Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Success Poems

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

Search for the best famous Success poems, articles about Success poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Success poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

Humanity i love you

Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

parties and because you 
unflinchingly applaud all
songs containing the words country home and
mother when sung at the old howard

Humanity i love you because
when you're hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink and when
you're flush pride keeps 

you from the pawn shops and
because you are continually committing
nuisances but more
especially in your own house

Humanity i love you because you 
are perpetually putting the secret of
life in your pants and forgetting
it's there and sitting down

on it
and because you are 
forever making poems in the lap
of death Humanity

i hate you

by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

The Times Are Nightfall

 The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less; 
The times are winter, watch, a world undone: 
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run 
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help.
Nor word now of success: All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one— Work which to see scarce so much as begun Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…

by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

My prayers must meet a brazen heaven

 My prayers must meet a brazen heaven
And fail and scatter all away.
Unclean and seeming unforgiven My prayers I scarcely call to pray.
I cannot buoy my heart above; Above I cannot entrance win.
I reckon precedents of love, But feel the long success of sin.
My heaven is brass and iron my earth: Yea, iron is mingled with my clay, So harden'd is it in this dearth Which praying fails to do away.
Nor tears, nor tears this clay uncouth Could mould, if any tears there were.
A warfare of my lips in truth, Battling with God, is now my prayer.

by Constantine P Cavafy | |

The Satrapy

 What a misfortune, although you are made
for fine and great works
this unjust fate of yours always
denies you encouragement and success;
that base customs should block you;
and pettiness and indifference.
And how terrible the day when you yield (the day when you give up and yield), and you leave on foot for Susa, and you go to the monarch Artaxerxes who favorably places you in his court, and offers you satrapies and the like.
And you accept them with despair these things that you do not want.
Your soul seeks other things, weeps for other things; the praise of the public and the Sophists, the hard-won and inestimable Well Done; the Agora, the Theater, and the Laurels.
How can Artaxerxes give you these, where will you find these in a satrapy; and what life can you live without these.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Begin The Day

 Begin each morning with a talk to God,
And ask for your divine inheritance
Of usefulness, contentment, and success.
Resign all fear, all doubt, and all despair.
The stars doubt not, and they are undismayed, Though whirled through space for countless centuries, And told not why or wherefore: and the sea With everlasting ebb and flow obeys, And leaves the purpose with the unseen Cause.
The star sheds its radiance on a million worlds, The sea is prodigal with waves, and yet No lustre from the star is lost, and not One dropp missing from the ocean tides.
Oh! brother to the star and sea, know all God’s opulence is held in trust for those Who wait serenely and who work in faith.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Answered Prayers

 I prayed for riches, and achieved success;
All that I touched turned into gold.
Alas! My cares were greater and my peace was less, When that wish came to pass.
I prayed for glory, and I heard my name Sung by sweet children and by hoary men.
But ah! the hurts – the hurts that come with fame.
I was not happy then.
I prayed for Love, and had my heart’s desire.
Through quivering heart and body, and through brain, There swept the flame of its devouring fire, And but the scars remain.
I prayed for a contented mind.
At length Great light upon my darkened spirit burst.
Great peace fell on me also, and great strength – Oh, had that prayer been first!

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

I Will Be Worthy Of It

I may not reach the heights I seek, 
My untried strength may fail me; 
Or, halfway up the mountain peak
Fierce tempests may assail me.
But though that place I never gain, Herein lies the comfort for my pain – I will be worthy of it.
I may not triumph in success, Despite my earnest labour; I may not grasp results that bless The efforts of my neighbour.
But though my goal I never see, This thought shall always dwell with me – I will be worthy of it.
The golden glory of Love’s light May never fall on my way; My path may always lead through night, Like some deserted by-way.
But though life’s dearest joy I miss, There lies a nameless strength in this – I will be worthy of it.

by Walt Whitman | |

No Labor-Saving Machine.

 NO labor-saving machine, 
Nor discovery have I made; 
Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found a hospital or library, 
Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage, for America, 
Nor literary success, nor intellect—nor book for the book-shelf;
Only a few carols, vibrating through the air, I leave, 
For comrades and lovers.

by Robinson Jeffers | |

Rock And Hawk

 Here is a symbol in which
Many high tragic thoughts
Watch their own eyes.
This gray rock, standing tall On the headland, where the seawind Lets no tree grow, Earthquake-proved, and signatured By ages of storms: on its peak A falcon has perched.
I think here is your emblem To hang in the future sky; Not the cross, not the hive, But this; bright power, dark peace; Fierce consciousness joined with final Disinterestedness; Life with calm death; the falcon's Realist eyes and act Married to the massive Mysticism of stone, Which failure cannot cast down Nor success make proud.

by Emma Lazarus | |


 Oft have I brooded on defeat and pain, 
The pathos of the stupid, stumbling throng.
These I ignore to-day and only long To pour my soul forth in one trumpet strain, One clear, grief-shattering, triumphant song, For all the victories of man's high endeavor, Palm-bearing, laurel deeds that live forever, The splendor clothing him whose will is strong.
Hast thou beheld the deep, glad eyes of one Who has persisted and achieved? Rejoice! On naught diviner shines the all-seeing sun.
Salute him with free heart and choral voice, 'Midst flippant, feeble crowds of spectres wan, The bold, significant, successful man.

by David Lehman | |

To The Author Of Glare

 There comes a time when the story turns into twenty
different stories and soon after that he academy of shadows
retreats to the cave of a solitary boy in a thriving

metropolis where no one remembers the original story
whic is, of course, a sign of its great success: to be forgotten
implies you were once known, and that is something we

can prize more than the gesture greater than the achievement:
but I wander from the main point: the main point is one
among many fine dots so fine you need a microscope to see them

but then they multiply like germs: the work of the deepest cells
is ergonomically incorrect, but effective nevertheless, like
my footprints in the snow leading to you, wou would be my father

if this were a dream and I on the verge of waking up somewhere
other than home: but the hours remain ours, though they
were gone almost as soon as they arrived, hat and coat in hand.
[Glare is a book of poetry by A.

by Amy Lowell | |

Epitaph of a Young Poet Who Died Before Having Achieved Success

 Beneath this sod lie the remains
Of one who died of growing pains.

by Adrienne Rich | |

Rural Reflections

 This is the grass your feet are planted on.
You paint it orange or you sing it green, But you have never found A way to make the grass mean what you mean.
A cloud can be whatever you intend: Ostrich or leaning tower or staring eye.
But you have never found A cloud sufficient to express the sky.
Get out there with your splendid expertise; Raymond who cuts the meadow does not less.
Inhuman nature says: Inhuman patience is the true success.
Human impatience trips you as you run; Stand still and you must lie.
It is the grass that cuts the mower down; It is the cloud that swallows up the sky.

by Andrew Barton Paterson | |

Do They Know?

 Do they know? At the turn to the straight 
Where the favourites fail, 
And every last atom of weight 
Is telling its tale; 
As some grim old stayer hard-pressed 
Runs true to his breed, 
And with head in front of the rest 
Fights on in the lead; 
When the jockeys are out with the whips, 
With a furlong to go, 
And the backers grow white in the lips -- 
Do you think they don't know? 
Do they know? As they come back to weigh 
In a whirlwind of cheers, 
Though the spurs have left marks of the fray, 
Though the sweat on the ears 
Gathers cold, and they sob with distress 
As they roll up the track, 
They know just as well their success 
As the man on their back.
As they walk through a dense human lane That sways to and fro, And cheers them again and again, Do you think they don't know?

by Robert Louis Stevenson | |

This Gloomy Northern Day

 THIS gloomy northern day,
Or this yet gloomier night,
Has moved a something high
In my cold heart; and I,
That do not often pray,
Would pray to-night.
And first on Thee I call For bread, O God of might! Enough of bread for all, - That through the famished town Cold hunger may lie down With none to-night.
I pray for hope no less, Strong-sinewed hope, O Lord, That to the struggling young May preach with brazen tongue Stout Labour, high success, And bright reward.
And last, O Lord, I pray For hearts resigned and bold To trudge the dusty way - Hearts stored with song and joke And warmer than a cloak Against the cold.
If nothing else he had, He who has this, has all.
This comforts under pain; This, through the stinging rain, Keeps ragamuffin glad Behind the wall.
This makes the sanded inn A palace for a Prince, And this, when griefs begin And cruel fate annoys, Can bring to mind the joys Of ages since.

by Robert Louis Stevenson | |

O Dull Cold Northern Sky

 O DULL cold northern sky,
O brawling sabbath bells,
O feebly twittering Autumn bird that tells
The year is like to die!

O still, spoiled trees, O city ways,
O sun desired in vain,
O dread presentiment of coming rain
That cloys the sullen days!

Thee, heart of mine, I greet.
In what hard mountain pass Striv'st thou? In what importunate morass Sink now thy weary feet? Thou run'st a hopeless race To win despair.
No crown Awaits success, but leaden gods look down On thee, with evil face.
And those that would befriend And cherish thy defeat, With angry welcome shall turn sour the sweet Home-coming of the end.
Yea, those that offer praise To idleness, shall yet Insult thee, coming glorious in the sweat Of honourable ways.

by Robert William Service | |

The Sum-Up

 It is not power and fame
 That make success;
It is not rank or name
 Rate happiness.
It is not honour due Nor pile of pelf: The pay-off is: Did you Enjoy yourself? A pal of days gone by I reckon more Of a success than I Who've gold in store His life, though none too long, Was never dull: Of woman, wine and song Bill had his full.
Friend, you are a success If you can say: "A heap of happiness Has come my way.
No cheers have made me glad, No wealth I've won; But oh how I have had A heap of FUN!"

by Robert William Service | |


 And is it not a gesture grand
 To drink oneself to death?
Oh sure 'tis I can understand,
 Being of sober breath.
And so I do not sing success, But dirge the damned who fall, And who contempt for life express Through alcohol.
Of Stephen Foster and of Poe, Of Burns and Wilde I think; And weary men who dared to go The wanton way of drink.
Strange mortals blind to bitter blame, And deaf to loud delight, Who from the shades of sin and shame Enstar our night.
Among those dupes of destiny Add D.
to my list, Although his verse you may agree Leaves one in mental mist .
Oh ye mad poets, loth of life, Who peace in death divine, Pass not by pistol, poison, knife,-- Drown, drown in wine!

by Robert William Service | |

To A Stuffed Shirt

 On the tide you ride head high,
Like a whale 'mid little fishes;
I should envy you as I
Help my wife to wash the dishes.
Yet frock-coat and stove-pipe hat Cannot hide your folds of fat.
You are reckoned a success, And the public praise you win; There's your picture in the Press, Pouchy eyes and triple chin.
Wealth,--of it you fairly stink; Health,--what does your Doctor think? Dignity is phoney stuff.
Who is dignified deep down? Strip the pants off, call the bluff, Common clay are king and clown.
Let a bulging belly be Your best bid for dignity.
Miserable millionaire! For indulgence you must pay.
Yet there's salvation in prayer,-- Down on your fat knees and pray.
Know that with your dying breath There is dignity in death.

by Robert William Service | |

Amateur Poet

 You see that sheaf of slender books
Upon the topmost shelf,
At which no browser ever looks,
Because they're by .
myself; They're neatly bound in navy blue, But no one ever heeds; Their print is clear and candid too, Yet no one ever reads.
Poor wistful books! How much they cost To me in time and gold! I count them now as labour lost, For none I ever sold; No copy could I give away, For all my friends would shrink, And look at me as if to say: "What waste of printer's ink!" And as I gaze at them on high, Although my eyes are sad, I cannot help but breathe a sigh To think what joy I had - What ecstasy as I would seek To make my rhyme come right, And find at last the phrase unique Flash fulgent in my sight.
Maybe that rapture was my gain Far more than cheap success; So I'll forget my striving vain, And blot out bitterness.
Oh records of my radiant youth, No broken heart I'll rue, For all my best of love and truth Is there, alive in you.

by Robert William Service | |

Kail Yard Bard

 A very humble pen I ply
 Beneath a cottage thatch;
And in the sunny hours I try
 To till my cabbage patch;
And in the gloaming glad am I
 To lift the latch.
I do not plot to pile up pelf, With jowl and belly fat; To simple song I give myself, And seek no gain at that: Content if milk is on the shelf To feed the cat.
I joy that haleness I possess, Though fame has passed me by; And see such gold of happiness A-shining in the sky, I wonder who has won success, Proud men or I? I do not grieve that I am poor, And by the world unknown; Free as the wind, serene and sure, In peace I live alone.
'Tis better to be bard obscure Than King on Throne.

by Alan Seeger | |

Sonnet 01

 Sidney, in whom the heyday of romance 
Came to its precious and most perfect flower, 
Whether you tourneyed with victorious lance 
Or brought sweet roundelays to Stella's bower, 
I give myself some credit for the way 
I have kept clean of what enslaves and lowers, 
Shunned the ideals of our present day 
And studied those that were esteemed in yours; 
For, turning from the mob that buys Success 
By sacrificing all Life's better part, 
Down the free roads of human happiness 
I frolicked, poor of purse but light of heart, 
And lived in strict devotion all along 
To my three idols -- Love and Arms and Song.

by Alan Seeger | |

Sonnet 06

 Oh, you are more desirable to me 
Than all I staked in an impulsive hour, 
Making my youth the sport of chance, to be 
Blighted or torn in its most perfect flower; 
For I think less of what that chance may bring 
Than how, before returning into fire, 
To make my dearest memory of the thing 
That is but now my ultimate desire.
And in old times I should have prayed to her Whose haunt the groves of windy Cyprus were, To prosper me and crown with good success My will to make of you the rose-twined bowl From whose inebriating brim my soul Shall drink its last of earthly happiness.

by Alan Seeger | |

Sonnet VII

 To me, a pilgrim on that journey bound 
Whose stations Beauty's bright examples are, 
As of a silken city famed afar 
Over the sands for wealth and holy ground, 
Came the report of one -- a woman crowned 
With all perfection, blemishless and high, 
As the full moon amid the moonlit sky, 
With the world's praise and wonder clad around.
And I who held this notion of success: To leave no form of Nature's loveliness Unworshipped, if glad eyes have access there, -- Beyond all earthly bounds have made my goal To find where that sweet shrine is and extol The hand that triumphed in a work so fair.

by John Milton | |

To The Nightingale

 O Nightingale! that on yon bloomy spray
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still,
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,
While the jolly hours lead on propitious May.
Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day, First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill, Portend success in love; O, if Jove's will Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh; As thou from year to year hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why: Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.