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Best Famous Forgiveness Poems

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

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Famous poems below this ad
Written by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings |

a total stranger one black day

a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me-- 

who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was 

-but now that fiend and i are such

Written by Gary Fincke |

The Magpie Evening: A Prayer

           When magpies die, each of the living swoops down 
           and pecks, one by one, in an accepted order.
He coaxed my car to start, the boy who’s killed himself.
He twisted a cable, performed CPR on The carburetor while my three children shivered Through the unanswerable questions about stalled.
He chose shotgun, full in the face, so no one stepped Into the cold, blowing on his hands, to fix him.
Let him rest now, the minister says.
Let this be, Repeating himself to four brothers, five sisters, All of them my neighbors until they grew and left.
Let us pray.
Let us manage what we need to say.
Let this house with its three hand-made additions be Large enough for the one day of necessity.
Let evening empty each room to ceremony Chosen by the remaining nine.
Let the awful, Forecasted weather hold off in east Ohio Until each of them, oldest to youngest, has passed.
Let their thirty-seven children scatter into The squabbling of the everyday, and let them break This creeping chain of cars into the fanning out Toward anger and selfishness and the need to eat At any of the thousand tables they will pass.
Let them wait.
Let them correctly choose the right turn Or the left, this entrance ramp, that exit, the last Confusing fork before the familiar driveway Three hundred miles and more from these bleak thunderheads.
Let them regather into the chairs exactly Matched to their numbers, blessing the bountiful or The meager with voices that soar toward renewal.
Let them have mercy on themselves.
Let my children, Grown now, be repairing my faults with forgiveness.
© Gary Fincke

Written by Wendell Berry |

Do not be ashamed

 You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly that you were about to escape, and that you are guilty: you misread the complex instructions, you are not a member, you lost your card or never had one.
And you will know that they have been there all along, their eyes on your letters and books, their hands in your pockets, their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful, they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed, reading the page they hold out to you, then such light as you have made in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them, only an inward clarity, unashamed, that they cannot reach.
Be ready.
When their light has picked you out and their questions are asked, say to them: "I am not ashamed.
" A sure horizon will come around you.
The heron will begin his evening flight from the hilltop.

More great poems below...

Written by The Bible |


“Do not enter into judgment with your servant;
For before you no one alive can be righteous.
“O Jehovah, do not in your indignation reprove me, Nor in your rage correct me.
For your own arrows have sunk themselves deep into me, And upon me your hand is come down.
There is no sound spot in my flesh because of your denunciation.
There is no peace in my bones on account of my sin.
For my own errors have passed over my head; Like a heavy load they are too heavy for me.
My wounds have become stinky, they have festered, Because of my foolishness.
I have become disconcerted, I have bowed low to an extreme degree; All day long I have walked about sad.
“Look! With error I was brought forth with birth pains, And in sin my mother conceived me.
” “May you purify me from sin with hyssop, that I may be clean; May you wash me, that I may become whiter even than snow.
” “Conceal your face from my sins, And wipe out even all my errors.
51:5, 7, 9.
“Happy is the one whose revolt is pardoned, whose sin is covered.
Happy is the man to whose account Jehovah does not put error, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
My sin I finally confessed to you, and my error I did not cover.
I said: ‘I shall make confession over my transgressions to Jehovah.
’ And you yourself pardoned the error of my sins.

Written by Ingeborg Bachmann |


 For why cometh a time,

When you forget yesterday?

Forgot our vows that we made,

And turn and walk away.
***** How can a heart forget, The love we once had? And turn yourself against me, And make my soul so sad.
***** You’ve found someone better, And you’ll leave us behind; You think you can change your heart, And erase your troubled mind.
***** How can you just quit, And let our love just die? I’ve done all I know to do, But you refuse to try.
***** If I could only be around you, Our love would live , I bet; But you want me to stay away, So you can just forget.
***** For what has happened to you, That has torn up your mind? From the precious girl I once loved, The one so pure and kind.
***** I know that you are hurting, You can’t look at me any more; I know I can help you, Heal your heart that’s sore.
***** I know I’m not perfect, But I really try to be; I really truly love you, That you’ve got to see.
***** I know I’m no studly man, Big and tall I’m not; I don’t have much to offer you, But all the love I got.
***** We’ve had our share of problems, But troubles don’t last long; If we work together, From them we can be strong.
***** Maybe you think you’ve gone too far, And respect you’ll never get; But if only you’d just reach out, Forgiveness can be met.
***** Don’t give up like other folks, Just so you’ll fit in; For God and I believe in you, And beg you not to sin.
***** I know that you’re confused now, And don’t know how to turn; Just take one step toward me, And leave your pain to burn.
***** For I so love you dearly, I can’t watch you walk away; Please tell me you love me too, And that you want to stay.
***** Written 11-12-90

Written by Margaret Atwood |

The Rest

 The rest of us watch from beyond the fence
as the woman moves with her jagged stride
into her pain as if into a slow race.
We see her body in motion but hear no sounds, or we hear sounds but no language; or we know it is not a language we know yet.
We can see her clearly but for her it is running in black smoke.
The cluster of cells in her swelling like porridge boiling, and bursting, like grapes, we think.
Or we think of explosions in mud; but we know nothing.
All around us the trees and the grasses light up with forgiveness, so green and at this time of the year healthy.
We would like to call something out to her.
Some form of cheering.
There is pain but no arrival at anything.

Written by Louise Gluck |

Parable Of Faith

 Now, in twilight, on the palace steps
the king asks forgiveness of his lady.
He is not duplicitous; he has tried to be true to the moment; is there another way of being true to the self? The lady hides her face, somewhat assisted by the shadows.
She weeps for her past; when one has a secret life, one's tears are never explained.
Yet gladly would the king bear the grief of his lady: his is the generous heart, in pain as in joy.
Do you know what forgiveness mean? it mean the world has sinned, the world must be pardoned --

Written by Derek Walcott |

Dark August

 So much rain, so much life like the swollen sky
of this black August.
My sister, the sun, broods in her yellow room and won't come out.
Everything goes to hell; the mountains fume like a kettle, rivers overrun; still, she will not rise and turn off the rain.
She is in her room, fondling old things, my poems, turning her album.
Even if thunder falls like a crash of plates from the sky, she does not come out.
Don't you know I love you but am hopeless at fixing the rain ? But I am learning slowly to love the dark days, the steaming hills, the air with gossiping mosquitoes, and to sip the medicine of bitterness, so that when you emerge, my sister, parting the beads of the rain, with your forehead of flowers and eyes of forgiveness, all with not be as it was, but it will be true (you see they will not let me love as I want), because, my sister, then I would have learnt to love black days like bright ones, The black rain, the white hills, when once I loved only my happiness and you.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Footnote To Howl

 Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! 
 Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! 
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! 
 The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand 
 and asshole holy! 
Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is 
 holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an 
The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is 
 holy as you my soul are holy! 
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is 
 holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy! 
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy 
 Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cas- 
 sady holy the unknown buggered and suffering 
 beggars holy the hideous human angels! 
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks 
 of the grandfathers of Kansas! 
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop 
 apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana 
 hipsters peace & junk & drums! 
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy 
 the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the 
 mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! 
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the 
 middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebell- 
 ion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles! 
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & 
 Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow 
 Holy Istanbul! 
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the 
 clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy 
 the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch! 
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the 
 locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina- 
 tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the 
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! 
 bodies! suffering! magnanimity! 
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent 
 kindness of the soul! 

 Berkeley 1955

Written by David Wagoner |

At The Door

 All actors look for them-the defining moments
When what a character does is what he is.
The script may say, He goes to the door And exits or She goes out the door stage left.
But you see your fingers touching the doorknob, Closing around it, turning it As if by themselves.
The latch slides Out of the strike-plate, the door swings on its hinges, And you're about to take that step Over the threshold into a different light.
For the audience, you may simply be Disappearing from the scene, yet in those few seconds You can reach for the knob as the last object on earth You wanted to touch.
Or you can take it Warmly like the hand your father offered Once in forgiveness and afterward Kept to himself.
Or you can stand there briefly, as bewildered As by the door of a walk-in time-lock safe, Stand there and stare At the whole concept of shutness, like a rat Whose maze has been rebaffled overnight, Stand still and quiver, unable to turn Around or go left or right.
Or you can grasp it with a sly, soundless discretion, Open it inch by inch, testing each fraction Of torque on the spindles, on tiptoe Slip yourself through the upright slot And press the lock-stile silently Back into its frame.
Or you can use your shoulder Or the hard heel of your shoe And a leg-thrust to break it open.
Or you can approach the door as if accustomed To having all barriers open by themselves.
You can wrench aside This unauthorized interruption of your progress And then leave it ajar For others to do with as they may see fit.
Or you can stand at ease And give the impression you can see through This door or any door and have no need To take your physical self to the other side.
Or you can turn the knob as if at last Nothing could please you more, your body language Filled with expectations of joy at where you're going, Holding yourself momentarily in the posture Of an awestruck pilgrim at the gate-though you know You'll only be stepping out against the scrim Or a wobbly flat daubed with a landscape, A scribble of leaves, a hint of flowers, The bare suggestion of a garden.

Written by Emily Dickinson |

He strained my faith

 He strained my faith --
Did he find it supple?
Shook my strong trust --
Did it then -- yield?

Hurled my belief --
But -- did he shatter -- it?
Racked -- with suspense --
Not a nerve failed!

Wrung me -- with Anguish --
But I never doubted him --
'Tho' for what wrong
He did never say --

Stabbed -- while I sued
His sweet forgiveness --
Jesus -- it's your little "John"!
Don't you know -- me?

Written by A S J Tessimond |

The Children Look At The Parents

 We being so hidden from those who
Have quietly borne and fed us,
How can we answer civilly
Their innocent invitations?

How can we say "we see you
As but-for-God's-grace-ourselves, as
Our caricatures (we yours), with
Time's telescope between us"?

How can we say "you presumed on
The accident of kinship,
Assumed our friendship coatlike,
Not as a badge one fights for"?

How say "and you remembered
The sins of our outlived selves and
Your own forgiveness, buried
The hatchet to slow music;

Shared money but not your secrets;
Will leave as your final legacy
A box double-locked by the spider
Packed with your unsolved problems"?

How say all this without capitals,
Italics, anger or pathos,
To those who have seen from the womb come
Enemies? How not say it?

Written by Robert William Service |

The Trust

 Because I've eighty years and odd,
 And darkling is my day,
I now prepare to meet my God,
 And for forgiveness pray.
Not for salvation is my plea, Nor Heaven hope,--just rest: Begging: "Dear Father, pardon me, I did not do my best.
"I did not measure with the Just To serve my fellow men; But unto levity and lust I loaned my precious pen.
I sorrow for the sacred touch, And though I toiled with zest, Dear God, have mercy, in-as-much I did not do my best.
"I bless You for the gift you gave That brought me golden joy; Yet here beside the gentle grave I grieve for its employ.
Have pity, Lord,--so well I know I failed you in the test, And my last thought is one of woe: I did not do my best.

Written by George William Russell |


 My heart was heavy, for its trust had been 
Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong; 
So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men, 
One summer Sabbath day I strolled among 
The green mounds of the village burial-place; 
Where, pondering how all human love and hate 
Find one sad level; and how, soon or late, 
Wronged and wrongdoer, each with meekened face, 
And cold hands folded over a still heart, 
Pass the green threshold of our common grave, 
Whither all footsteps tend, whence none depart, 
Awed for myself, and pitying my race, 
Our common sorrow, like a mighty wave, 
Swept all my pride away, and trembling I forgave!

Written by Mark Strand |


 There is a girl you like so you tell her
your penis is big, but that you cannot get yourself
to use it.
Its demands are ridiculous, you say, even self-defeating, but to be honored, somehow, briefly, inconspicuously in the dark.
When she closes her eyes in horror, you take it all back.
You tell her you're almost a girl yourself and can understand why she is shocked.
When she is about to walk away, you tell her you have no penis, that you don't know what got into you.
You get on your knees.
She suddenly bends down to kiss your shoulder and you know you're on the right track.
You tell her you want to bear children and that is why you seem confused.
You wrinkle your brow and curse the day you were born.
She tries to calm you, but you lose control.
You reach for her panties and beg forgiveness as you do.
She squirms and you howl like a wolf.
Your craving seems monumental.
You know you will have her.
Taken by storm, she is the girl you will marry.