Part of the Thanksgiving tradition — other than the turkey, of course — is joining hands around the table, and sharing what it is that you're thankful for. But, if you want to be extra impressive in front of your relatives this year, you should also be prepared with a few Thanksgiving poems about giving thanks that you can whip out when the moment strikes.
Perhaps poetry isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about what to share over Thanksgiving dinner. You might think of poetry as cheesy, or even obsolete. But, believe me, poetry is still alive and well today. And, there are tons of great poems that are perfect for reciting over your turkey dinner. They'll remind you of what's important, help you focus on what you're thankful for, get you into the entire spirit of the holiday, and — without a doubt — make you the star of your Thanksgiving meal. Get ready for your grandma to pinch your cheeks and tell you how adorable you are.
Even better, you don't need to do the digging for these powerful verses yourself. I've pulled together six Thanksgiving poems and excerpts that you can bring with you to your family get-together. The toughest part will be trying to top yourself next year.
1. "Thanksgiving" — Kate Seymour Maclean
Thus let us rest awhile from toil and care,In the sweet sabbath of this autumn calm,And lift our hearts to heaven in grateful prayer,And sing with nature our thanksgiving psalm.
2. "Thanksgiving Song" — Thornton W. Burgess
Thanksgiving comes but once a year,But when it comes it brings good cheer.For in my storehouse on this dayAre piles of good things hid away.Each day I’ve worked from early mornTo gather acorns, nuts, and corn,Till now I’ve plenty and to spareWithout a worry or a care.So light of heart the whole day long,I’ll sing a glad Thanksgiving song.
3. "The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" — Edgar Albert Guest
It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwellUpon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could knowA simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.
It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-dayWe're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.
4. "The Pumpkin" — John Greenleaf Whittier
Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his boardThe old broken links of affection restored;When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?
5. "Thanksgiving" — Ella Wheeler Wilcox
But blessings are like friends, I hold,Who love and labor near us.We ought to raise our notes of praiseWhile living hearts can hear us.
Full many a blessing wears the guiseOf worry or of troubleFarseeing is the soul and wiseWho knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strengthTo thank his God for sorrowHas found a joy without alloyTo gladden every morrow.
We ought to make the moments notesOf happy, glad Thanksgiving;The hours and days a silent phraseOf music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and growAs weeks and months pass o'er us,And rise sublime at this good time,A grand Thanksgiving chorus.
6. "True Thanksgiving" — J.A. Shedd
He who thanks but with the lipsThanks but in part;The full, the true ThanksgivingComes from the heart.
For more Thanksgiving ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: Cindi Albright, Nicolas Raymond, Brian Holland, picccus, Veronica Villa Agudelo, joiseyshowaa, Olin Gilbert/Flickr