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Famous Adversity Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Adversity poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous adversity poems. These examples illustrate what a famous adversity poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Shakur, Tupac
...Take one's adversity
Learn from their misfortune
Learn from their pain
Believe in something
Believe in yourself
Turn adversity into ambition
Now blossom into wealth...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...Christe's mother dear!
We have none other melody nor glee,*                           *pleasure
Us to rejoice in our adversity;
Nor advocate, that will and dare so pray
For us, and for as little hire as ye,
That helpe for an Ave-Mary or tway.


O very light of eyen that be blind!
O very lust* of labour and distress!                   *relief, pleasure
O treasurer of bounty to mankind!
The whom God chose to mother for humb...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Edwin Arlington
...ody might have everything 
To do, and almost everything to eat,
That he was jubilantly satisfied 
And all unthwarted by adversity. 
Young George knew things. The world, he had found out, 
Was a good place, and life was a good game— 
Particularly when Aunt Imogen
Was in it. And one day it came to pass— 
One rainy day when she was holding him 
And rocking him—that he, in his own right, 
Took it upon himself to tell her so; 
And something in his way of telling it—
Th...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
...All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with death's parting blow are sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend,
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant, yet love bids me
These farew...Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
For he is grasped of God.
The Maker's cordial visage,
However good to see,
Is shunned, we must admit it,
Like an adversity....Read more of this...

by Dickinson, Emily
...How happy I was if I could forget
To remember how sad I am
Would be an easy adversity
But the recollecting of Bloom

Keeps making November difficult
Till I who was almost bold
Lose my way like a little Child
And perish of the cold....Read more of this...

by Gray, Thomas
...Daughter of Jove, relentless Power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour
The Bad affright, afflict the Best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain
The Proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple Tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.

When first thy Sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, ...Read more of this...

by Gibran, Kahlil
...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 ...Read more of this...

by Wyatt, Sir Thomas
But they that sometime liked my company, 
Like lice away from dead bodies they crawl. 
Lo, what a proof in light adversity. 
But ye, my birds, I swear by all your bells, 
Ye be my friends, and so be but few else....Read more of this...

by Yeats, William Butler
Forgetting and forgot;
And I, that after me
My bodily heirs may find,
To exalt a lonely mind,
Befitting emblems of adversity.

 III. My Table

Two heavy trestles, and a board
Where Sato's gift, a changeless sword,
By pen and paper lies,
That it may moralise
My days out of their aimlessness.
A bit of an embroidered dress
Covers its wooden sheath.
Chaucer had not drawn breath
When it was forged. In Sato's house,
Curved like new moon, moon-luminous
It l...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...rom its moisten'd head the pearly show'r, 
All nature, feels the renovating hour, 
All, but the sorrowing child of cold ADVERSITY; 
For her, the linnet's downy throat 
Breathes harmony in vain; 
Unmov'd, she hears the warbling note 
In all the melody of song complain; 
By her unmark'd the flowret's bloom, 
In vain the landscape sheds perfume; 
Her languid form, on earth's damp bed, 
In coarse and tatter'd garb reclines; 
In silent agony she pines; 
Or, if she hears some stran...Read more of this...

by Robinson, Mary Darby
...too high
For his now humbled state, from infancy
He taught him, labour's task: He bade him chear
The dreary day of cold adversity
By patience and by toil. The Summer morn
Shone on the pillow of his rushy bed;
The noontide, sultry hour, he fearless past
On the shagg'd eminence; while the young Kid
Skipp'd, to the cadence of his minstrelsy.

At night young HENRY trimm'd the ****** fire
While oft, Saint HUBERT, wove the ample net
To snare the finny victim. Oft they s...Read more of this...

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...the signs of doubt or fear. 
Sail forth into the sea of life, 
O gentle, loving, trusting wife, 
And safe from all adversity 
Upon the bosom of that sea 
Thy comings and thy goings be! 
For gentleness and love and trust 
Prevail o'er angry wave and gust; 
And in the wreck of noble lives 
Something immortal still survives! 
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! 
Sail on, O Union, strong and great! 
Humanity with all its fears, 
With all the hopes of future years, 
Is hangi...Read more of this...

by Turner Smith, Charlotte
...arded diadem on his fair brow,
Where Loyalty may join with Liberty
To fix it firmly.--In the rugged school
Of stern Adversity so early train'd,
His future life, perchance, may emulate
That of the brave Bernois 4 , so justly call'd
The darling of his people; who rever'd
The Warrior less, than they ador'd the Man!
But ne'er may Party Rage, perverse and blind,
And base Venality, prevail to raise
To public trust, a wretch, whose private vice
Makes even the wildest profligate ...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
...mage I oft have had.
5.23 Sometimes the Heavens with plenty smil'd on me,
5.24 Sometimes, again, rain'd all adversity;
5.25 Sometimes in honour, sometimes in disgrace,
5.26 Sometime an abject, then again in place:
5.27 Such private changes oft mine eyes have seen.
5.28 In various times of state I've also been.
5.29 I've seen a Kingdom flourish like a tree
5.30 When it was rul'd by that Celestial she,
5.31 And like a Cedar others...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...woulde preach.
His parishens* devoutly would he teach. *parishioners
Benign he was, and wonder diligent,
And in adversity full patient:
And such he was y-proved *often sithes*. *oftentimes*
Full loth were him to curse for his tithes,
But rather would he given out of doubt,
Unto his poore parishens about,
Of his off'ring, and eke of his substance.
*He could in little thing have suffisance*. *he was satisfied with
Wide was his parish, and houses far asunder,...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...Godde's love, take all in patience
Our prison*, for it may none other be. *imprisonment
Fortune hath giv'n us this adversity'.
Some wick'* aspect or disposition *wicked
Of Saturn, by some constellation,
Hath giv'n us this, although we had it sworn,
So stood the heaven when that we were born,
We must endure; this is the short and plain.

This Palamon answer'd, and said again:
"Cousin, forsooth of this opinion
Thou hast a vain imagination.
This prison cause...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
..., and looked her about.

O queenes living in prosperity,
Duchesses, and ye ladies every one,
Have some ruth* on her adversity! *pity
An emperor's daughter, she stood alone;
She had no wight to whom to make her moan.
O blood royal, that standest in this drede,* *danger
Far be thy friendes in thy greate need!

This king Alla had such compassioun,
As gentle heart is full filled of pity,
That from his eyen ran the water down
"Now hastily do fetch a book," quoth he;
"And i...Read more of this...

by Butler, Ellis Parker
And ample noise his horn emits
To drive the widow into fits.


The philosophic mind can see
The uses of adversity....Read more of this...

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...pear dreary to ye,
Remember Alois Senefelder, the discoverer of Lithography,
How God saved him from drowning himself in adversity,
And I hope ye all will learn what the Sprig of Moss teaches ye. 

And God that made a way through the Red Sea,
If ye only put your trust in Him, He will protect ye,
And light up your path, and strew it with flowers,
And be your own Comforter in all your lonely hours....Read more of this...

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