47 Best Graduation Poems (Inspirational Verses for Graduating)

2022 Update

Want to make your loved one feel special on their graduation day?

Poetry is a natural fit for occasions where you celebrate the accomplishments of your loved ones. Graduation is probably one of the most invigorating occasions of them all. It’s a day that signifies hard work, persistence, and dedication of a student.

Whether it’s your children or grandchildren obtaining a high school or college degree, a congratulation is in order. And to make the most of this occasion, reading a heartfelt graduation poem outloud can be a wonderful surprise.

Ranging from songs to prayers, we have compiled a list of the 47 best graduation poems to express love, pride, hope, and wishes towards your loved ones. Let’s dive into the list:

1.) ”True Greatness”

The cap, the gown, the robe, the crown,
The titles of today –
Like mist before the morning sun,
Will surely pass away.

Conceal your learning while you may,
Nor list to emulation;
Let others seek the road to fame,
Strive not for reputation.

The hill is long and hard to climb
That leads you to success;
True greatness, after all, is just
A test of usefulness.

– A. C. Shaw

2.) “If”

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;

– Rudyard Kipling

3.) “Commencement Day”

The moments fly! I lay my book aside,
For Fancy travels o’er miles that lie between;
How swift, how swift, oh, thoughts, ye glide
To that bright, eventful scene!
Read! study! not in this sacred bit of time,
For, hark! the clock strikes one.
And by the letters I’ve counted in a line,
That oration already has begun.

Childish, weak, perhaps you say,
‘Twere weaker still to let memory slumber.
And forget, on this anniversary day,
The brightest Star of all the number –
The brightest, then the brightest now;
Perhaps I’ve reason for praise so strong?
None, but to twine laurels o’er the brow,
Where Conscience tells that they belong.

– Lillian E. Curtis

4.) “Graduation Day”

Graduation day is finally here, your dreams you did pursue.
All your hard work has paid off, we are so very proud of you.
The nights of study, the projects due
You did them all and more too.

It has all paid off, your studying is done
We hope you make time to enjoy some fun.
Always remember life is learning journey
Keep filling your mind with all that is worthy.

May the happiness you feel today
Be a feeling you keep as you go on your way.
May life be happy and good to you,
And may you find success in all you do.

– Catherine Pulsifer

5.) “The Road Not Taken”

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.

– Robert Frost

6.) “We Are Proud of You”

School is over there is no more
Now you can go out there and soar
All your dreams you can now pursue
Each day will be different and so new.

Give it all you got and more
Look for opportunities and open the door
You are wished much happiness
We know you will be a success!

Congratulations on a job well done
Enjoy it and have some fun
Wear the cap and tassel too
We are so very proud of you!

– Catherine Pulsifer

7.) “Time Flew By So Quickly”

We can’t begin to tell you
Just how loved you are
We can’t believe how time has flown
And how you’ve come so far

Forgive us when we stop and stare
And tears fall from our eyes
Time flew by so quickly
Sure took us by surprise

We asked you to stay little
To always be our baby
You said, “I’ll try to if I can,
but I’ll have to grow up…maybe.”

Now here you stand before us
A respectful, honest man
Strong-willed and determined
Who always says, “I can”

– Judy

8.) “Ongoing”

Never mind the distances traveled, the companion
she made of herself. The threadbare twenties not
to be underestimated. A wild depression that ripped
from January into April. And still she sprouts an appetite.
Insisting on edges and cores, when there were none.
Relationships annealed through shared ambivalences.
Pages that steadied her. Books that prowled her
until the hard daybreak, and for months after.
Separating new vows from the old, like laundry whites.
Small losses jammed together so as to gather mass.
Stored generations of filtered quietude.
And some stubbornness. Tangles along the way
the comb-teeth of the mind had to bite through, but for what.
She had trained herself to look for answers at eye level,
but they were lower, they were changing all the time.

– Jenny Xie

9.) “What Matters Most”

Embrace who you are,
And love like a fool.
Try not to judge,
And never be cruel.
Hold your head high,
And never look back,
Give all you can,
And never hold back.
Laugh like a clown,
And cry like the rain.
Remember with the price of peace
There sometimes comes pain.
Always care for your family
Because too soon they’re gone.
Forgive and forget,
And try to live on.
Face all your fears,
And try to be brave.

– Louis

10.) “It Couldn’t Be Done”

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’d 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 ever 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 or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

– Edgar Albert Guest

11.) “Always Be”

Always,
Be understanding to your enemies.
Be loyal to your friends.
Be strong enough to face the world each day.
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.

Always,
Be generous to those who need your help.
Be frugal with that you need yourself.
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be smart enough to continue learning.

Always,
Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.
Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.

– Unknown

12.) “Dreams”

You’re the driver of your destiny,
Passenger of none,
In control and looking forward
Of things that must be done.

You’re the captain of your ship,
Destination unknown,
Plans to help you get there
And freedom to bring you home.

You’re the pilot of your airplane;
Fly as high as you can.
Life is what you make it,
So follow your plan.

Hopes and dreams not yet reached,
Motivation on display.
A journey full of ups and downs,
Experience gained each day.

– Kym Erickson

13.) “Up-Hill”

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

– Christina Rosetti

14.) “Succeed”

Congrats, bravo, you did it!
Now on to the next chapter of your life.
It won’t be all cherries and roses,
But keep thinking positive and work through that strife.

Each time we move on to something different,
We sometimes hold our expectations high,
Try not to be disappointed but see all the good,
So you will be strong and we can watch you fly.

Graduation is an amazing thing.
You stuck with it and showed you can.
Many people are excited and impressed,
Can’t forget how you made me a fan!

I wish you all the best in your future,
May it be everything you want and need.
I see great things to come your way,
You have what it takes to succeed!

– Julie Hebert

15.) “The After”

The mind panics as you mount the stage
Over the future of your coming age.
What to be? What to do?
As life’s questions seek to bombard you
Till the shackles of a sunless sky
Cloud the path on which you always rely.

But then you remember what you did achieve
And the power of letting go to believe.
Crushing the chains of that dark confine
To illuminate a road of endless sunshine
And feel the diploma placed in your hand.
Dropping all worries like pennies in the sand
With a trust that things will be all right,
Like holding someone close on a starry night.
So that as your senior year comes to a close
You will always
Always
Embrace tomorrow.

– Tyler J. Huggins

16.) “We The Seniors”

We, the seniors do pledge, for the future’s sake.
To strive to do our very best In all we undertake.

Some of us will be slow, some fast
As we climb the ladder of fame.

But finally we will all get there
And win ourselves a great name.

There will always be some conflicts
In this great world of today.

But it will be up to we seniors
To resolve them on our way.

As we become older our memories we shall grow fonder.
Let us bear these thoughts in mirid, as on our way we wander.

– Unknown

17.) “Graduation”

G is for the Grades that got you here.
R is for the Recommendations from teaches back there.
A is for the Attitude you had in class.
D is for the Determination; your goal was to pass.
U is for the Understanding you had.
A is for your Achievements; you were happy, not sad.
T is for your Teachers who helped lead the way,
I is for your Initiative, for that ceremony in May.
O is for almost an Olympic Gold.
N is for the Nice degree you now hold.

– Margaret A. Dworek

18.) “Always Be A Student”

Keep on learning, (graduate’s name),
Though your graduation’s done;
Your whole life’s an education
That has only just begun.

Your diploma is the first big step,
For knowledge is the special key
To winning what you want in life
And being who you want to be.

If you’ll always be a student,
You’ll find the secrets to success
And travel on the golden road
To peace and happiness.

– Joanna Fuchs

19.) “As You Grew”

As you grew, no matter what happened we looked at the sunny side of life.
As you leave, take with you the wisdom to focus on the “good” in life!

As you grew, we helped you avoid unnecessary worry.
As you leave, remember that 90% of what you worry about never happens.

As you grew, we encouraged you to be open and direct.
As you leave, never lose your honesty with those whom you speak.

As you grew, we helped you find solutions.
As you leave, always remember there is a solution to every problem.

As you grew, we encouraged individual thought and action.
As you leave, continue to be independent and persevere when faced with life’s challenges.

– Catherine Pulsifer and Byron Pulsifer

20.) “The Moment Your Life Begins”

From this moment on,
Your life will begin.
From what you knew in the past,
Your life will be changing.

And this is okay,
As life changes a lot.
It’s good to be flexible,
And don’t have a blind spot.

Keep your eyes wide open,
In search of the best.
The big shot will come around,
And it’ll be you they’ll request.

Stay open and positive,
So people can know,
The person you are inside,
A person with show.

– Julie Hebert

21.) “The Prize”

You’re graduating;
You worked, you’ve done it!
This important prize,
It’s yours; you’ve won it!

Just keep on
To capture more.
Spread your wings:
You’re going to soar!

– Joanna Fuchs

22.) “Daughter’s Graduation”

While looking up at the stars and moon,
We realize that you grew up too soon.
We remember the day you were born,
And now look at you all big and grown.
We remember your first day of school,
You were too scared to break a rule.
You made us proud throughout 6th grade,
We told you that there was no reason to be afraid.
In junior high, you gave us a hard time,
But we stuck by you through dark and shine.
While in high school, you had your fun,
From the security guards you would run.
After a while you settled down,
You met a guy that showed you not to frown.
Today you made us proud,
Class of 2004 shouts the crowd.

– Crystal Rosas

23.) “Chapters of Life”

This stage of life has seen us
Study until we felt like we would bust
But today is the day
We are actually on our way.

Our learning has been great
But for this day we wait
A celebration of graduation
Will it feel like a vacation.

Life brings a new chapter
That is what learning is after
The knowledge to decide
Whether we will go for the ride.

– Catherine Pulsifier

24.) “Don’t Drift”

Live for something, have a purpose,
And that purpose keep in view;
Drifting like a helmless vessel,
Thou canst ne’er to life be true.

Half the wrecks that strew life’s ocean,
If some star had been their guide,
Might have now been riding safely,
But they drifted with the tide.

– Robert Whitaker

25.) “Graduation: One At A Time”

There was only one
Only one at a time.
To long for more
Gives you no more.

You have to take it one by one
With each one earned before anymore.
Do not fret unless you scheme
To do less is but only a dream.
Each day must be claimed
Or else there is nothing but shame.

Delight in what you have earned,
Through your work, though it be hard.
Wait not upon the lawn,
But get to class before you yawn.

You made it through to this point,
In delight there must be more
For should it be left or else it is shunned,
‘Tis not for you to become undone.

– Byron R. Pulsifer

26.) “Paper, Paint, And Crayons”

Eighteen years, a thousand fears,
Yet countless joyful times.
A tiny baby smiles just once,
Her Daddy’s heart it binds.

A toddler cries with tearful eyes,
That only Mom can dry.
The little girl so cute in pink
Decides what clothes she’ll try.

Her favorite pastime soon becomes
All paper, paint, and crayons.
Some years go by, she’s growing fast,
No longer holds our hands.

She struggles some along the way,
We hope she feels our love.
The strength she needs takes all she has,
She’s all we’re thinking of.

– Margaret Alliet

27.) “The Few”

The easy roads are crowded,
And the level roads are jammed;
The pleasant little rivers
With the drifting folks are crammed.

But off yonder where it’s rocky,
Where you get a better view,
You will find the ranks are thinning
And the travelers are few.

Where the going’s smooth and pleasant
You will always find the throng;
For the many, mores the pity,
Seem to like to drift along.

But the steps that call for courage,
And the task that’s hard to do,
In the end results in glory
For the never-wavering few.

Unknown

28.) “Graduation Wish”

We wish for you a joy-filled transition
from from the shelter of school
to the wide world
of your accomplishment and success.
We wish for you new, stimulating friendships,
while you cherish old friends,
who provide continuity and comfort.
We wish for you a smooth path
on your journey to your chosen destination,
and as much delight in your off-road adventures
as there is in reaching your goal.
Congratulations, graduate!
May the world embrace you, excite you,
and strengthen you in everything you do.

– Joanna Fuchs

29.) “Congrats My Friend”

Finally, our big day has arrived
And look we both survived!
We had many a talk about this day
We can’t wait, we would say.

We studied hard, we hit the books
Another test, we would give each other the look.
Will it ever be over, the years so slow
But finally today we feel a glow.

Friends we have been through these years
We shared good times and our fears
We had many laughs, oh, such good memories
And we celebrated every small victory.

A friend like you to share the school years
You’re different than my other peers
Has been only the best
We survived and passed all the tests.

– Catherine Pulsifer

30.) “To Have Succeded”

“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

31.) “Graduation Ticket”

You took the time to study;
You’re a graduate; that’s great!
The work you did was worth it;
It’s time to celebrate!

Your degree is just the ticket
For a future of success.
We’re glad for you and wish you
Every happiness.

– Joanna Fuchs

32.) “As You Graduate”

Memories flash before us
As we stop and think of you
If we could turn back the hands of time
That’s the first thing we would do

We’d take ourselves back to the day
We first laid eyes on you
Your mouth (of course) wide open
Your eyes – so big and blue

It was at that very moment
As you lay there – oh so small
We knew within an instant
We were in for one long haul

Our instincts were right on the mark
You’ve kept us on the go
Always such a busy child
With a charismatic glow

– Judy

33.) “You Have Excelled”

Your schooling, you have done so well
You are now graduating, you have excelled.
We are so proud of you
And we wish you success in all you do!

Now you venture on the journey of life
There will be ups and downs and some strife
But always look forward, do your best
Find the good, it will eliminate the stress.

Success is found by those who do
Don’t let anyone stop you from being you.
A positive attitude you do display
It will help you on your way!

Congratulations on your success
We wish you love and happiness!

– Catherine Pulsifier

34.) “Life”

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?
Rapidly, merrily,
Life’s sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in,
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O’er hope, a heavy sway?

– Charlotte Brontë

35.) “A Son Leaves Home”

he time has been too short-
the memories so dear.

Our pride for all you have become
was built with love each year.

Once a little boy entrusted to our care.
we give you now to the world to share.

Our joy has been to watch you grow-
to become the man that we now know.

Take all that you have learned-
through struggles fought and won.

We gave you what we could,
our beloved, precious son.

– Nicolle Benx

36.) “Test Of Usefulness”

The cap, the gown, the robe, the crown,
The titles of today –
Like mist before the morning sun,
Will surely pass away.

Conceal your learning while you may,
Nor list to emulation;
Let others seek the road to fame,
Strive not for reputation.

The hill is long and hard to climb
That leads you to success;
True greatness, after all, is just
A test of usefulness.

– A. C. Shaw

37.) “Your Adventure”

Now that you’ve graduated,
Your adventure has begun.
Your schooling has prepared you
For the race life has you run.

We praise you for your efforts,
And send good wishes, too,
For a future filled with happiness,
And your fondest dreams come true.

– Joanna Fuchs

38.) “Farewell”

We bid a fond and sad farewell to you
Of trouble and strife we gave you a share.
But your justice was always impartial and fair.

For the help you have given us.
For the time and the pains.
We can but humbly thank you
Again and again.
We now have to leave you.
And fare life alone.
Our hearts filled with courage
And confidence grown.

What we will make of ourselves
In the world of stress.
Is the result of the training
of high school learning.

– Unknown

39.) “Untouchable”

On 6:26 a.m. March 28, 1993,
That’s the moment you were born and my
life became complete.

Your tiny little hands, your perfect little toes,
Wondrous big eyes and “she’s got your nose”.

I held you so close, wrapped tightly to keep you warm,
I whispered, “You’re untouchable right here in my arms.”

I watched you run and play and write your name at 3,
I wiped every tear and kissed every knee.

I watched on your first day of school you were so nervous and unsure,
I whispered, “You’re untouchable, Mommy’s right outside the door.”

Your life had many changes, decisions were made for you,
Although you tried to change them there was nothing you could do.

– Terrie

40.) “Beyond The Years”

I

Beyond the years the answer lies,
Beyond where brood the grieving skies
And Night drops tears.
Where Faith rod-chastened smiles to rise
And doff its fears,
And carping Sorrow pines and dies—
Beyond the years.

II

Beyond the years the prayer for rest
Shall beat no more within the breast;
The darkness clears,
And Morn perched on the mountain’s crest
Her form uprears—
The day that is to come is best,
Beyond the years.

– Paul Laurence Dunbar

41.) “A Thank You”

raduating is finally true
It would not have happened without you
Your encouragement and support
Was wonderful even when I fell short.

You always encouraged and pushed me more
You helped me to learn more and explore
You were always there to understand
And always willing to lend a hand.

So today as I become a grad
I want to say thank you as you had
Believed in me when I did not
You never gave up you always taught.

I’m not sure what the future holds
But thanks to you I’m prepared for it to unfold
I promise you I will do my best
Thanks to you I passed the test.

– Catherine Pulsifier

42.) “On Wings Of Knowledge”

There you are in your cap and tassel
Ready to make the world your castle.
It seems just yesterday you were a kid,
Watching everything we did.

Now we’re watching you graduate–
The grown young man/woman we helped create!
On wings of knowledge you will fly;
Following your vision and rising high.

We couldn’t be prouder, (graduate’s name), of you;
We wish you success in all you do.
Remember one thing we want you to know:
Our love is with you wherever you go.

– Joanna Fuchs

43.) “Congratulations Sis Of 09”

To my sister
Kelley
I know time is tough
With our family
I want to tell you
The day has come for you
In May of 2009
You’re Graduating

You accomplished mom’s wish
You’re number one
You’re brilliant
You’re beautiful
You have the passion

High school was no trouble for you
Four years breeze by you
Attend each day of school
Seated before the doors were closed
Pen and paper ready for learning
Took notes carefully
Pass the test with a 100% or more
Report card shows A+

– Lona

44.) “Invictus”

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

45.) “To You”

Whoever you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams,
I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands
Even now your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you,
Your true soul and body appear before me,
They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops, work, farms, clothes, the house, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying.

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem,
I whisper with my lips close to your ear,
I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.
O I have been dilatory and dumb,
I should have made my way straight to you long ago,
I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you.

– Walt Whitman

46.) “Endings or Beginnings”

Is this a new beginning or is this the end
Out into the world, we do send
Students to change the world as they may
This is what happens on graduation day.

The end school days has arrived
But put into practice and thrive
You see this new beginning
Is the start of good living!

The end of school but not of learning
The beginning of success by earning
All that you have learned now comes
A chance to earn a good income.

– Catherine Pulsifier

47.) “A Blessing”

This morning we gather in gratitude for all aspects of sacredness:
the air, the warmth of fire, bodies of water, plants, the land,
and all animals and humankind.
We gather to honor our students who have achieved the extraordinary
accomplishment of earning doctoral or master’s degrees.
We gather to honor their parents, grandparents, children,
family members, and friends who have traveled with them
on their path to success. They have traveled far distances to be here
this morning: we honor their devotion.

May we remember that holiness exists in the ordinary elements of our lives.

We are grateful for a homeland that has always thrived
on a glorious array of people and their diverse cultures, histories,
and beliefs. We acknowledge the generosity of the Tohono O’odham
in granting this land on which we learn, teach, celebrate
accomplishments, and sometimes mourn losses.

– Luci Tapahonso

Summary

Did you enjoy reading our list of top 47 Graduation Day poems? If you loved our poems, feel free to read them out to anyone graduating in your family or send it to them as a text message.

Remember that these moments are rare in life. Celebrating will not only make it a joyous and memorable experience, but it will also solidify your relationships. Oh, and before we wrap up, a good tip would be to couple the wish with a small gift or a box of chocolates.