thanks” by W.S. Merwin

At Last the New Arriving” by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

A Plagued Journey” by Maya Angelou

Elegy” by Mong-Lan

Failing and Flying” by Jack Gilbert

Hope” by Emanuel Carnevali

Drawn Curtains” by Edmond Jabès

A Map to the Next World” by Joy Harjo

Dance, Dance, While the Hive Collapses” by Tiffany Higgins

Us” by Tory Dent

Your Luck Is About To Change” by Susan Elizabeth Howe

Ark” by Camille T. Dungy

On The Wall Of A Kz Lager” by János Pilinszky

Song of The Open Road” by Walt Whitman

Chronic” by D.A. Powell

Yellow Glove” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Threadsuns” by Paul Celan

Self-Help” by Charles Bernstein

Winter Flowers” by Stanley Moss

Elegy for the Native Guards” by Natasha Trethewey

Poem Sampler

Poems of Hope and Resilience

The words of others can help to lift us up.

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