Memory Poems | Poems About Memories, Time’s Most Precious Keepsakes


    How great my grief, my joys how few,
    Since first it was my fate to know thee!
    – Have the slow years not brought to view
    How great my grief, my joys how few,
    Nor memory shaped old times anew,
    Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee
    How great my grief, my joys how few,
    Since first it was my fate to know thee?

    A Song Of Despair Poem by Pablo Neruda

    The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
    The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

    Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
    It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

    Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
    Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

    In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
    From you the wings of the song birds rose.

    You swallowed everything, like distance.
    Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

    It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
    The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

    Pilot’s dread, fury of blind driver,
    turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

    In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
    Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

    You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
    sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

    I made the wall of shadow draw back,
    beyond desire and act, I walked on.

    Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
    I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

    Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
    and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

    There was the black solitude of the islands,
    and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

    There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
    There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

    Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
    in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

    How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
    How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

    Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
    still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

    Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
    oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

    Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
    in which we merged and despaired.

    And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
    And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

    This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
    and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

    Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
    what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

    From billow to billow you still called and sang.
    Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

    You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
    Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

    Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
    lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

    It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
    which the night fastens to all the timetables.

    The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
    Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

    Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
    Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

    Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

    It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

    A Weathered Skeleton Poem by Matsuo Basho

    A weathered skeleton
    in windy fields of memory,
    piercing like a knife

    Blame Me Poem by Mehta Hasmukh Amathaal

    Blame me for everything,
    Spare me for nothing,
    I left behind special thing,
    My memory to miss something,

    It was to last and something to cherish,
    Till I am forgotten and completely perished,
    My soul still roams and not finished,
    Blot on old cloths removed andwashed

    I was awaiting a simple death,
    To live alive in memory and breath,
    So till last I may have say,
    With beautiful time and day

    All dues and regards I pay,
    Still she may have all the say,
    She may have hopes in sun rays,
    I still hesitate and remember in many ways,

    I will remain calm and narrate,
    Always grant her higher the rate,
    May be it was my fate,
    What to write and what to state,

    I had simple memory as clean slate,
    I may be called or addressed as late,
    I may have long wait to decide the fate
    Before it is. All over and nothing to state

    Dedication Poem by Lewis Carroll

    Inscribed to a Dear Child:
    In Memory of Golden Summer Hours
    And Whispers of a Summer Sea

    Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,
    Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well
    Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask
    The tale he loves to tell.
    Rude spirits of the seething outer strife,
    Unmeet to read her pure and simple spright,
    Deem if you list, such hours a waste of life,
    Empty of all delight!

    Chat on, sweet Maid, and rescue from annoy
    Hearts that by wiser talk are unbeguiled.
    Ah, happy he who owns that tenderest joy,
    The heart-love of a child!

    Just Thinking Poem by William Stafford

    Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
    No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
    for awhile. Some dove somewhere.

    Been on probation most of my life. And
    the rest of my life been condemned. So these moments
    count for a lot- peace, you know.

    Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
    bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one
    stirring, no plans. Just being there.

    This is what the whole thing is about.

    ‘I Have Lived With Shades’ Poem by Thomas Hardy


    I have lived with shades so long,
    And talked to them so oft,
    Since forth from cot and croft
    I went mankind among,
    That sometimes they
    In their dim style
    Will pause awhile
    To hear my say;


    And take me by the hand,
    And lead me through their rooms
    In the To-be, where Dooms
    Half-wove and shapeless stand:
    And show from there
    The dwindled dust
    And rot and rust
    Of things that were.


    ‘Now turn,’ spake they to me
    One day: ‘Look whence we came,
    And signify his name
    Who gazes thence at thee.’ –
    – ‘Nor name nor race
    Know I, or can,’
    I said, ‘Of man
    So commonplace.


    ‘He moves me not at all;
    I note no ray or jot
    Of rareness in his lot,
    Or star exceptional.
    Into the dim
    Dead throngs around
    He’ll sink, nor sound
    Be left of him.’


    ‘Yet,’ said they, ‘his frail speech,
    Hath accents pitched like thine –
    Thy mould and his define
    A likeness each to each –
    But go! Deep pain
    Alas, would be
    His name to thee,
    And told in vain! ‘

    ‘O memory, where is now my youth,
    Who used to say that life was truth? ‘

    ‘I saw him in a crumbled cot
    Beneath a tottering tree;
    That he as phantom lingers there
    Is only known to me.’

    ‘O Memory, where is now my joy,
    Who lived with me in sweet employ? ‘

    ‘I saw him in gaunt gardens lone,
    Where laughter used to be;
    That he as phantom wanders there
    Is known to none but me.’

    ‘O Memory, where is now my hope,
    Who charged with deeds my skill and scope? ‘

    ‘I saw her in a tomb of tomes,
    Where dreams are wont to be;
    That she as spectre haunteth there
    Is only known to me.’

    ‘O Memory, where is now my faith,
    One time a champion, now a wraith? ‘

    ‘I saw her in a ravaged aisle,
    Bowed down on bended knee;
    That her poor ghost outflickers there
    Is known to none but me.’

    ‘O Memory, where is now my love,
    That rayed me as a god above? ‘

    ‘I saw him by an ageing shape
    Where beauty used to be;
    That his fond phantom lingers there
    Is only known to me.’

    A Bunch Of Roses Poem by A B Banjo Paterson

    Roses ruddy and roses white,
    What are the joys that my heart discloses?
    Sitting alone in the fading light
    Memories come to me here tonight
    With the wonderful scent of the big red roses.
    Memories come as the daylight fades
    Down on the hearth where the firelight dozes;
    Flicker and flutter the lights and shades,
    And I see the face of a queen of maids
    Whose memory comes with the scent of roses.

    Visions arise of a scent of mirth,
    And a ball-room belle who superbly poses –
    A queenly woman of queenly worth,
    And I am the happiest man on earth
    With a single flower from a bunch of roses.

    Only her memory lives tonight –
    God in his wisdom her young life closes;
    Over her grave may the turf be light,
    Cover her coffin with roses white
    She was always fond of the big white roses.


    Such are the visions that fade away –
    Man proposes and God disposes;
    Look in the glass and I see today
    Only an old man, worn and grey,
    Bending his head to a bunch of roses.

    Farewell Poem by Anne Brontë

    Farewell to thee! but not farewell
    To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
    Within my heart they still shall dwell;
    And they shall cheer and comfort me.
    O, beautiful, and full of grace!
    If thou hadst never met mine eye,
    I had not dreamed a living face
    Could fancied charms so far outvie.

    If I may ne’er behold again
    That form and face so dear to me,
    Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
    Preserve, for aye, their memory.

    That voice, the magic of whose tone
    Can wake an echo in my breast,
    Creating feelings that, alone,
    Can make my tranced spirit blest.

    That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
    My memory would not cherish less; –
    And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
    Nor mortal language can express.

    Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
    The hope with which I cannot part.
    Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
    But still it lingers in my heart.

    And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
    May answer all my thousand prayers,
    And bid the future pay the past
    With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

    Music, When Soft Voices Die Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Music, when soft voices die,
    Vibrates in the memory;
    Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
    Live within the sense they quicken.

    Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
    Are heaped for the beloved’s bed;
    And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
    Love itself shall slumber on.

    Ars Poetica Poem by Archibald MacLeish

    A poem should be palpable and mute
    As a globed fruit

    As old medallions to the thumb

    Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
    Of casement ledges where the moss has grown –

    A poem should be wordless
    As the flight of birds

    A poem should be motionless in time
    As the moon climbs

    Leaving, as the moon releases
    Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

    Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
    Memory by memory the mind –

    A poem should be motionless in time
    As the moon climbs

    A poem should be equal to:
    Not true

    For all the history of grief
    An empty doorway and a maple leaf

    For love
    The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea –

    A poem should not mean
    But be