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31 of the Best Poems for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – The national U.S holiday for celebrating the blessing of the harvest.

It’s held on the fourth Thursday in November, so the actual date shifts from year to year. But it’s an important occasion nonetheless. Today, we celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering up for a nice, plentiful dinner with friends and family and expressing gratitude for the bounties and blessings of the year that passed.

As you can tell, Thanksgiving is very much a social event. And it’s custom in many parts of America to send your friend and family a Thanksgiving card with something nice written on it. But it’s often hard to come up with something that’s well-written and in line with the holiday spirit.

If you want to impress the recipients of your Thanksgiving card with a stroke of lyrical genius, how about taking inspiration from some powerful Thanksgiving poems?

If you’re interested, browse through our collection of the 31 top Thanksgiving poems. Our featured poems are perfect for sending to a friend. We also have poems for when someone couldn’t attend in person and you want to let them know that you’re thinking about them. Our poems have happy, upbeat tones, many of which have been penned by famous, world-class authors.

So without further ado, let’s get to our first poem:

Meaningful Thanksgiving Poems

1.) “Thanksgiving Day”

Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting-hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood,
And straight through the barn-yard gate.
We seem to go
Extremely slow,—
It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood—
Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie

– Lydia Maria Child

2.) “The Harvest Moon”

It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

3.) “Thanksgiving Ode”

September came and with it frost
The season’s pasture it seemed lost,
And the wondrous yield of corn
Of its green beauty it was shorn.

Frost it came like early robber,
But gentle rains came in October,
Which were absorbed by grateful soil;
With green once more the pastures smile.

And cows again are happy seen
Enjoying of the pastures green,
And flow of milk again they yield
From the sweet feed of grassy field.

And we have now a fine November,
Warmer far than in September;
The apple, which is queen of fruits,
Was a good crop and so is roots.

The rains they did replenish springs,
And it gratitude to each heart brings,
When we reflect on bounteous season,
For grateful feelings all have reason.

– James McIntyre

4.) “Thanksgiving”

We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

5.) “Be Thankful”

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

– Unknown

6.) “Thanksgiving”

Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,
An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;
An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they
Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;
Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,
Buildin’ the old family circle again;
Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.
Father’s a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.
Home from the east land an’ home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,
Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.

Give me the end of the year an’ its fun
When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.

– Edgar Guest

7.) “A Song for Merry Harvest”

Bring forth the harp, and let us
sweep its fullest, loudest string.
The bee below, the bird above, are
teaching us to sing
A song for merry harvest; and the
one who will not bear
His grateful part partakes a boon he
ill deserves to share.
The grasshopper is pouring forth his
quick and trembling notes;
The laughter of the gleaner’s child,
the heart’s own music floats.
Up! up! I say, a roundelay from every
voice that lives
Should welcome merry harvest, and
bless the God that gives.

– Eliza Cook

8.) “The Value of Little Things”

What if the little rain should say,
“So small a drop as I
Can ne’er refresh the thirsty earth,
I’ll tarry in the sky!”

What if a shining beam of noon
Should in its fountain stay,
Because its feeble light alone
Is not enough for day!

Doth not each rain-drop help to form
The cool refreshing shower?
And every ray of light to warm
And beautify the flower?

– William Cutter

9.) “Thanksgiving Time”

When the night winds whistle through the trees and blow the crisp brown leaves a-crackling down,
When the autumn moon is big and yellow-orange and round,
When old Jack Frost is sparkling on the ground,
It’s Thanksgiving Time!

When the pantry jars are full of mince-meat and the shelves are laden with sweet spices for a cake,
When the butcher man sends up a turkey nice and fat to bake,
When the stores are crammed with everything ingenious cooks can make,
It’s Thanksgiving Time!

When the gales of coming winter outside your window howl,
When the air is sharp and cheery so it drives away your scowl,
When one’s appetite craves turkey and will have no other fowl,
It’s Thanksgiving Time!

– Langston Hughes

10.) “Thankful For Many Things”

I am thankful for my family,
My friends I feel the same.
Life is filled with many thanks,
Life is the perfect game.

Life is filled with treasures,
If you’re a lucky one.
Be grateful and be humble,
And share them with someone.

But one thing we must remember,
We are not the one to thank.
There is a higher power here,
That we must give first rank.

I am thankful for my life,
And all that it holds.
I’m excited to see what’s next for me,
Lets see how it unfolds.

– Julie Hebert

Funny Thanksgiving Poems

11.) “Thanksgiving Ghost”

The last piece of apple pie is gone;
How did it disappear?
The bowl of delicious stuffing
Has also vanished, I fear.

It happens each Thanksgiving,
When leftover goodies flee,
And each of us knows the responsible one
Couldn’t be you or me.

The only way it could happen
Is readily diagnosed;
It must be the crafty, incredibly sneaky,
Still hungry Thanksgiving ghost.

– Karl Fuchs

12.) “TURKEY, TURKEY”

Turkey, Turkey,
full and fat.
November’s near.
You’ll soon go splat!
They’ll roast you up
and slice you thin.
Oh, what a mess
you’re surely in.
Mixed with stuffing
and some sauce.
It’s plain to see
the cook is boss.
But what would truly
give you joy. . .
would be a turkey
made of soy!

– Denise Rodgers

13.) “Paying the High Price of Gas”

I feel a blockage has occurred…
It must have been all that stuffing and Turkey bird…
The gurgles, the rumbling, the passing of gas…
It’s beyond my control ,Oh dear, please let this pass…
We have guests you see…
So I don’t have the privilege to just get up and flee…
No one should ever be in this state…
And I should never have put so much on my plate…
Cause now I’m paying and to my demise …
The rite of passage has been denied…
I feel like I may blow up and explode…
It’s times like this when you miss the commode…

– kj force

14.) “Bigger and Bigger”

It’s all so good –
Turkey and ham,
Macaroni and cheese, dressing and cranberry sauce,
Chocolate cake, pumpkin and potato pie.
Thanksgiving is just the beginning
Of the holiday season,
And already, I’m getting bigger and bigger.
My jeans are telling me I should skip Christmas.

– Natasha Niemi

15.) “Belly Stuffer”

Thanksgiving brings a terrible chore,
‘Cause I’m forced to eat and eat some more.
If I don’t eat right through dessert,
I fear the cook’s feelings will surely be hurt,
So I do my part, even though I suffer;
To be a good guest, I’m a belly stuffer.

– Karl Fuchs

16.) “TWO TURKEYS”

We have two turkeys at our house
’cause Mom and Gramma fight.
Neither one of them believes
the other roasts it right.
There’s also two of stuffing,
two of home-made berry sauce.
Let’s face it, there are two of each,
’cause both of them are boss.
We eat it all , some food from both,
in order to be nice.
We also make quite sure that when
we burp — that we burp twice!

– Denise Rodgers

17.) “Untitled”

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes
and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your
pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your
thighs!

– Unknown

18.) “Turkey Warning”

Tell me, Mr. Turkey,
Don’t you feel afraid
When you hear us
talking
‘Bout the plans we’ve made?

Can’t you hear us telling
How we’re going to eat
Cranberries
and stuffing
With our turkey meat?

Turkey, heed my warning:
Better fly away;
Or you will be
sorry
On Thanksgiving day.

– Unknown

19.) “Your Secret’s Secure”

Thanksgiving’s the time in November each year
When our thoughts about food seem to richen,
When turkey and dressing and other good stuff
Is being prepared in the kitchen.

But the stores did their homework way in advance;
They know what your real needs will be;
They know you’ll come shopping to buy up their best,
And those sharing your feast will soon see…

You’re the best cook in town, a peerless gourmet,
The turkey, dessert and the wine,
And your secret’s secure that this feast was all made
By your grocery, and they sure did it fine!

– Karl and Joanna Fuchs

20.) “THE TURKEY GIVES THANKS”

Thanksgiving is my favorite feast.
The table’s set, the napkins creased.
We always have a great big crowd
With uncles, aunts and children loud.

The grownups shoo us to our chairs
With pushing hands and parent stares.
We wait to eat — but this part’s quirky.
Our main dish is never, ever turkey!

Our grandpa will not eat this bird.
On this he gave his solemn word.
Years ago when he was young,
He vowed it not to pass his tongue.

As a boy, he lived beside
The rolling Polish countryside.
The turkeys (this is so unkind)
Would chase and bite his small behind.

So even though it’s quite the norm,
He shuns the bird in every form.
I understand how grandpa feels
And how it’s changed his life-long meals.

But me, I’d rather take attack.
Once a year, I’d bite them back!

– Denise Rodger

More Thanksgiving Poem

21.) “Thankful”

No ghosts or goblins and trick-or-treats,
No candy or flowers for your sweets.
No gifts to buy or presents to give,
Just be THANKFUL for the life that you live.

– Mandy Cidlik

22.) “Thanksgiving”

Apple pie is the
Best part of Thanksgiving.
Cooking food all
Day is fun with my family.
Even though there is a lot of
Food,
Giving is the most important part.
Helping
In the kitchen is also fun.
Joining together by the TV for the
Kickoff of the Thanksgiving football game.
Loving the game, family, and appetizers before the big
Meal.
Neighbors start arriving and new smells arrive with new people.
Oh, I haven’t seen these
People in forever.
Quietly praying before we eat, as our heads
Rise and we
Start to eat
Turkey.
Unwinding from being stuffed, we clean up and start
Vacuuming.
When we were done, we all watch Charlie Brown.
X-actly a perfect ending of the day. Next
Year will be great I drowsily think,
Zzzzzzz as I peacefully fall asleep.

– Brooke Applegate

23.) “In Everything Give Thanks”

For all that God in mercy sends –
For health and children, home and friends;
For comfort in the time of need,
For every kindly word and deed,
For happy talks and holy thoughts;
For guidance in our daily walk –
In everything give thanks!

For beauty in this world of ours,
For verdant grass and lovely flowers,
For song of birds, for horn of bees,
For the refreshing summer breeze,
For hill and plain, for streams and wood,
For the great ocean’s mighty flood –
In everything give thanks!

For the sweet sleep which comes with night,
For the returning morning’s light,
For the bright sun that shines on high,
For the stars glittering in the sky –
For these and everything we see,
O Lord our hearts we lift to thee;
In everything give thanks!

– Unknown

24.) “Thanksgiving is…”

Thanksgiving is anticipation…
the excitement of wonderful aromas,
golden, harvest-themed décor,
the best linens, china and silver.
Thanksgiving is…
platters of of special Thanksgiving foods
prepared only once a year,
mmn…mmn… mouths watering,
ecstatic taste buds quivering with joy.
Thanksgiving is…
the family all around the table,
clean, dressed, smiles all around,
recitation of what we are thankful for,
the saying of grace,
our special Thanksgiving prayer.
And now, finally, dig in!
We are thinking of you
at Thanksgiving, and hoping
your Thanksgiving experience
will be surrounded
by a special glow in your memory.

– Joanna Fuchs

25.) “Poor Mrs. Peel”

There once was an old Mrs. Peel
Who cooked till her hands could not feel
A Thanksgiving feast!
One nap, at least.
Then she slept right through the meal.

– Caroline Smith

26.) “Are You Thankful?”

I’m not thankful for anything
And never will I proclaim that:
“I am thankful for every moment.”
Because really
Who cares about family and friends?
How can someone say
Thanksgiving actually means something?
I have always believed that
No one cares about your gratitude
Because it’s so untrue that
Everyone has a reason to be grateful.
Did you know that
Even the most impoverished have a reason to be thankful?
There has to be something because
We all gather to be happy.
That is wrong.
Gathering together in celebration just takes up space.
It’s cynical to think
People don’t deserve to be thanked.
Time doesn’t need to be taken to appreciate everyone and
There is no way to say that.
I will always say
I’m not thankful for anything.

– Joey F. Gibbs

27.) “A Special Day”

Thanksgiving is a special day,
A day we give our thanks.
For all the people in our lives,
And the money in our banks.

Thanksgiving is a special day,
A day we share the joy.
We come before a lavish meal,
One we quite enjoy.

Thanksgiving is a special day,
Togetherness, all families the same.
Time spent in happiness,
We may even plan a game.

But most importantly Thanksgiving,
Is a day to remember.
Be grateful for all you have all year,
January straight through to December.

– Julie Hebert

28.) “Why Thanksgiving Is Important”

Thanksgiving is important
because it reminds me
how thankful I am for you.
You are important
because you enrich my life
in countless ways.
You are strength;
you are support;
you are encouragement.
You are sunshine,
lighting up the dark corners of my life
with your unique, uplifting energy.
Thanksgiving is important
because it prompts me, each year,
to tell you how much you mean to me.
Happy Thanksgiving!

– Joanna Fuchs

29.) “Thanksgiving Comes But Once a Year”

Thanksgiving comes but once a year,
But when it comes it brings good cheer.
For in my storehouse on this day
Are piles of good things hid away.
Each day I’ve worked from early morn
To gather acorns, nuts, and corn,
Till now I’ve plenty and to spare
Without a worry or a care.
So light of heart the whole day long,
I’ll sing a glad Thanksgiving song.

– Thornton W. Burgess

30.) “Turkey’s Thanksgiving Wish”

If a turkey will make a wish
It would be a long, long list.
It will give you all sorts of reasons
To change that turkey tradition.

It will wish you change your mind
Of having a turkey when you dine.
It will wish you’ll crave for seafood
Or tell you crabs would be good!

It will wish you have a toothache
So mashed potato is what you’ll pick.
Or wish that on Thanksgiving Dinner
Only vegetarians will come together.

Yet, people come and they insist
“A turkey dish is just the best!”
Poor turkey, it will just yell,
“Oh dear, please take away the
November in a year!”

– Eva Adolfo

31.) “Thanksgiving”

Thank God for this!
That once again we are alive to greet the spring;
To smell the earth, fresh-washed with rain
To watch each little growing thing;
And, watching, feel each bud and leaf
Are symbols of the death of grief.
To think we’re privileged to see laburnum’s graceful gold cascade;
The pink and white fragility of dainty springtime’s hill and glade;
And seeing, feel desire to praise
The Source of all these beauteous days.

Thank God for this!
That we can feel a burgeoning within the heart;
That springtime has the power to heal the wound of grief,
Its pain and smart;
Reveal a new and friendly earth where blossom joy and cheer and mirth.

Thank God for this!
We see His face framed in the loveliness of spring,
We see the workings of His grace in every little growing thing.
We see His face, we hear His voice
Bidding all downcast souls rejoice.

– Wilhelmina Stitch

Summary

How did you enjoy our list of the top 31 Thanksgiving poems? Remember that you can also share these poems with your audience in person once you’ve sat down for dinner. It’s an excellent way for you and your family to collectively say thanks before digging in.

And using a unique, touching, thought-provoking poem over something generic and mundane is sure to make your Thanksgiving experience all the better. Before you go, happy Thanksgiving! We hope you and your family enjoy the holiday to the fullest.