Thanksgiving poems for family and friends

Thanksgiving is America’s harvest festival — a time to acknowledge the help of family and friends, and a reminder of what a gift it is to be alive. It’s a day to overindulge in the here and now, even as we reflect on the past.

In other words, it’s the perfect holiday for poetry!

While a barn full of winter stock and a home overrun with family and friends does not fit with our popular conception of the poet as solitary brooder, these poems show that the occasion has provided poets — from Harriet Maxwell Converse in the 19th century to Elizabeth Alexander in the 21st — with plenty of food for thought. Whether you’re looking for a pre-meal toast, a scrap of American history, or a late night conversation starter, these poems should provide ample stuffing.

TOASTS AND PRAYERS

A Thanksgiving to God, for his House

By Robert Herrick

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

By James Weldon Johnson

The Thanksgivings

By Harriet Maxwell Converse

Thanksgiving

By Edgar Albert Guest

FAMILY, FOOD, AND FELLOWSHIP

Butter

By Elizabeth Alexander

Family Reunion

By Maxine W. Kumin

Perhaps the World Ends Here

By Joy Harjo

Stomackes

By Albert Goldbarth

Thanksgiving Magic

By Rowena Bastin Bennett

Yam

By Bruce Guernsey

Totem

By Eamon Grennan

THE SEASON

My Triumph

By John Greenleaf Whittier

Signs of the Times

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Thanksgiving Day

By L. Maria Child

The Garden of Proserpine

By Algernon Charles Swinburne

The Pumpkin

By John Greenleaf Whittier

When the Frost is on the Punkin

By James Whitcomb Riley

Zebra

By C.K. Williams

The Gift Outright

By Robert Frost

To Autumn

By John Keats

The post Thanksgiving poems for family and friends appeared first on SaintPetersBlog.

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