Every piece of writing or speech that praises or showers flattery on some entity is poetry.
And… No one can beat poets when it comes to sprinkling praiseful remarks on beauty.
A language is to a poet what dough and batter are to a chef.
Poets know how to finesse words into an emotion-filled passage or speech, capable of having an impact on the hardest of hearts.
Poetry can take any form: it can be dark, humorous, sad, or beautiful.
However, poets are mostly interested in describing and praising beauty—whether it’s physical or in other forms.
So, I searched hard in the annals of cyberspace to find the best poems about beauty. I found some, and I’m glad to share them with you in this post.
The poems in this post are all about beauty, but they are different in so many ways. I hope you’ll enjoy these beautiful pieces of literature and, hopefully, use them to praise a beautiful thing in your life.
Let’s get started!
What Can Poetry Teach Us About Beauty?
Poetry is often used to discover or unveil beauty in the simplest of things.
Poetry uses literary devices such as metaphors, similes, assonance, personification, imagery, alliteration, and others to humanize inanimate objects or animals, convey certain meanings and themes, and provide a deeper understanding of things.
And beauty is a perfect topic that can be discussed or analyzed using such devices.
Beauty is a vague concept, but poetry, with all its tools, helps us discuss all life with all its senses in a way that other forms of literature cannot.
People have argued that since beauty puts on some faces and comes in many forms, it is often imaginative and dynamic, and relevant analyses are often predictive rather than descriptive.
While the arguments might be true, it is worth recognizing and pointing out that regardless of all these ambiguities, poetry itself is beautiful.
Not that this fact provides us sufficient validation in our claim that poetry is the perfect vessel for exalting praise on or explaining beauty. Still, it places poetry in a favorable position.
On the whole, poetry is the most equipped literary form to use when talking about beauty: it is just short enough not to bore the reader and tooled up with the necessary devices.
12 of the Best Poems about Beauty
1. Beauty by Gustav Davidson
Beauty is a multi-colored top
Pirouetting in the grey brain of an apathetic world
Beauty is sudden arrest,
A cracked vase set at an odd angle on a Gothic credenza,
A ship’s whistle through the night.
Beauty is a Caliban making himself presentable to Miranda,
Dr Bergerac in the garden of Roxane.
Beauty is Caligula the tyrant
Asthenic at the feet of his wife Caesonia.
2. Sonnet 54 by William Shakespeare
O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns and play as wantonly
When summer’s breath their masked buds disclose:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo’d and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall fade, my verse distills your truth.
3. I Died For Beauty Poem by Emily Dickinson
I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth – the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a-night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names
4. From Endymion by John Keats
A Poetic Romance
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple’s self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o’ercast;
They always must be with us, or we die.
5. She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
6. To Beauty by William Stanley Braithwaite
O mistress of the world! Heaven’s own dear child!
Priestess of Joy, and things that holy are;
Under thy smile men’s hearts are reconciled,
And after thy light, they follow, as a star
Follows the moon across the tide
A constant wooer at its side.
And I will follow, follow thee so far
Across the tide of life, and will adore
And worship thee in visions evermore.
O Maiden of shy innocence I say
Thou art too fair to live in widowhood;
Since Keats, thy lover, sleeps in Roman clay,
For thee to be forsaken were not good.
I fain would be thy wooer,
Thou canst not find one truer,
For I will love thee in whatever mood
Thy sensitive and most delicate soul
Doth on my spirit work its sweet control.
7. Amoretti III: The Sovereign Beauty by Edmund Spenser
The sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised:
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire
In my frail spirit, by her from baseness raised;
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base thing I can no more endure to view;
But looking still on her, I stand amazed
At wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stopped is with thought’s astonishment:
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravish’d is with fancy’s wonderment:
Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot endite.
8. Beautiful by Carol Ann Duffy
She was born from an egg,
a daughter of the gods,
divinely fair, a pearl, drop-dead
gorgeous, beautiful, a peach,
a child of grace, a stunner, in her face
the starlike sorrows of immortal eyes.
Who looked there, loved.
She won the heart
of every man she saw.
They stood in line, sighed,
knelt, beseeched Be Mine.
She married one,
but every other mother’s son
swore to be true to her
till death, enchanted
by the perfume of her breath,
her skin’s celebrity.
9. Beauty By Elinor Wylie
Say not of Beauty she is good,
Or aught but beautiful,
Or sleek to doves’ wings of the wood
Her wild wings of a gull.
Call her not wicked; that word’s touch
Consumes her like a curse;
But love her not too much, too much,
For that is even worse.
O, she is neither good nor bad,
But innocent and wild!
Enshrine her and she dies, who had
The hard heart of a child.
10. Still Will I Harvest Beauty Where It Grows by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Still will I harvest beauty where it grows:
In coloured fungus and the spotted fog
Surprised on foods forgotten; in ditch and bog
Filmed brilliant with irregular rainbows
Of rust and oil, where half a city throws
Its empty tins; and in some spongy log
Whence headlong leaps the oozy emerald frog.…
And a black pupil in the green scum shows.
Her the inhabiter of divers places
Surmising at all doors, I push them all.
Oh, you that fearful of a creaking hinge
Turn back forevermore with craven faces,
I tell you Beauty bears an ultra fringe
Unguessed of you upon her gossamer shawl!
11. Ode to Beauty by Mary Darby Robinson
EXULTING BEAUTY, phantom of an hour,
Whose magic spells enchain the heart,
Ah ! what avails thy fascinating pow’r,
Thy thrilling smile, thy witching art?
Thy lip, where balmy nectar glows;
Thy cheek, where round the damask rose
A thousand nameless Graces move,
Thy mildly speaking azure eyes,
Thy golden hair, where cunning Love
In many a mazy ringlet lies?
Soon as thy radiant form is seen,
Thy native blush, thy timid mien,
Thy hour is past ! thy charms are vain!
ILL-NATURE haunts thee with her sallow train,
Mean JEALOUSY deceives thy list’ning ear,
And SLANDER stains thy cheek with many a bitter tear.
12. Beauty Be Not Caused It Is by Emily Dickinson
Beauty be not caused It Is
Chase it, and it ceases
Chase it not, and it abides
Overtake the Creases
In the Meadow when the Wind
Runs his fingers thro’ it
Deity will see to it
That you never do it
Is there any form of literature that can explain or praise beauty more than poetry?
The power of poetry can be tapped to paint Picassos and evoke a gazillion responses. Poems take simple words and turn them into powerful messages and images.
And that is one of the many reasons why it is better suited to explaining or praising beauty.
I hope that you’ll find at least one poem that you like from the list of poems about beauty that I have compiled.