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Top 10 inspirational poems

I haven’t always loved poetry… as a young girl I thought it was a waste of time. I took extra drama in school and I would much rather have been playing out my friends than having to go to the one to one lessons reciting poetry.

Then in my twenties I started to write poetry as a way of expressing myself. Trying to get my feelings, which were often desperation, out and onto paper. I felt that when they were out of my body they were somewhere away from me and therefore heard. And through writing poetry I started reading poetry again.

This time around though, it was poems that inspired my heart and mind and truly resonated with me. Ancient yogis, thought leaders, inspired women who felt they all had something to say was what I wanted to hear more of. Poems that helped me navigate life, with all its love and loss. I could never have imagined how the stringing of certain words together could mean so much, triggering so much emotion and sounding so beautiful in ones head.

Here are favourite poets and my top ten poems that I have read over and over again. In no particular order, I just hope you are inspired by them as much as I am.

Rupi Kaur

An incredible young woman, born in Punjab India and raised in Canada. She writes about love, loss, abuse and racial discrimination. She’s only 30 but is now a global sensation. I came across her work completely by chance one cold, December day as I dived into Waterstones in Manchester to escape the rain. There was her book “Milk and Honey” as the recommended read of the day. I curled up and read it cover to cover in one sitting and was mesmerised. She’s written four books, I have them all!

Most importantly love
like its the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you’re sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them

I need someone
who knows struggle
as well as I do
willing to hold my feet in their lap
on days its too difficult to stand
the type of person who gives
exactly what I need
before I even know I need it
the type of love who hears me
even when I do not speak
is the type of understanding I demand

I do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be so complete
I could light a whole city
and then
I want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set in on fire

Pablo Neruda

He was a Chilean Poet and politician, who died in the 70’s, aged 69. He wrote a wide variety of poetry but I love his love poems and sonnets. I just imagine him as young man, completely sick with love and writing such beautiful poetry in an attempt to help him feel closer to his loved one.

Then you realise,
it’s not the one who moves the ground beneath you,
but the one who centers you.
It’s not the one who steals your heart,
but the one who makes you feel as if you have it back.

I love you without knowing
how, or when or where.
I love you simply, without
problems or pride: I love
you in this way because I
do not know any other way
of loving but this, in which
there is no I or you, so
intimate that your hand
upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I
fall asleep your eyes close.

Everything carries
me to you
as if everything
that exists
aromas, lights, metals,
were little boats
that sail toward
those isles of yours
that wait for me.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I cannot remember how or where I came across this poem but it has been a go to poem for me for so many years. I think I was first fascinated just by her name, Mountain Dreamer, isn’t it wonderful? Oriah is an American story teller and has written several international bestsellers. The focus of her life and work has been an on-going inquiry into the Sacred Mystery.

Her writing, teaching and personal journey all explore how we can each become the individual we are at the deepest level of being and how we can co-create meaning together in the world. This poem brings me to tears most times I read it and its values are embedded in my day to day living.


Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet. Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages. I first came across his work in my yoga circles but whether you are into a yogi way of life or not his words are extremely profound.

The Guest house

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
still, treat each guest honourably.
He maybe clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the same, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Hollie MCnish

An award winning UK based poet and writer. I came across her work by chance on YouTube, she was performing this incredible piece about pregnancy and motherhood, and how phenomenal the female body is yet how it is so unseen. She is so fearless in her writing and an essential voice for modern times, especially for women. We need to hear more truth and she shouts it out there so beautifully.

Making Love

Cheapest room in the hotel
no windows on the wall
but the bath was hot and full and you were in it.

Smiling, silhouetted
lips already sweating
arms curving out a space where I should sit

and so I stripped, lay back against you
shadows steaming, saying nothing,
occasionally kissing as we hugged

How strange it is I thought
as we dried our gasping bodies
that this is not considered making love

Maya Angelou

An American poet and civil rights activist who died in 2014 in her 80s. Her work spanned 50 years and she has won a number of awards. Her autobiography “I know why the Caged Bird Sings” bought her international acclaim as a writer. She really was and still is a true inspiration. I have not read a lot of her work but the work I have shines so brightly for me.


“Lying, thinking
last night
How to find my soul a home
When water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I am wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.”


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