15 Poems About New Beginnings To Inspire Your 2019


As the gift-giving season begins to wind down, and we begin our collective turn toward the possibilities the new year will bring, some of us are looking for a complete change from the last 12 month. If you want something you've never experienced before to happen in 2019, I've got 15 poems about new beginnings to help you ring in the new year with intention.

If you're like me, you find yourself screaming "NEW YEAR, NEW ME," like, every year, whether you actually make a radical change in your life or not. It's understandable, however, if not keeping your last few New Year's resolutions has got you down in the dumps. But not keeping a New Year's resolution is A-OK! No one's perfect, and wanting to change yourself for the better is an admirable resolution to make, even if you don't manage to fully achieve it.

Anyone who feels anxious at the thought of making — and possibly breaking — yet another New Year's resolution needs to read the 15 poems about new beginnings that I've selected below. These poets' words will inspire you to embrace the unlimited possibilities that the next year will bring — no matter how it all ends.

"The birthday of the world" by Marge Piercy

"On the birthday of the world

I begin to contemplate

what I have done and left

undone, but this year

not so much rebuilding"

Read the poem in full here.

"The Origin of Birds" by Nicole Callihan

"For hours, the flowers were enough.

Before the flowers, Adam had been enough.

Before Adam, just being a rib was enough.

Just being inside Adam’s body, near his heart, enough."

Read the poem in full here.

"Burning the Old Year" by Naomi Shihab Nye

"Letters swallow themselves in seconds.

Notes friends tied to the doorknob,

transparent scarlet paper,

sizzle like moth wings,

marry the air."

Read the poem in full here.

"Blossom" by Dorianne Laux

"What is a wound but a flower

dying on its descent to the earth,"

Read the poem in full here.

"A Pumpkin at New Year's" by Sandra McPherson

"Heads were rolling down the highway in high slat trucks.

I knew it was time to buy you and found you,

The last sphere unscarred and undistorted in the store,

Big as my own head."

Read the poem in full here.

"Up-Hill" by Christina Rossetti

"Does the road wind up-hill all the way?

Yes, to the very end.

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?

From morn to night, my friend."

Read the poem in full here.

"Resolution" by Lia Purpura

"There’s the thing I shouldn’t do

and yet, and now I have

the rest of the day to

make up for, not

undo, that can’t be done"

Read the poem in full here.

"Ephemeral Stream" by Elizabeth Willis

"This is the way water

thinks about the desert.

The way the thought of water

gives you something

to stumble on. A ghost river."

Read the poem in full here.

"New Year's Day" by Kim Addonizio

"The rain this morning falls

on the last of the snow"

Read the poem in full here.

"Morning Song" by Sylvia Plath

"Love set you going like a fat gold watch.

The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry

Took its place among the elements."

Read the poem in full here.

"A Home" by Sarah C. Woolsey

"What is a home? A guarded space,

Wherein a few, unfairly blest,

Shall sit together, face to face,

And bask and purr and be at rest?"

Read the poem in full here.

"Still Life with Ladder" by Susan Rich

"Today, the sky saved my life

caught between smoked rum and cornflower.

Today, there is a color I can’t name cruising past"

Read the poem in full here.

"Notebook, 1981" by Eileen Myles

"I was so willing to pull a page out of my notebook, a day, several bright days and live them as if I was only alive, thirsty, timeless, young enough, to do this one more time,"

Read the poem in full here.

"Four-Leaf Clover" by Ella Higginson

"I know a place where the sun is like gold,

And the cherry blooms burst with snow,

And down underneath is the loveliest nook,

Where the four-leaf clovers grow."

Read the poem in full here.

"How to Triumph Like a Girl" by Ada Limón

"I like the lady horses best,

how they make it all look easy,

like running 40 miles per hour

is as fun as taking a nap, or grass."

Read the poem in full here.