Relationships with family members can affect us in a profound way. Check out these five poems about family love (and challenges!), which may inspire you to write cool poems about your own parents, siblings, and other loved ones.
You know how something your mom or dad says can either make you feel really happy—or really upset? We tend to spend more time with our family members than anyone else, which means they can really get under our skin. And that’s can actually be a good thing!
By tapping into your feelings and emotions about parental expectations, loyalty, trust, love, grief, and pride, you’ll find that you have an almost endless source of inspiration for your poetry. These five famous poems illustrate just how much “material” most families can provide—including your own!
- Family Reunion by Jeredith Merrin. This nostalgic family poem touches upon the idea that we need to know where we came from in order to know where we’re going. It’s all too easy to feel removed from your past, but if you don’t “caress your history,” as Merrin writes, “who else will?”
- A Family History by Julia Spicher Kasdorf. What do you think your parents were like as little kids, way before you were born? Take a moment to imagine that (based on what you know about them!) and then try crafting a poem, like Kasdorf does in A Family History.
- For a Daughter Who Leaves by Janice Mirikitani. There are few things more emotional than watching a child grow up. In this bittersweet poem, Mirikitani writes about a mother who is sewing her adult daughter’s wedding slippers and reminiscing about her daughter’s early steps as a child.
- Grandfather Says by Ai. Interactions with family members aren’t always positive—some are unfortunately painful and traumatic, as is the one described by the poet Ai. But writing about an experience that hurt you may help you heal. The narrator in this poem comes to terms with abuse she experienced as a child, and begins to understand how it affected her choices later in life.
- My Aunts by Meghan O’Rourke. In a fun, energetic fashion, the narrator in this poem describes how flamboyant and lovable her aunts are by using detailed descriptions. At the end of the poem, she becomes aware of how this group of women—even a group so full of life—is still merely mortal.