The Most Uplifting Poem I Know

There is no poem that I find fresher, more uplifting and inspirational than this one from Ireland’s Brendan Kennelly whose poetry, voice and smile are legendary.


Begin again to the summoning birds

to the sight at the light at the window,

begin to the roar of morning traffic

all along Pembroke Road.

Every beginning is a promise

born in light and dying in dark

determination and exhaltation of springtime

flowering the way to work.

Begin to the pageant of queuing girls

the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal

bridges linking the past and future

old friends passing through with us still.

Begin to the loneliness that cannot end

since it perhaps is what makes us begin,

begin to wonder at unknown faces

at crying birds in the sudden rain

at branches stark in the willing sunlight

at seagulls foraging for bread

at couples sharing a sunny secret

alone together while making good.

Though we live in a world that dreams of ending

that always seems about to give in

something that will not acknowledge conclusion

insists that we forever begin. 

From: The Essential Brendan Kennelly: Selected Poems (2011) edited by Terence Brown and Michael Longley ( Bloodaxe Books)

What’s your choice for ‘most uplifting poem?’

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

12 thoughts on “The Most Uplifting Poem I Know”

  1. I love your poem. However, I favor another one for years, that is still unmatched when it comes to lift your emotions up again. The author is Helen Steiner Rice and the poem is called “Climb Till Your Dream Comes True”. Here is the poem, for those who feel dragged down 🙂

    “Climb Till Your Dream Comes True”
    Often the tasks will be many
    And more than you think you can do.
    Often the road will be rugged
    and the hills insurmountable, too.

    But always remember, the hills ahead
    are never as steep as they seem
    and with faith in your heart start upward
    and climb ‘til you reach your dream.

    For nothing in life that is worthy
    is ever too hard to achieve
    if you have the courage to try it
    and you have the faith to believe.

    For faith is a force that is greater
    than knowledge or power or skill
    and many defeats turn to triumph
    if you trust in God’s wisdom and will.

    For faith is a mover of mountains,
    there is nothing that God cannot do,
    so start out today with faith in your heart
    and “Climb ‘Til Your Dream Comes True”!

    Helen Steiner Rice

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