3 Poems to Wrap Up Virgo Season
This Virgo season, we’ve celebrated Beyoncé, Keanu Reeves, and Zendaya. Dubbed “The Priestess,” this zodiac sign often attracts downright regal wealth, fame, and accolades—despite their modest and reserved natures, Virgos’ unmatched work ethic can make any dream a reality.
While their ambition, attention to detail, and relentless efforts often define how others see them, Virgos offer so much more than their top-notch organizational skills and accomplishments. It’s important to consider the root of all this hard work: Virgos’ drive to aid others and improve the world around them. Known as one of the most helpful signs, Virgos love to assist their friends (oftentimes, without even being asked) and have a natural penchant for volunteering. However, this thoughtful and elegant sign struggles to display this same generosity towards themselves, often giving into perfectionistic and self-critical tendencies.
No matter your sign, this Virgo season has likely been one of establishing clearer communication and realigning your values. These three poems help us celebrate that before looking ahead.
1. “This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams
Born on Sept. 17, Puerto Rican poet Williams exhibited classic Virgo qualities. In addition to his notable poetry accomplishments, he worked as a general doctor and pediatrician —often writing short poems on the back of prescription pads. This reveals the Virgo’s analytical nature, as well as a deep willingness to serve others. In particular, critics have praised Williams’ poetry for its focus on the details, another key Virgo trait.
In his iconic poem “This Is Just To Say,” an often-cited example of how to achieve poetic beauty through simplicity, Williams showcases the sign’s characteristic thoughtfulness and precision. The everyday experience of eating plums becomes illuminated through Williams’ details, including well-placed adjectives and exact line breaks, two qualities that a meticulous Virgo poet would emphasize. The poem’s underlying apology also betrays some of the Virgo’s people-pleasing nature.
“I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox,” Williams writes, “and which / you were probably / saving / for breakfast / Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold.”
2. “We’re Building the Ship as We Sail It” by Kay Ryan
Ryan, born on Sept. 21, is just as accomplished as astrologists would expect: The Virgo poet has won a Pultizer, a MacArthur fellowship, and been named a U.S. Poet Laureate. Celebrated for her use of compression and conciseness, Ryan approaches poetry like a Virgo, as well: She whittles down her words carefully until language’s most important elements shine.
In “We’re Building the Ship as We Sail It,” Ryan writes about undertaking an arduous, important task, an experience Virgos know well. The poem’s collective “we” also suggests that this endeavor benefits more people than just the speaker, acknowledging Virgos’ capacity to work for a greater good. The poem discusses both planning a task and, later, refining it, reflecting that, for Virgos, this work is a long and devoted process.
“It’s awkward / to have to do one’s / planning in extremis / in the early years—,” Ryan writes, “so hard to hide later: / sleekening the hull, / making things / more gracious.”
3. “The Kingfisher” by Mary Oliver
Sometimes described by astrologists as “Mother Earth,” Virgo is the only female zodiac constellation. Due to this association, Virgos are often thought of as having a connection with the Earth, as well as appreciating the elegance of nature.
Oliver, a Virgo poet whose poems often reflected on her outdoor surroundings, writes about the majesty of nature in “The Kingfisher,” as well as the desire to replicate its beauty. The poem also relishes Virgos’ observational tendencies. “Religiously he swallows the silver leaf / with its broken read river, and with a rough and easy cry / I couldn’t rouse out of my thoughtful body / if my life depended on it, he swings back / over the bright sea to do the same thing, to do it / (as I long to do something, anything) perfectly.”
To discover more connections between poetry and astrology, check out these hand-picked poems for your zodiac sign.