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Best Famous Courage Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Courage poems. This is a select list of the best famous Courage poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Courage poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of courage poems.

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Written by Maya Angelou |

Touched by An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.

Written by Ralph Waldo Emerson |

Give All to Love

GIVE all to love; 
Obey thy heart; 
Friends kindred days  
Estate good fame  
Plans credit and the Muse¡ª 5 
Nothing refuse.
'Tis a brave master; Let it have scope: Follow it utterly Hope beyond hope: 10 High and more high It dives into noon With wing unspent Untold intent; But it is a god 15 Knows its own path And the outlets of the sky.
It was never for the mean; It requireth courage stout Souls above doubt 20 Valour unbending: Such 'twill reward;¡ª They shall return More than they were And ever ascending.
25 Leave all for love; Yet hear me yet One word more thy heart behoved One pulse more of firm endeavour¡ª Keep thee to-day 30 To-morrow for ever Free as an Arab Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid; But when the surprise 35 First vague shadow of surmise Flits across her bosom young Of a joy apart from thee Free be she fancy-free; Nor thou detain her vesture's hem 40 Nor the palest rose she flung From her summer diadem.
Though thou loved her as thyself As a self of purer clay; Though her parting dims the day 45 Stealing grace from all alive; Heartily know When half-gods go The gods arrive.

Written by Galway Kinnell |

from Flying Home

As this plane dragged 
its track of used ozone half the world long 
thrusts some four hundred of us 
toward places where actual known people 
live and may wait, 
we diminish down in our seats, 
disappeared into novels of lives clearer than ours, 
and yet we do not forget for a moment 
the life down there, the doorway each will soon enter: 
where I will meet her again 
and know her again, 
dark radiance with, and then mostly without, the stars.
Very likely she has always understood what I have slowly learned, and which only now, after being away, almost as far away as one can get on this globe, almost as far as thoughts can carry - yet still in her presence, still surrounded not so much by reminders of her as by things she had already reminded me of, shadows of her cast forward and waiting - can I try to express: that love is hard, that while many good things are easy, true love is not, because love is first of all a power, its own power, which continually must make its way forward, from night into day, from transcending union always forward into difficult day.
And as the plane descends, it comes to me in the space where tears stream down across the stars, tears fallen on the actual earth where their shining is what we call spirit, that once the lover recognizes the other, knows for the first time what is most to be valued in another, from then on, love is very much like courage, perhaps it is courage, and even perhaps only courage.
Squashed out of old selves, smearing the darkness of expectation across experience, all of us little thinkers it brings home having similar thoughts of landing to the imponderable world, the transoceanic airliner, resting its huge weight down, comes in almost lightly, to where with sudden, tiny, white puffs and long, black, rubberish smears all its tires know the home ground.

More great poems below...

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees 
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam- ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.
) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

Written by William Cowper |

The Castaway

 Obscurest night involv'd the sky,
Th' Atlantic billows roar'd,
When such a destin'd wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast Than he with whom he went, Nor ever ship left Albion's coast, With warmer wishes sent.
He lov'd them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine, Expert to swim, he lay; Nor soon he felt his strength decline, Or courage die away; But wag'd with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.
He shouted: nor his friends had fail'd To check the vessel's course, But so the furious blast prevail'd, That, pitiless perforce, They left their outcast mate behind, And scudded still before the wind.
Some succour yet they could afford; And, such as storms allow, The cask, the coop, the floated cord, Delay'd not to bestow.
But he (they knew) nor ship, nor shore, Whate'er they gave, should visit more.
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he Their haste himself condemn, Aware that flight, in such a sea, Alone could rescue them; Yet bitter felt it still to die Deserted, and his friends so nigh.
He long survives, who lives an hour In ocean, self-upheld; And so long he, with unspent pow'r, His destiny repell'd; And ever, as the minutes flew, Entreated help, or cried--Adieu! At length, his transient respite past, His comrades, who before Had heard his voice in ev'ry blast, Could catch the sound no more.
For then, by toil subdued, he drank The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him: but the page Of narrative sincere; That tells his name, his worth, his age, Is wet with Anson's tear.
And tears by bards or heroes shed Alike immortalize the dead.
I therefore purpose not, or dream, Descanting on his fate, To give the melancholy theme A more enduring date: But misery still delights to trace Its semblance in another's case.
No voice divine the storm allay'd, No light propitious shone; When, snatch'd from all effectual aid, We perish'd, each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.

Written by Robert William Service |


 Today I opened wide my eyes,
And stared with wonder and surprise,
To see beneath November skies
An apple blossom peer;
Upon a branch as bleak as night
It gleamed exultant on my sight,
A fairy beacon burning bright
Of hope and cheer.
"Alas!" said I, "poor foolish thing, Have you mistaken this for Spring? Behold, the thrush has taken wing, And Winter's near.
" Serene it seemed to lift its head: "The Winter's wrath I do not dread, Because I am," it proudly said, "A Pioneer.
"Some apple blossom must be first, With beauty's urgency to burst Into a world for joy athirst, And so I dare; And I shall see what none shall see - December skies gloom over me, And mock them with my April glee, And fearless fare.
"And I shall hear what none shall hear - The hardy robin piping clear, The Storm King gallop dark and drear Across the sky; And I shall know what none shall know - The silent kisses of the snow, The Christmas candles' silver glow, Before I die.
"Then from your frost-gemmed window pane One morning you will look in vain, My smile of delicate disdain No more to see; But though I pass before my time, And perish in the grale and grime, Maybe you'll have a little rhyme To spare for me.

Written by Anne Sexton |


 It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step, as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike, wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby or poor or fatty or crazy and made you into an alien, you drank their acid and concealed it.
Later, if you faced the death of bombs and bullets you did not do it with a banner, you did it with only a hat to comver your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you and died himself in so doing, then his courage was not courage, it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.
Later, if you have endured a great despair, then you did it alone, getting a transfusion from the fire, picking the scabs off your heart, then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, you gave it a back rub and then you covered it with a blanket and after it had slept a while it woke to the wings of the roses and was transformed.
Later, when you face old age and its natural conclusion your courage will still be shown in the little ways, each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen, those you love will live in a fever of love, and you'll bargain with the calendar and at the last moment when death opens the back door you'll put on your carpet slippers and stride out.

Written by William Cullen Bryant |

The Battle-Field

ONCE this soft turf, this rivulet's sands, 
Were trampled by a hurrying crowd, 
And fiery hearts and arm¨¨d hands 
Encountered in the battle-cloud.
Ah! never shall the land forget 5 How gushed the life-blood of her brave¡ª Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet, Upon the soil they fought to save.
Now all is calm, and fresh, and still; Alone the chirp of flitting bird, 10 And talk of children on the hill, And bell of wandering kine, are heard.
No solemn host goes trailing by The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain; Men start not at the battle-cry,¡ª 15 O, be it never heard again! Soon rested those who fought; but thou Who minglest in the harder strife For truths which men receive not now, Thy warfare only ends with life.
20 A friendless warfare! lingering long Through weary day and weary year; A wild and many-weaponed throng Hang on thy front, and flank, and rear.
Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof, 25 And blench not at thy chosen lot, The timid good may stand aloof, The sage may frown¡ªyet faint thou not.
Nor heed the shaft too surely cast, The foul and hissing bolt of scorn; 30 For with thy side shall dwell, at last, The victory of endurance born.
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; The eternal years of God are hers; But Error, wounded, writhes in pain, 35 And dies among his worshippers.
Yea, though thou lie upon the dust, When they who helped thee flee in fear, Die full of hope and manly trust, Like those who fell in battle here.
40 Another hand thy sword shall wield, Another hand the standard wave, Till from the trumpet's mouth is pealed The blast of triumph o'er thy grave.

Written by Kahlil Gibran |

Giving chapter V

 Then said a rich man, "Speak to us of Giving.
" And he answered: You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable? There are those who give little of the much which they have - and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.
It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving And is there aught you would withhold? All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.
You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving.
" The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
And what desert greater shall there be than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed? See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life - while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.
And you receivers - and you are all receivers - assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.
Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.

Written by Henry Van Dyke |


 Let me but live my life from year to year, 
With forward face and unreluctant soul; 
Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal; 
Not mourning for the things that disappear 
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear 
From what the future veils; but with a whole 
And happy heart, that pays its toll 
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.
So let the way wind up the hill or down, O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy: Still seeking what I sought when but a boy, New friendship, high adventure, and a crown, My heart will keep the courage of the quest, And hope the road's last turn will be the best.

Written by Charles Bukowski |

What Can We Do?

 at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
some understanding and, at times, acts of courage but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn't have too much.
it is like a large animal deep in sleep and almost nothing can awaken it.
when activated it's best at brutality, selfishness, unjust judgments, murder.
what can we do with it, this Humanity? nothing.
avoid the thing as much as possible.
treat it as you would anything poisonous, vicious and mindless.
but be careful.
it has enacted laws to protect itself from you.
it can kill you without cause.
and to escape it you must be subtle.
few escape.
it's up to you to figure a plan.
I have met nobody who has escaped.
I have met some of the great and famous but they have not escaped for they are only great and famous within Humanity.
I have not escaped but I have not failed in trying again and again.
before my death I hope to obtain my life.
from blank gun silencer - 1994

Written by Robert William Service |

My Son

 I must not let my boy Dick down,
 Knight of the air.
With wings of light he won renown Then crashed somewhere.
To fly to France from London town I do not dare.
Oh he was such a simple lad Who loved the sky; A modern day Sir Galahad, No need to die: Earthbound he might have been so glad, Yet chose to fly.
I ask from where his courage stemmed? I've never flown; Air-travel I have oft condemned,-- Now I'm alone, Yet somehow hold the bright belief God gave his brief.
So now I must live up to him Who won on high A lustre time will never dim; Though coward I, Let me revere till life be done My hero son.

Written by Isaac Watts |

Psalm 129

 Persecutors punished.
Up from my youth, may Isr'el say, Have I been nursed in tears; My griefs were constant as the day, And tedious as the years.
Up from my youth I bore the rage Of all the sons of strife; Oft they assailed my riper age, But not destroyed my life.
Their cruel plow had torn my flesh With furrows long and deep; Hourly they vexed my wounds afresh, Nor let my sorrows sleep.
The Lord grew angry on his throne, And, with impartial eye, Measured the mischiefs they had done, Then let his arrows fly.
How was their insolence surprised To hear his thunders roll! And all the foes of Zion seized With horror to the soul! Thus shall the men that hate the saints Be blasted from the sky; Their glory fades, their courage faints And all their projects die.
[What though they flourish tall and fair, They have no root beneath; Their growth shall perish in despair, And lie despised in death.
] [So corn that on the house-top stands No hope of harvest gives; The reaper ne'er shall fill his hands, Nor binder fold the sheaves.
It springs and withers on the place; No traveller bestows A word of blessing on the grass, Nor minds it as he goes.

Written by Anne Bronte |

Power of Love

 Love, indeed thy strength is mighty
Thus, alone, such strife to bear --
Three 'gainst one, and never ceasing --
Death, and Madness, and Despair! 
'Tis not my own strength has saved me;
Health, and hope, and fortitude,
But for love, had long since failed me;
Heart and soul had sunk subdued.
Often, in my wild impatience, I have lost my trust in Heaven, And my soul has tossed and struggled, Like a vessel tempest-driven; But the voice of my beloved In my ear has seemed to say -- 'O, be patient if thou lov'st me!' And the storm has passed away.
When outworn with weary thinking, Sight and thought were waxing dim, And my mind began to wander, And my brain began to swim, Then those hands outstretched to save me Seemed to call me back again -- Those dark eyes did so implore me To resume my reason's reign, That I could not but remember How her hopes were fixed on me, And, with one determined effort, Rose, and shook my spirit free.
When hope leaves my weary spirit -- All the power to hold it gone -- That loved voice so loudly prays me, 'For my sake, keep hoping on,' That, at once my strength renewing, Though Despair had crushed me down, I can burst his bonds asunder, And defy his deadliest frown.
When, from nights of restless tossing, Days of gloom and pining care, Pain and weakness, still increasing, Seem to whisper 'Death is near,' And I almost bid him welcome, Knowing he would bring release, Weary of this restless struggle -- Longing to repose in peace, Then a glance of fond reproval Bids such selfish longings flee And a voice of matchless music Murmurs 'Cherish life for me!' Roused to newborn strength and courage, Pain and grief, I cast away, Health and life, I keenly follow, Mighty Death is held at bay.
Yes, my love, I will be patient! Firm and bold my heart shall be: Fear not -- though this life is dreary, I can bear it well for thee.
Let our foes still rain upon me Cruel wrongs and taunting scorn; 'Tis for thee their hate pursues me, And for thee, it shall be borne!

Written by Jack Gilbert |

The Abnormal Is Not Courage

 The Poles rode out from Warsaw against the German 
Tanks on horses.
Rode knowing, in sunlight, with sabers, A magnitude of beauty that allows me no peace.
And yet this poem would lessen that day.
Question The bravery.
Say it's not courage.
Call it a passion.
Would say courage isn't that.
Not at its best.
It was impossib1e, and with form.
They rode in sunlight, Were mangled.
But I say courage is not the abnormal.
Not the marvelous act.
Not Macbeth with fine speeches.
The worthless can manage in public, or for the moment.
It is too near the whore's heart: the bounty of impulse, And the failure to sustain even small kindness.
Not the marvelous act, but the evident conclusion of being.
Not strangeness, but a leap forward of the same quality.
The even loyalty.
But fresh.
Not the Prodigal Son, nor Faustus.
But Penelope.
The thing steady and clear.
Then the crescendo.
The real form.
The culmination.
And the exceeding.
Not the surprise.
The amazed understanding.
The marriage, Not the month's rapture.
Not the exception.
The beauty That is of many days.
Steady and clear.
It is the normal excellence, of long accomplishment.