The 69 Free Verse Poems About Life

2022 Update

Life is, well, complex. It takes interesting turns and leads you to unexpected crossroads.

Beautiful, adventurous, and thrilling, it can also be equally as frustrating, gloomy, and mundane. One thing is clear, though. There is little natural order to life. Things can get pretty chaotic and, sometimes, all too overwhelming.

When things are extreme, whether in a positive or negative way, emotions can be hard to put into words. The dangerous idea that only you feel a certain way and that no one else is able to understand or relate to you can establish itself in your mind very quickly. Finding a way to express your intricate web of thoughts and emotions may feel near impossible.

And that’s exactly why free verse poems exist. Contrary to popular belief, not all verses have to rhyme. If you think about it, attempting to create rhyming verses puts a lot of restrictions on the actual content of the poem. Free verse poetry stays true to the message it wants to convey.

If you’re looking for poetry that’s bold, unrestrained, full of expression, and loaded with raw emotion, free verse poems are for you.

We’ve compiled 69 of the best free verse poems about life. Our selection includes some famous poems that touch on simple yet important daily-life topics.

The Best Poems About Life Experiences And Struggles

1.) A Lot Of Anger

I ache with this…
words scream out of my mouth with no meaning.
No sounds compare to the things I seem to say.
I am sorry.
It is never as mean as it seems to be,
although my disparity wilts this rose.
Unfortunately I cannot soak up all the positivity that sways my way.
This is not me.
Anger does not fill these young veins.
Hatred should not live in my bewildered heart.
Never should I have endured this pitiful feeling,
this feeling that holds me back so much.
With wild acts of my virtue,
I open my arms because no one knows the truth.

So let me show you me!

I sing because I love to.
I write because it is my passion
I love too easily,
and I forgive others before I forgive myself.
I hate not knowing what the future brings,
yet it spikes my curiosity.
I get shy, but never for too long.
I want others to feel my difference.
I seek the diversity in life,
and I embrace all that meets my face.

I am sorry those of you who do not know me.
Life never ends,
and there is plenty of time
for all to see the reality of it all.
Let me smile for every reason and not just one.
Let me speak without hesitation in my voice.
Let me be who I am without judgment of our cruel society.
Let me yell out loud and have all join me because we are all one.
So put the past behind and look forward to what tomorrow has to offer.

– Julia Docking

2.) The Years Of Our Lives

At our life’s end, what will the question be?
Will it be, “What’s in your wallet?”
Or will it be, “What in your story?”

By a most reliable source, the Bible,
We are told that ‘We spend our years
as a tale that is told”.* In a movie,
the words of one actor to another were,
“There’s no normal life. There’s just life”.

So, the story is unfolded as we live our lives.
It matters not whether in complexity or simplicity.
Whether there’s normality, neutrality, or triviality,
at our life’s end, what tale will be told of you and me?

– Curtis Johnson

3.) Happiness Tip

Happiness comes
not from what goes on
outside of you
but rather in how you perceive life
from the inside.

The healthy tendency
to focus on and emphasize
positive experiences
and file them away
for frequent recall
while dimming memories
of distressing times
is one of the major components
of a happy life.

Think of a happy memory right now.

– Joanna Fuchs

4.) These Stories We Wear

these stories we wear –

scars,
stretchmarks,
wrinkles,

are wrongly labelled
as imperfections.

but aren’t they such beautiful,
courageous signs
of how we have lived?

– Sabrina Laura

5.) When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

– Walt Whitman

6.) I Breathe Pure Life

Catch the sound of green petals
echo the thoughts of my mind
left with a weak feeling
while gently waving your thumb
lack of procrastination
Amadeus Theme
with its complex dynamics

The nightingale was full of happiness
in the sound of the melody wind
The azure sky glitters
got into me with their lyrics

– Sotto Poet

7.) Life

CHILDREN, ye have not lived, to you it seems
Life is a lovely stalactite of dreams,
Or carnival of careless joys that leap
About your hearts like billows on the deep
In flames of amber and of amethyst.

Children, ye have not lived, ye but exist
Till some resistless hour shall rise and move
Your hearts to wake and hunger after love,
And thirst with passionate longing for the things
That burn your brows with blood-red sufferings.

Till ye have battled with great grief and fears,
And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years,
Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife,
Children, ye have not lived: for this is life.

– Sarojini Naidu

8.) From Blossoms

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

– Li-Young Lee

9.) If You Must Go

If you must go, then go for a while
Remember that first step is a hard traveled mile.

To learn what lessons life has in store,
You must be willing to open each door.

Don’t be afraid to experience something new
For each experience will be a benefit to you.

Never live your life in the past
Enjoy every day as if it were your last

Mistakes you will make along the way
Learn from them, and you’ll be okay

Set your goals high and strive for them
As long as you try, you’ll never be condemned

Be kind and respect the people you meet
For they may be the ones to make life complete

Be sincere in everything you do
And treat others as you wish they would you

Whatever you do, make sure you’re content
For the last thing you want is something to resent

So if you must go, then go for a while
And when you return, return with a smile.

– Terry Gouveia

10.) Running Out Of Time

Life is complicated.
There will always be problems.
Stress is a distraction
from what’s really important.

Don’t wait for things to get better.
Count your blessings;
Learn to be happy right now,
Otherwise you might run out of time.

– Joanna Fuchs

11.) Freedom

Freedom is not a toy.
Freedom is not a lie.
Freedom is not a gift.
Freedom should not be a wish.

Freedom that our ancestors fought and died for.
Freedom to stop us from crawling on the floor.
Freedom created many wars.
Freedom secured by statutes and laws?

Freedom, of which so many stories tell.
Freedom, the difference between heaven and hell?
Freedom, to walk free on the streets and fields.
Freedom, without it we’re on our knees.

Freedom that they want to take away.
Freedom weakened day by day.
Freedom you thought it was here to stay?
Freedom…
oh no, not for me or you if the fascists have their way.

– A Yorkshire Poet

12.) I Carry Your Heart With Me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

– E. E. Cummings

13.) Dreaming On Paper

I don’t talk.
My lips part and air pushes out,
but the sound must not fit,
because my thoughts are so big.

So I don’t try to talk.
My thoughts must be too good for
words, for the air, for my lips.

But they are just right for paper.
My thoughts flow on paper.
They are just big enough.

So I don’t talk;
I compose,
I write,
I dream.

– Rebecca

14.) Quick Question

How can you say
every life should be saved
when you have no concern for the living,
for the hungry and poor
you have saved that life for
yet find yourself so unforgiving?

– Jeannie Cronin

15.) The Pool

Are you alive?
I touch you.
You quiver like a sea-fish.
I cover you with my net.
What are you—banded one?

– H.D.

16.) Kyrielle Two

Dry caverns yearn for fountainheads
Splashing whirlpools filling streambeds
Dusty grottos of emptiness
Laugh with wellspring’s joyful excess.

Parched hollows in transformation,
In arid anticipation,
Longing aqua waves sweet press
Laugh with wellspring’s joyful excess.

Deep reservoir of creation
Hears the flowing invitation
Swirling clear tides swell in access
Laugh with wellspring’s joyful excess.

Dulcet fountains gush in rebirth
Sweet waters burst out from dry earth
Living waters with grace to bless
Laugh with wellspring’s joyful excess

– Sam Kauffman

17.) Tiny Shred Of Love

Floating, heart askew
In the dark, deep tunnel of nothing
Claw with every cell of me
Reach out for anger, greed, sorrow
Not the alone, gray, empty
Tiny shred of light
I wait for, hope for
A delusion there to help
Hold my hand tighter
Around the severing rope
My only tie to the world
A better life, twinkle dust
Of joy, love, a home
No more tears, aching soul
For a touch to hold on
Until then hope for, wait for
The tiny shred of love.

– Swetha Baskaran

18.) Risk

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to blossom.

– Anaïs Nin

19.) A Trace

For all the events that my soul faced in
This life,
A trace I wish to live behind:
A poem reflecting upon each situation,
To share with those that will follow my passage in time;
My intention is not to teach or to inspire
But to show that
Nothing is new,
Nothing is unique, and
Nothing is everlasting!

– Demetrios Trifiatis

20.) Faith And Courage In Life

In life there are people that will hurt us and cause us pain,
but we must learn to forgive and forget and not hold grudges.

In life there are mistakes we will make,
but we must learn from our wrongs and grow from them.

In life there are regrets we will have to live with,
but we must learn to leave the past behind and realize it is something we can’t change.

In life there are people we will loose forever and can’t have back,
but we must learn to let go and move on.

In life there are going to be obstacles that will cause interference,
but we must learn to overcome these challenges and grow stronger.

In life there are fears that will hold us back from what we want,
but we must learn to fight them with the courage from within.

God holds our lives in his hands. He holds the key to our future.
Only he knows our fate.

He sees everything and knows everything.
Everything in life really does happen for a reason: “God’s Reason”

– Angie M. Flores

21.) Wallow

Gently look at the past.
Enjoy pleasant memories.
Learn from the past
so you don’t repeat mistakes.
Rein in the past
when it creates sadness or anger.
You are in control
of what you choose to
think, see and feel.
Never let the past
withdraw energy from the present.

Live in the moment.
Stop to see, hear, smell, taste, feel.
Wallow in the sensual pleasures of the present.
Take time to escape the past and the future.
Set yourself free to live now, right now.

Plan for the future,
but don’t overdo it.
Some things you can handle
when they come,
if they come.
Resist canceling the present moment
by overplanning the future.
Peace is not needing to know
everything that will happen.

Grab today.
Squeeze all the juice out of it.
Know you did well.

– Joanna Fuchs

22.) Sloe Gin

The clear weather of juniper
darkened into winter.
She fed gin to sloes
and sealed the glass container.

When I unscrewed it
I smelled the disturbed
tart stillness of a bush
rising through the pantry.

When I poured it
it had a cutting edge
and flamed
like Betelgeuse.

I drink to you
in smoke-mirled, blue-
black sloes, bitter
and dependable.

– Seamus Heaney

23.) From Deep Within My Heart

Frequently, fragrantly followeth I
Fickle and fallow and famously shy
New love is true love and true love is sewn
Not by the seed but the need to be grown

Fortune may function to fashion your fate
Finding the future of passion is great
Flirting is flaunting the first by the last
Hurting is haunting the cursed by the past

Blamelessly fighting the urge of the pack
Shamelessly citing the courage they lack
Purely delighting the young and the old
Surely inciting the tongue of the bold

Sleeping is meant to be well by the way
Reaping her scent by the smell of the day
Keeping her bent to the vent is the key
Seeping that went from the tent next to me

Leaping about is the essence of fame
Deepening doubt is the presence of blame
Death is the vagrance of hope in the beast
Life is the fragrance of love in the least.

– Bryan Norton

24.) Time

Tick tock…tick tock…
Life is counting down on your internal clock.

Memories that feel as if they occurred yesterday
turn to flashes of moments that seem to fade away.

People you once knew
walk by without a clue.

The times you once shared
exist as if you were never there.

Years fly…friends die…
and you never know when you’ll say your last goodbye.

Oh, how I wish I could turn back time,
spend it with loved ones and cherish what once was mine.

Or to go back even more,
being a kid in a candy store.

How I miss the way I used to feel
on Christmas day when Santa was real.

But back to reality…back to today,
family is scarce and memories continue to fade away.

Tick tock…tick tock…
How I wish I could control this clock.

– Joe Massocco

25.) Accent

my voice
is the offspring
of two countries colliding
what is there to be ashamed of
if English
and my mother tongue
made love
my voice
is her father’s words
and mother’s accent
what does it matter if
my mouth carries two worlds

– Rupi Kaur

26.) Each Moment Is Precious

Live in the moment,
Just take it all in.
Pay attention to everything,
Right there and right then.

Don’t let your mind wander
To what’s coming next.
Cherish this moment
And give it your best.

Don’t let tomorrow
Make you rush through today,
Or too many great moments
Will just go to waste.

And the person you’re with,
In that moment you share,
Give them all of your focus;
Be totally there.

Laugh till it hurts,
Let the tears drop.
Fill up each moment
With all that you’ve got.

Don’t miss the details;
The lesson is there.
Don’t get complacent;
Stay sharp and aware.

It can take but a moment
To change your life’s path.
And once it ticks by,
There is no going back.

In just 60 seconds,
You may make a new friend.
Find your true love,
Or see a life start or end.

You become who you are
In those moments you live.
And the growth’s not in taking
But in how much you give.

Life is just moments,
So precious and few.
Whether valued or squandered,
It’s all up to you!

– Patricia A. Fleming

27.) I Dreamed

I dreamed…
Of driftwood
Dancing over waves
Performing flips
And leaps
Before collapsing
Into despair
The deepest depths
Ever swallowing
Can’t breathe…
Can’t speak…
The driftwood
Breaches the surface
Hanging on
By a splinter
Thunder crackled
Lightning lanced
In the middle of the sea
There are no gods
There are no hopes
And no dreams
Only deepest despair
Of what lies beneath
And the overwhelming sense
The end is nigh
I dreamed…
Of driftwood
But lo and behold
The driftwood
Was my hopes and dreams

– Christopher Goss

28.) Anne Hathaway

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff-tops, seas
where he would dive for pearls. My lover’s words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights I dreamed he’d written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer’s hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love –
I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

– Carol Ann Duffy

29.) Sometimes

Sometimes I can’t find the words
That fill my messy head.
Can’t find the effort to smile
Or get out of my silly old bed.

The world just sometimes feels like
I don’t fit and don’t belong,
And even when I make the effort,
A smile just doesn’t last long.

I could pretend with all my might
That I am the happiest I can be.
Surrounded by the world, it seems
Lonelier I couldn’t be.

Not sure what may be the answer.
Not sure if I’m really keen
To spend another day here,
Living this dreadful dream.

But I must find some courage,
Light a fire inside my heart
And find a love for life again,
And I know where I shall start.

I’ll walk among the forest
And feel the crisp sea breeze
And lay among the meadow
And listen to all the bees.

I’ll figure out the mayhem
And gaze at all the stars
And dance at every sunset
With a smile inside my heart.

– Lucy Peterson

30.) Life

What is our life? A play of passion,
Our mirth the music of division,
Our mother’s wombs the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.

Our graves that hide us from the setting sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest, that’s no jest.

– Sir Walter Raleigh

31.) Kyrielle

Dry caverns yearn for fountainheads
Splashing whirlpools filling streambeds;
Dusty grottos of emptiness
Beg for wellspring’s joyful excess.

Parched hollows anticipation
Waits for waves of transformation;
Longs for aqua waves elation
Surging tides lyric vibrations.

Deep reservoir of creation
Hears the flowing invitation;
Swirling clear tides swell in ascent
Wellsprings chant in a new advent.

Dulcet fountains gush in rebirth
Sweet waters burst out from dry earth;
Aquifers of waters that live
Bathes the soul with grace that forgives.

– Sam Kauffman

32.) Praise The Rain

Praise the rain; the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk—
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity—
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep—
Praise the mist, the warrior name
The earth eclipse, the fired leap—
Praise the backwards, upward sky
The baby cry, the spirit food—
Praise canoe, the fish rush
The hole for frog, the upside-down—
Praise the day, the cloud cup
The mind flat, forget it all—

Praise crazy. Praise sad.
Praise the path on which we’re led.
Praise the roads on earth and water.
Praise the eater and the eaten.
Praise beginnings; praise the end.
Praise the song and praise the singer.

Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.

– Joy Harjo

33.) Inside Demons

The demons inside need to go
Be strong so that you can show
They can not be in control
Look way down inside your soul
And show them they’ll only be
In your past and history
Not the future you can find
If you leave them all behind
Letting them go one by one
Will help you find light from a sun
That will shine inside your heart
When the evil soon departs

– Robin Davis

34.) Lessons For Living

I see you looking at your children,
Wondering what their lives will be.
If you verify some answers
Then their future you might see.

Have you taught them to be truthful?
Have you taught them to be kind?
Have you given them the wisdom
Needed to be color blind?

Have you taught them to be caring
For those handicapped some way?
Do you read to them at bedtime?
Have you taught them how to pray?

Have you taken time to tell them
What a miracle life is?
How to be aware of nature,
Share the beauty that it gives?

Have you taught them how important
It is to have respect for one another?
To be grateful, not be prideful
When good fortune you discover?

Do you let them know you love them
In a way that leaves no doubt,
So they know that is one thing
That they will never be without?

We like to think we’ve done our best.
Sometimes that’s very true.
Can you say ‘yes’ to all my questions?
I will leave that up to you.

I hope your answer is affirmative,
For then I know that you will see
A future filled with happiness
Like it’s supposed to be.

– Alora M. Knight

35.) The Good Life

When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.

– Tracy K. Smith

36.) Accept

Sometimes life hands us
burdens we can’t change,
but we try anyway,
using up a lot of energy
and experiencing a lot of pain
in the process.

Accept things you can’t change.
Accept, accept, accept.
Then take that time and energy
you’ve been wasting
and focus it on something
that will bring you pleasure.

You deserve it.

– Joanna Fuchs

37.) Siren Song

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can’t remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don’t enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don’t enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

– Margaret Atwood

38.) Death And Life

Twas in the grave-yard’s gruesome gloom
That May and I were mated;
We sneaked inside and on a tomb
Our love was consummated.
It’s quite all right, no doubt we’ll wed,
Our sin will go unchidden . . .
Ah! sweeter than the nuptial bed
Are ecstasies forbidden.

And as I held my sweetheart close,
And she was softly sighing,
I could not help but think of those
In peace below us lying.
Poor folks! No disrespect we meant,
And beg you’ll be forgiving;
We hopes the dead will not resent
The rapture of the living.

And when in death I, too, shall lie,
And lost to those who love me,
I wish two sweethearts roving by
Will plight their troth above me.
Oh do not think that I will grieve
To hear the vows they’re voicing,
And if their love new life conceive,
‘Tis I will be rejoicing.

– Robert William Service

39.) Despair Displaced

Hopelessness, like krait betwixt stones, creep into heart,
Confusion, like troubled stream, from heart, stands apart;
I am lonely and lost; float on flooding river,
Lifeless! Though reach the banks, I’ll live like a sliver…!

I try to avoid despair, yet, like leech it clings,
Looks externally simple; it has hooking strings;
With sufferings and pains it makes my mind brim-fill,
When I find emptiness and void, it remains still…!

How long will my hopelessness last? Will there be end?
To those joys that shake it, will this easily bend?
Is hope, like sun in fog veiled? Or like lost stars gone?
Will, hence, in my life, no costumes of virtues don…?

Am I able to relax in my times of pain?
Seeking divine blessings, do I my soundness gain?
Do I wait and watch for all gloomy times to pass?
Does my outlook end with the tunnel of impasse…?

Step-by-step, little-by-little I try to reach,
Zenith of freedom and my troubles to impeach…
Roughness in me, toward me, like chaffs in winds, blown,
I tread the paths of life Holy Scriptures have shown…!

– Christuraj Alex

40.) Persephone To Hades

You are the kindest thing
that ever happened to me,
even if that is not how our tale is told.

When everyone else told me I was
destined to be a forgotten nymph
that nurtured flowers and turn meadows gold,

you saw that the ichor that resides in me
demanded its own throne.
You showed me

how a love like ours can turn
even the darkest, coldest realm
into the happiest of homes.

– Nikita Gill

41.) Inner Peace

The wind whistles past my ears.
Closing my eyes, I lose all my fears.
The waves crash into the rocks.
Out here there is no time on my clock.

The serenity I feel here just soothes my mind.
A peaceful day so hard to find.
The breeze just calms my soul.
Helps me think about what is my life’s goal.

I then look out over the ocean,
And it feels like my life has lost its commotion.
The sun sets down over the clouds.
But the orange glow around makes me proud.

As the night draws near.
I feel like where I need to be is here.
The soothing nature this afternoon brings
Just feels like such a beautiful thing.

I sit and wonder where life will go,
But right now all I want is for time to slow.
To enjoy this moment and feel free,
To clear my mind and find some glee.

It’s days like these I truly treasure.
Amazing nights and beautiful weather.
It may not seem like much.
But it’s moments like these I want to clutch.

For once I feel like life is bliss.
So many hard days in which my happiness was missed.
I could get lost listening to the waves.
Listening to the birds and watching how the clouds behave.

I could close my eyes and fade into the night.
The tranquility I feel helps me win the fight.
As the waves keep crashing into the rocks,
I feel the happiness in my heart become unlocked.

The day is drawing to a close.
The peacefulness I feel right now I’ll only know.
Right now my mind is finally clear.
It’s time to go as the night draws near.

– Joshua Fraser

42.) Life Is Fine

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born
Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

– Langston Hughes

43.) The Snowman

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

– Wallace Stevens

44.) You Will Never See Me Fall

You may see me struggle,
but you won’t see me fall.
Regardless if I’m weak or not,
I’m going to stand tall.
Everyone says life is easy,
but truly living it is not.

Times get hard,
people struggle
and constantly get put on the spot.
I’m going to wear the biggest smile,
even though I want to cry.

I’m going to fight to live,
even though I’m destined to die.
And even though it’s hard
and I may struggle through it all,
you may see me struggle…
but you will NEVER see me fall.

– Joyce Alcantara

45.) True Joy

I’ll be happy once I’ve done this certain thing.
We all say this often, not realizing what it brings.
We look only to the future for our happiness,
Letting life slip through our fingers in its fullness.
Will we really feel complete when the task is done
or look back and see how we missed so much fun?
Self consumed so we can’t see anything else,
hurting those we love as well as ourselves.
So many things around us to be grateful for.
When seeking for an answer, willingly open the door.
So often, others see what’s in front of our face,
but we’re too blind to look as we’re snared in the race.
What is this life supposed to be about?
Is it money, fortune, fame, or a big house?
When speaking to a man on his dying bed,
none of these answers are what he said.
Family, love, laughter are what we should seek.
These are the precious things that keep life from being bleak.

– M. Jolynn Rawson-Hunt

46.) Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

– Maya Angelou

47.) My Inner Life

‘Tis true my garments threadbare are,
And sorry poor I seem;
But inly I am richer far
Than any poet’s dream.
For I’ve a hidden life no one
Can ever hope to see;
A sacred sanctuary none
May share with me.

Aloof I stand from out the strife,
Within my heart a song;
By virtue of my inner life
I to myself belong.
Against man-ruling I rebel,
Yet do not fear defeat,
For to my secret citadel
I may retreat.

Oh you who have an inner life
Beyond this dismal day
With wars and evil rumours rife,
Go blessedly your way.
Your refuge hold inviolate;
Unto yourself be true,
And shield serene from sordid fate
The Real You.

– Robert William Service

48.) Brevity

Life’s brevity, so bittersweet,
depends upon just one heartbeat.

Brief as dusk and swift as dawn,
twilight hour, has come and gone.

Like waves that kiss a sandy shore,
returning to the ocean floor,

and brilliant stars that streak the sky,
must bid the universe goodbye,

and so it is with you and I,
and so it is with you and I.

So, play in waves that kiss the shore.
Enjoy the twilight hours more,

and wish upon the stars that shine,
for only now is yours and mine,

and so it is with you and I
till this brief life we bid goodbye!

– Patricia L. Cisco

49.) The Gift Of Boredom

Are you bored?

Millions of people
spend every waking moment
working brutally hard
to put meager food on the table
and a roof over their heads.

Be grateful for your boredom.

– Joanna Fuchs

50.) Autumn

A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.

– T. E. Hulme

Poems About Life Relationships

51.) Mother To Son

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

– Langston Hughes

52.) Love, Pink

My sister,
She may be a dork.
She may be a nerd.
She may not be the thinnest
one in the toolbox.
So what?
You can make fun of her,
But guess what?
I love her,
Just the way she is.
And nothing,
Nothing can change that.
But as for you,
Make fun of her,
And I’m after you!

– Allison Horwitz

53.) Family Circle

When I am born, you are here
In your eye, I see a tear
Time flies and already I’m two
“Look, Daddy, I can tie my shoe!”

Before you know it, I’m five
Every day, you thank God I’m alive
Pretty soon, I turn eight
You tell me I’m never allowed to date

I’m already twelve in my preteen years
Which means you’ll help me with all my new fears
Now fourteen with my permit to drive
Waiting to hit the big one-five

Too early comes sixteen, with my license now
It went by too fast, you just ask how

You want to meet my boyfriend when I’m eighteen
I pray to God that you’re not too mean
The same guy two years later asks for my hand
I’m relieved when you say, that’s just grand

About a year later, you walk me down the aisle
Through all the tears, you bare a smile
Three years later, you’re gonna be a grandfather
You show love and pride for your new granddaughter

Another year down the road
Mom dies, oh the many tears that flowed
You’re not doing so well without her
Less than a year later, you forgot all about her

Alzheimer’s sets in and it scares me so
Not long after, you decide to go
Now I’m regretting not saying goodbye
Every time I think about it, I start to cry

The cycle has begun again
It has started over with little Megan
The other day, she turned two
And said, “Look, daddy, I can tie my shoe!”

– Melissa G. Nicks

54.) Perceptions

First impressions can be strong
About those we see around.
Yet how often are they wrong?
That is the truth I’ve found.

Not all who cry are weak.
Not everyone who looks can see.
Not all who are quiet are meek.
Not all who nod agree.

Not all who snarl are cruel.
Not everyone generous is just.
Not everyone clumsy is a fool.
Not all who wander are lost.

We never know people’s character.
In just a single instance.
We never know who people are
By judging from a distance.

But whether we like it or not,
We’ll always be around people.
Is it better to know a few people a lot
Or a lot of people a little?

I’d rather know a few people a lot
Than a lot of people a little.

– Abimbola T. Alabi

55.) Family

Family
I’ve been at the deepest boroughs with them
In deep having real conversations,
and for a moment I thought
That finally I’d gotten through them
Only to be disappointed all over

It’s like everytime I find something meaningful with them
They throw it out with the trash
And I have to try again hoping to keep it going
Only to be hurt cause they never learn
They’re just those irreplaceable pricks
Pricks that you cut and move them out your lawn

Cause they’ll be mowing you up
Mowing whatever sprouts of hope you have
It’s like they don’t want you growing with them
Distancing themself with anything yours
And still be the ones to say you not giving effort
Saying all sorts of things that break you to hear

Family
I’ve fought wars in their name
Saying that nobody should talk ill of us
While they’re the ones making us lose respect
With the wrong moves cause they rush things
Not even taking a second to reflect before they act

And it hurts more when you realize
That all your life they’ve downplayed you
You like the cards that are not drawn
Cause you a hand they’re not dealing
Only to find you winning even before you start
For you never wish them bad and that’s why you get more

– Humphrey Haji Luvumbi

56.) Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

– Robert Hayden

57.) In The Hospital

But I was busy making a list: good dog, bad citizen, short
skeleton, tall mocha. Typical Tuesday.
My mother was in the hospital & no one wanted to be her friend.
Everyone wanted to be soft cooing sympathies. Very reasonable
pigeons. No one had the time & our solution to it
was to buy shinier watches. We were enamored with
what our wrists could declare. My mother was in the hospital
& I didn’t want to be her friend. Typical son. Tall latte, short tale,
bad plot, great wifi in the atypical café. My mother was in the hospital
& she didn’t want to be her friend. She wanted to be the family
grocery list. Low-fat yogurt, firm tofu. She didn’t trust my father
to be it. You always forget something, she said, even when
I do the list for you. Even then.

– Chen Chen

58.) We Did Truly Love

I know it started skin-deep. Pull! In love I fell.
Charm gave kinetic kick; Unique magical spell!
I don’t negate the touches; Tea to refresh!
Did we not rise above our hunger of the flesh?

Did I impose any constrain? Did I demand?
To fulfill my desires, did I ever command?
Did I receive more and gave very miserly?
Did I not bestow you liberty entirely…?

I reserved no gains in you for my egotism,
Offered myself with an absolute altruism;
Flawless perfection was not that in you I sought,
It’s toward honest love that I had always fought…!

Your waiting for hours for me to come back to deign,
Waiting on me while ill, midst your physical pain;
Staying close when rich; in penury still closer,
In times of troubles you became poise-composer…!

This is why our love, today, has turned true marvel,
Resurrecting and reviving from stages larval;
Passions, like reservoirs of nectar, brim-filling,
Our life has been tree near streams, in freshness thrilling…!

– Christuraj Alex

59.) Move On

Sometimes you have to let people go,
to preserve your sanity,
guard your health,
protect your heart.

Sometimes those people are family,
especially family,
because they know
what buttons to push.

Sometimes you have to forgive, release,
and move on.

– Joanna Fuchs

Poems About Change And Later Life

60.) Changing The Past

The past is the past for a reason.
That is where it is supposed to stay,
But some cannot let it go.
In their heads it eats away

Until all their focus becomes
The person they used to be,
The mistakes they made in their life.
Oh, if only they could see

That you cannot change what happened,
No matter how hard you try,
No matter how much you think about it,
No matter how much you cry.

What happens in your lifetime
Happens for reasons unknown,
So you have to let the cards unfold.
Let your story be shown.

Don’t get wrapped up in the negative.
Be happy with what you have been given.
Live for today not tomorrow.
Get up, get out, and start living,

Because the past is the past for a reason.
It’s been, and now it is gone,
So stop trying to think of ways to fix it.
It’s done, it’s unchangeable; move on.

– Donna

61.) Later Life

Something this foggy day, a something which
Is neither of this fog nor of today,
Has set me dreaming of the winds that play
Past certain cliffs, along one certain beach,
And turn the topmost edge of waves to spray:

Ah pleasant pebbly strand so far away,
So out of reach while quite within my reach,
As out of reach as India or Cathay!
I am sick of where I am and where I am not,
I am sick of foresight and of memory,
I am sick of all I have and all I see,
I am sick of self, and there is nothing new;

Oh weary impatient patience of my lot!
Thus with myself: how fares it, Friends, with you?

– Christina Rosetti

62.) Change Is All

No one will ever know how I feel,
For I cannot even explain it all.
Nobody to love,
Nobody to blame,
Everyone always the same.
Nothing to care about,
No reason to lie,
For I am me, myself, and I.
No one sees what I see,
Nobody left to care for me.
It’s kind of sad knowing what’s true,
‘Cause then you know who’s there for you.
Most of them just put on that act.
A lot of them talk bad about me behind my back.
Thanks for making me feel this way,
There’s nothing more I should have to say.
All the times I was alone
Makes me feel weird when someone’s home.
No family for support, no friends to care.
People wonder why I don’t go anywhere.
Every night crying myself to sleep,
Sometimes I wish someone loved me.
No hope, no love, no life, no friends.
The pain never ends.
Sometimes I ask what did I do to deserve this.
But nobody answers.
A voice in my head tells me to forget the bad and remember good.
But then I answer to myself saying there is no good to remember.
I always yell at myself asking why me? Why?
Sitting in a empty spare room.
No one to talk to about how I feel.
No one to ask me what I feel.
Is anyone out there in this harsh world we live in?
Sometimes I begin to wonder.
Sometimes I’m harsh on myself.
Morn comes and I wake up wishing I was never born.
Please help others, because today’s lives
Are being taken out of this world just as easy as they are coming in.
You can change someone’s life.
Make a change.
It’s a tough world.

– Olivia Libby

63.) The Little Boy And The Old Man

Said the little boy, sometimes I drop my spoon.
Said the little old man, I do that too.
The little boy whispered, I wet my pants.
I do too, laughed the old man.
Said the little boy, I often cry.
The old man nodded. So do I.
But worst of all, said the boy,
it seems grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean, said the little old man.

– Shel Silverstein

64.) On Aging

When you see me sitting quietly,
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don’t think I need your chattering.
I’m listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

– Maya Angelou

65.) Before I…

Before I became strong, I knew what it was like
To be weak,
How difficult it is to love yourself,
To find the wholeness that you seek.

Before I knew the light,
I have had my fair share of darkness, too,
Where my world fell into a hopelessness
And I didn’t know how to get through.

For I have known the tears it takes,
The courage to stand up again,
When you are broken down and bruised
And you know nothing but the pain.

You forget to appreciate love,
If you haven’t seen the hate,
Till you forget the meaning of smile and laughter,
And your heart is left abate.

I have known the strength and courage
It requires to get it right,
To face the things that hold you down
And hold your head up and fight.

Before I was who I am now,
I was someone I didn’t want to be.
I was lost, battered, and defeated,
Before I knew how to be me!

– Insiya K. Patanwala

66.) Equality

You declare you see me dimly
through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly,
trim in rank and marking time.
You do own to hear me faintly
as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

You announce my ways are wanton,
that I fly from man to man,
but if I’m just a shadow to you,
could you ever understand?

We have lived a painful history,
we know the shameful past,
but I keep on marching forward,
and you keep on coming last.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

Take the blinders from your vision,
take the padding from your ears,
and confess you’ve heard me crying,
and admit you’ve seen my tears.

Hear the tempo so compelling,
hear the blood throb in my veins.
Yes, my drums are beating nightly,
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free.

– Maya Angelou

67.) The Forgotten Mother

A gray old woman sits all alone,
Unloved, uncherished, and unknown.
Sitting beside her broken door,
Dreaming of days passed long ago,
When children played about her knee
Filling the air with childish glee,
Tended by her with loving care,
Knowing the blessing of a Mother’s prayer.
But now they have gone, each to his life.
A girl to her husband, a boy to his wife,
Forgetful are they of her who sits here,
Silently wiping a tricking tear.
For striving for things in a life so brief
Blind their poor eyes to a dear Mother’s grief.
But does she upbraid them in word or in mind.
Nor does their neglect to her seem unkind.
She’ll forgive and forget all unkindness they’ve shown
This poor old mother who sits alone.

– Ruby Latimer Edwards

68.) The Ghost Of My Past

Fumbling, stumbling,
around in the dark.
Fighting, igniting,
flames from a spark.

Blinded, reminded,
of the fear inside.
Turning, yearning,
for a place to hide.

Soaking, choking,
struggling to breathe.
Hiding, abiding,
my ghost won’t leave.

Chasing, racing,
I stagger away.
Breathless, restless
in the mud I lay.

Dreaming, gleaming,
I escape the past.
Winning, new beginning,
I am free at last.

– Lee W. Barker

69.) The Grandfather Clock

In a dusty, dark corner of a very old house,
sits the tall, wooden worn out clock.
It has seen its share of memories and pain,
keeping perfect time with a tick and a tock.

From weddings to funerals, losses and gains,
sorrows and days filled with fun.
What once was brand new, through the passing of days,
has wrinkled and faded by sun.

With busy days past, the clock sits at its post
as it has done for years before.
The breezes from the front door, infrequent at best,
cease moving across the wood floor.

Tired now from its lifetime of work
watching over the house, was this clock.
As the sun now sets on another arduous day,
the peaceful clock gives its last tick and last tock.

– James Sielschott

Summary

We hope you enjoyed going through our list of free verse poems about life and were inspired by some of the beautifully written poems therein. If you’re interested in learning how to write free verse poetry yourself, feel free to use these poems as examples and templates.

You can also get a pretty good idea of the rules of free verse poetry just by going through a few poems, but the good news is: it’s the lack of rules that gives this form of poetry its special nature. Mess around, experiment, don’t be afraid to try something new, and break conceptual boundaries. That’s how you end up with a masterpiece.