If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed in life, it’s that change is inevitable. Whether we’ve planned for it or not, life has a way of surprising us. The best we can do, sometimes, is take those unexpected turns as opportunities for personal growth, self-reflection, and new beginnings. To help in that process, we’ve selected 8 poems to inspire hope and help us embrace change.
“Rebirth” by Alex Elle
Elle takes a cue from Robert Frost in this nature-inspired poem on change and the cycle of life. Much like “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” “Rebirth” reminds us that at every end exists a new beginning. Like the flowers and trees, we must bloom, wilt, and bloom again.
“from constant change figures” by Lyn Hejinian
This complex poem provides an analysis of our subjective memory. Though memories may be viewed as “nature’s picture,” we must remember that our relationship to our memories, or even our memories themselves, will shift over time as our perspective changes. With that in mind, we must also be prepared to reflect, rethink, and remember where we have been and how far we have come.
“We’re only haunted…” by Bridgett Devoue
This short and sweet poem is a gentle reminder to accept change as it comes and keep moving forward. By leaving behind the things we cannot change, we make room for new beginnings and move forward with hope and grace.
“The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Much like “Rebirth,” this poem draws a parallel between nature and the cycle of life. The tide must rise and fall, as does the sun, as do we. This poem is a reminder that in darkness, we must trust that new light will come again.
“Eleven” by Tanya Markul
Markul makes the case for turning pain into healing in this poem. “Eleven” reminds us that feelings of loneliness and isolation can be left in the past, and encourages us to share our stories, create connections, and rebuild together.
“Houston, 1965” by Loren Broaddus
In this brief and poignant poem, Broaddus zeroes in on the Astrodome: the world’s first domed sports stadium. Building an air of excitement and nostalgia, “Houston, 1965” analyzes the optimism of change and pain of losing the past. “Grow or go,” he writes, raising the question of what we gain (and what we lose) as technology progresses.
“Redemption” by Warsan Shire
Featured in Beyonce’s album Lemonade, this poem draws on the inner strength passed between generations. In the face of adversity, the speaker’s grandmother knows how to heal, remedy, and begin again. This poem truly embodies the old axiom, “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.”
“Change” by Wendy Videlock
This quick poem brings to light the complex relationship many of us have with change. Powerful enough to bring people together, but also tear them apart, change becomes a god-like figure in this poem. Videlock’s tone subtly brings us to confront the idea that change is sometimes hardest to come by when we seek it most.