Poverty Poems | Best Poems about Poverty and the Poor


    The Genius Of The Crowd Poem by Charles Bukowski

    there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
    human being to supply any given army on any given day

    and the best at murder are those who preach against it
    and the best at hate are those who preach love
    and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

    those who preach god, need god
    those who preach peace do not have peace
    those who preach peace do not have love

    beware the preachers
    beware the knowers
    beware those who are always reading books
    beware those who either detest poverty
    or are proud of it
    beware those quick to praise
    for they need praise in return
    beware those who are quick to censor
    they are afraid of what they do not know
    beware those who seek constant crowds for
    they are nothing alone
    beware the average man the average woman
    beware their love, their love is average
    seeks average

    but there is genius in their hatred
    there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
    to kill anybody
    not wanting solitude
    not understanding solitude
    they will attempt to destroy anything
    that differs from their own
    not being able to create art
    they will not understand art
    they will consider their failure as creators
    only as a failure of the world
    not being able to love fully
    they will believe your love incomplete
    and then they will hate you
    and their hatred will be perfect

    like a shining diamond
    like a knife
    like a mountain
    like a tiger
    like hemlock

    their finest art



    Sonnet Xxv Poem by Pablo Neruda

    Before I loved you, love, nothing was my own:
    I wavered through the streets, among
    Nothing mattered or had a name:
    The world was made of air, which waited.

    I knew rooms full of ashes,
    Tunnels where the moon lived,
    Rough warehouses that growled ‘get lost’,
    Questions that insisted in the sand.

    Everything was empty, dead, mute,
    Fallen abandoned, and decayed:
    Inconceivably alien, it all

    Belonged to someone else – to no one:
    Till your beauty and your poverty
    Filled the autumn plentiful with gifts.



    A Man’s A Man For A’ That Poem by Robert Burns

    Is there for honesty poverty
    That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
    The coward slave – we pass him by,
    We dare be poor for a’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
    The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
    The man’s the gowd for a’ that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hoddin grey, an’ a’ that?
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
    A man’s a man for a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that,
    The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
    Is king o’ men for a’ that.

    Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,
    Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
    Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
    He’s but a coof for a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    His ribband, star, an’ a’ that,
    The man o’ independent mind
    He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

    A price can mak a belted knight,
    A marquise, duke, an’ a’ that;
    But an honest man’s aboon his might,
    Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their dignities an’ a’ that,
    The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
    Are higher rank than a’ that.

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    (As come it will for a’ that,)
    That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
    Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    That man to man, the world o’er,
    Shall brithers be for a’ that.



    Laughter And Tears Ix Poem by Kahlil Gibran

    As the Sun withdrew his rays from the garden, and the moon threw cushioned beams upon the flowers, I sat under the trees pondering upon the phenomena of the atmosphere, looking through the branches at the strewn stars which glittered like chips of silver upon a blue carpet; and I could hear from a distance the agitated murmur of the rivulet singing its way briskly into the valley.

    When the birds took shelter among the boughs, and the flowers folded their petals, and tremendous silence descended, I heard a rustle of feet though the grass. I took heed and saw a young couple approaching my arbor. The say under a tree where I could see them without being seen.

    After he looked about in every direction, I heard the young man saying, ‘Sit by me, my beloved, and listen to my heart; smile, for your happiness is a symbol of our future; be merry, for the sparkling days rejoice with us.

    ‘My soul is warning me of the doubt in your heart, for doubt in love is a sin. ‘Soon you will be the owner of this vast land, lighted by this beautiful moon; soon you will be the mistress of my palace, and all the servants and maids will obey your commands.

    ‘Smile, my beloved, like the gold smiles from my father’s coffers.

    ‘My heart refuses to deny you its secret. Twelve months of comfort and travel await us; for a year we will spend my father’s gold at the blue lakes of Switzerland, and viewing the edifices of Italy and Egypt, and resting under the Holy Cedars of Lebanon; you will meet the princesses who will envy you for your jewels and clothes.

    ‘All these things I will do for you; will you be satisfied? ‘

    In a little while I saw them walking and stepping on flowers as the rich step upon the hearts of the poor. As they disappeared from my sight, I commenced to make comparison between love and money, and to analyze their position in the heart.

    Money! The source of insincere love; the spring of false light and fortune; the well of poisoned water; the desperation of old age!

    I was still wandering in the vast desert of contemplation when a forlorn and specter-like couple passed by me and sat on the grass; a young man and a young woman who had left their farming shacks in the nearby fields for this cool and solitary place.

    After a few moments of complete silence, I heard the following words uttered with sighs from weather-bitten lips, ‘Shed not tears, my beloved; love that opens our eyes and enslaves our hearts can give us the blessing of patience. Be consoled in our delay our delay, for we have taken an oath and entered Love’s shrine; for our love will ever grow in adversity; for it is in Love’s name that we are suffering the obstacles of poverty and the sharpness of misery and the emptiness of separation. I shall attack these hardships until I triumph and place in your hands a strength that will help over all things to complete the journey of life.

    ‘Love – which is God – will consider our sighs and tears as incense burned at His altar and He will reward us with fortitude. Good-bye, my beloved; I must leave before the heartening moon vanishes.’

    A pure voice, combined of the consuming flame of love, and the hopeless bitterness of longing and the resolved sweetness of patience, said, ‘Good-bye, my beloved.’

    They separated, and the elegy to their union was smothered by the wails of my crying heart.

    I looked upon slumbering Nature, and with deep reflection discovered the reality of a vast and infinite thing – something no power could demand, influence acquire, nor riches purchase. Nor could it be effaced by the tears of time or deadened by sorrow; a thing which cannot be discovered by the blue lakes of Switzerland or the beautiful edifices of Italy.

    It is something that gathers strength with patience, grows despite obstacles, warms in winter, flourishes in spring, casts a breeze in summer, and bears fruit in autumn – I found Love.



    Cape Breton Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

    Out on the high “bird islands,” Ciboux and Hertford,
    the razorbill auks and the silly-looking puffins all stand
    with their backs to the mainland
    in solemn, uneven lines along the cliff’s brown grass-frayed edge,
    while the few sheep pastured there go “Baaa, baaa.”
    (Sometimes, frightened by aeroplanes, they stampede
    and fall over into the sea or onto the rocks.)
    The silken water is weaving and weaving,
    disappearing under the mist equally in all directions,
    lifted and penetrated now and then
    by one shag’s dripping serpent-neck,
    and somewhere the mist incorporates the pulse,
    rapid but unurgent, of a motor boat.

    The same mist hangs in thin layers
    among the valleys and gorges of the mainland
    like rotting snow-ice sucked away
    almost to spirit; the ghosts of glaciers drift
    among those folds and folds of fir: spruce and hackmatack–
    dull, dead, deep pea-cock colors,
    each riser distinguished from the next
    by an irregular nervous saw-tooth edge,
    alike, but certain as a stereoscopic view.

    The wild road clambers along the brink of the coast.
    On it stand occasional small yellow bulldozers,
    but without their drivers, because today is Sunday.
    The little white churches have been dropped into the matted hills
    like lost quartz arrowheads.
    The road appears to have been abandoned.
    Whatever the landscape had of meaning appears to have been abandoned,
    unless the road is holding it back, in the interior,
    where we cannot see,
    where deep lakes are reputed to be,
    and disused trails and mountains of rock
    and miles of burnt forests, standing in gray scratches
    like the admirable scriptures made on stones by stones–
    and these regions now have little to say for themselves
    except in thousands of light song-sparrow songs floating upward
    freely, dispassionately, through the mist, and meshing
    in brown-wet, fine torn fish-nets.

    A small bus comes along, in up-and-down rushes,
    packed with people, even to its step.
    (On weekdays with groceries, spare automobile parts, and pump parts,
    but today only two preachers extra, one carrying his frock coat on a
    It passes the closed roadside stand, the closed schoolhouse,
    where today no flag is flying
    from the rough-adzed pole topped with a white china doorknob.
    It stops, and a man carrying a bay gets off,
    climbs over a stile, and goes down through a small steep meadow,
    which establishes its poverty in a snowfall of daisies,
    to his invisible house beside the water.

    The birds keep on singing, a calf bawls, the bus starts.
    The thin mist follows
    the white mutations of its dream;
    an ancient chill is rippling the dark brooks.



    The Curse Of Poverty Poem by ramesh rai

    Poverty is a curse for human society
    Poverty prevails there where the injustice is
    Poverty exclaims there where the illiteracy is
    Poverty is purely man made
    So it has to be eradicated from its root
    The society afflicted with poverty
    Is reprehension of entire human society
    Corruption is the source of poverty
    Only a fearless society can be said
    Free from all poverty
    Where the people are dumb and discounted
    Poverty exists there
    Poverty shows, how many immature person
    Rule the country
    Poverty is the reason for all philosophical end.



    A Night Of Storm Poem by Archibald Lampman

    Oh city, whom grey stormy hands have sown,
    With restless drift, scarce broken now of any,
    Out of the dark thy windows dim and many
    Gleam red across the storm. Sound is there none,
    Save evermore the fierce wind’s sweep and moan,
    From whose grey hands the keen white snow is shaken
    In desperate gusts, that fitfully lull and waken,
    Dense as night’s darkness round they towers of stone.

    Darkling and strange art thou thus vexed and chidden;
    More dark and strange thy veiled agony,
    City of storm, in whose grey heart are hidden
    What stormier woes, what lives that groan and beat,
    Stern and thin-cheeked, against time’s heavier sleet,
    Rude fates, hard hearts, and prisoning poverty.



    Holy Thursday (Experience) Poem by William Blake

    Is this a holy thing to see.
    In a rich and fruitful land.
    Babes reduced to misery.
    Fed with cold and usurous hand?

    Is that trembling cry a song?
    Can it be a song of joy?
    And so many children poor?
    It is a land of poverty!

    And their sun does never shine.
    And their fields are bleak & bare.
    And their ways are fill’d with thorns
    It is eternal winter there.

    For where-e’er the sun does shine.
    And where-e’er the rain does fall:
    Babe can never hunger there,
    Nor poverty the mind appall.



    When Day Is Done Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

    If the day is done,
    if birds sing no more,
    if the wind has flagged tired,
    then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me,
    even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep
    and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.

    From the traveler,
    whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended,
    whose garment is torn and dust-laden,
    whose strength is exhausted,
    remove shame and poverty,
    and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.



    Song Of Love Xxiv Poem by Kahlil Gibran

    I am the lover’s eyes, and the spirit’s
    Wine, and the heart’s nourishment.
    I am a rose. My heart opens at dawn and
    The virgin kisses me and places me
    Upon her breast.

    I am the house of true fortune, and the
    Origin of pleasure, and the beginning
    Of peace and tranquility. I am the gentle
    Smile upon his lips of beauty. When youth
    Overtakes me he forgets his toil, and his
    Whole life becomes reality of sweet dreams.

    I am the poet’s elation,
    And the artist’s revelation,
    And the musician’s inspiration.

    I am a sacred shrine in the heart of a
    Child, adored by a merciful mother.

    I appear to a heart’s cry; I shun a demand;
    My fullness pursues the heart’s desire;
    It shuns the empty claim of the voice.

    I appeared to Adam through Eve
    And exile was his lot;
    Yet I revealed myself to Solomon, and
    He drew wisdom from my presence.

    I smiled at Helena and she destroyed Tarwada;
    Yet I crowned Cleopatra and peace dominated
    The Valley of the Nile.

    I am like the ages — building today
    And destroying tomorrow;
    I am like a god, who creates and ruins;
    I am sweeter than a violet’s sigh;
    I am more violent than a raging tempest.

    Gifts alone do not entice me;
    Parting does not discourage me;
    Poverty does not chase me;
    Jealousy does not prove my awareness;
    Madness does not evidence my presence.

    Oh seekers, I am Truth, beseeching Truth;
    And your Truth in seeking and receiving
    And protecting me shall determine my