There is nothing like the unbreakable and loving bond between sisters. Sisterhood is one of the most important relationships one can have in their lifetime. And it doesn’t always have to be defined by blood. Often times close friends can take on the role of sister and provide us with the wisdom, closeness, and trust we associate with siblings. Sisters help to shape the women we are today. To celebrate this beautiful bond, here are six poems that explore and embrace the love between sisters.
from Goblin Market and Other Poems by Christina Rossetti
For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands
“One Sister have I in our house” by Emily Dickinson
One Sister have I in our house –
And one a hedge away.
There’s only one recorded,
But both belong to me.
One came the way that I came –
And wore my past year’s gown –
The other as a bird her nest,
Builded our hearts among.
She did not sing as we did –
It was a different tune –
Herself to her a Music
As Bumble-bee of June.
Today is far from Childhood –
But up and down the hills
I held her hand the tighter –
Which shortened all the miles –
And still her hum
The years among,
Deceives the Butterfly;
Still in her Eye
The Violets lie
Mouldered this many May.
I spilt the dew –
But took the morn, –
I chose this single star
From out the wide night’s numbers –
Sue – forevermore!
“Night Is My Sister” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Night is my sister, and how deep in love,
How drowned in love and weedily washed ashore,
There to be fretted by the drag and shove
At the tide’s edge, I lie—these things and more:
Whose arm alone between me and the sand,
Whose voice alone, whose pitiful breath brought near,
Could thaw these nostrils and unlock this hand,
She could advise you, should you care to hear.
Small chance, however, in a storm so black,
A man will leave his friendly fire and snug
For a drowned woman’s sake, and bring her back
To drip and scatter shells upon the rug.
No one but Night, with tears on her dark face,
Watches beside me in this windy place.
From the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur
it isn’t blood that makes you my sister
it’s how you understand my heart
as though you carry it
in your body
“To My Sister” by William Wordsworth
It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before,
The Redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
And grass in the green field.
My Sister! (’tis a wish of mine)
Now that our morning meal is done,
Make haste, your morning task resign;
Come forth and feel the sun.
Edward will come with you;—and pray,
Put on with speed your woodland dress;
And bring no book: for this one day
We’ll give to idleness.
No joyless forms shall regulate
Our living Calendar:
We from to-day, my friend, will date
The opening of the year.
Love, now a universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth,
—It is the hour of feeling.
One moment now may give us more
Than years of toiling reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.
Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.
And from the blessed power that rolls
About, below, above,
We’ll frame the measure of our souls:
They shall be tuned to love.
Then come, my Sister! come I pray,
With speed put on your woodland dress;
—And bring no book: for this one day
We’ll give to idleness.
“To my dear Sister, Mrs. C.P. on her Nuptial” by Katherine Philips
We will not like those men our offerings pay
Who crown the cup, then think they crown the day.
We make no garlands, nor an altar build,
Which help not Joy, but Ostentation yield.
Where mirth is justly grounded these wild toyes
Are but a troublesome, and empty noise.
But these shall be my great Solemnities,
Orinda’s wishes for Cassandra’s bliss.
May her Content be as unmix’d and pure
As my Affection, and like that endure;
And that strong Happiness may she still find
Not owing to her Fortune, but her Mind.
May her Content and Duty be the same,
And may she know no Grief but in the name.
May his and her Pleasure and Love be so
Involv’d and growing, that we may not know
Who most Affection or most Peace engrost;
Whose Love is strongest, or whose Bliss is most.
May nothing accidental e’re appear
But what shall with new bonds their Souls endear;
And may they count the hours as they pass,
By their own Joys, and not by Sun or Glass:
While every day like this may Sacred prove
To Friendship, Gratitude, and Strictest Love.