20 Marvelous Poems About Beauty in All Its Forms

Sarah S. Davis |
5 months ago

Who better to praise beauty than poets? A poet harnesses language and their crafty word powers for maximum emotional impact, as you’ll see in this list of poems about beauty. The poems you’ll read in this collection of 20 short poems about beauty explore all facets of beauty, the appreciation of it, the act of creating it, finding beauty in nature, tracing beauty in love and romance, and acknowledging beautiful bodies in a positive way.

1. “Bad Day at the Beauty Salon” by Maggie Estep

Read the text here.

2. “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.

3. “Beauty in Nature” by Arti Chopra

Theres a poem in every flower,

a sonnet in every tree,
a tale in every lifetime
its just for you to see…

theres a lyric in every brook
as it rushes over rocks,
theres an ode in every nuance,
as loves wonder unlocks,

theres rhythm in every sound,
every beating of a heart,
theres poetry in every union
and every couple who are apart

and just as there is wonder
in every new life created
there is sadness and regret,
for the unsaid and unfeted

just listen for the music
that your ears cannot hear,
just strain yourself for the melody
thats so far and yet so near

the wonder of the creator,
the magic of the divine
is there to feel, for all of us,
to soon be yours and mine

4. “Beauty is brief and violent” by Snehal Vadher

Beauty is brief and violent
like the white thunderbolt
of Nilgiri slow and sudden
braided like her hair
one morning was a cluster
of grapes hung beside each
ear maybe it comes from where
hunger the voices of children
come breaking their way
to my heart the stones
my feet which are light
and heavy from walking
that path full and swift
the river flows eroding
the banks with its sinuous
desire gentle and unkind
the days the years boulders
tossed by a giant down the hill
we must climb to the sudden
sinuous blue

5. “The Beauty of Black” by Margaret Burroughs

(May 22, 1965)

When we look at ourselves
We see ourselves through eyes
Which have been schooled
To see comely only the opaque,
Comely to us skin that is fair,
Comely to us eyes that are light,
Comely to us hair that is straight,
Comely to us lips that are thin,
Our gods and goddesses
Glow in opalescent whiteness
And daily we worship at this shrine.
Ugly to us our satin black skin,
Ugly to us our fulsome lips,
Ugly to us our midnight eyes,
Ugly to us our crisping hair
Thus we have rejected our image.
But this is not as it should be
We black people must be born again.
Know that the black people like other races
Have their own distinct beauty,
Know that the Stygian night too is beautiful.

6. “The Beauty of a Woman” by Audrey Hepburn

The beauty of a woman
isn’t in the clothes she wears,
The figure that she carries,
or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman
must be seen from in her eyes;
Because that’s the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman
isn’t in a facial mole;
But true beauty in a woman,
is reflected by her soul.
It’s the caring that she cares to give,
the passion that she shows;
And the beauty of a woman
with passing years only grows.

7. “A Brown Girl’s Guide to Beauty” by Aranya Johar

8. “Haiku” by Fukuda Chiyo-Ni

spring rain———
all things on earth
become beautiful

9. “I Died for Beauty—but was scarce” 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? 5
“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, 10
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.

10. “My People” by Langston Hughes

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people

11. “On Beauty” by Khalil Gibran

And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
And he answered:
Where shall you seek beauty, and how
shall you find her unless she herself be your
way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except
she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say,
“Beauty is kind and gentle.
Like a young mother half-shy of her
own glory she walks among us.”
And the passionate say, “Nay, beauty is
a thing of might and dread.
Like the tempest she shakes the earth
beneath us and the sky above us.”

The tired and the weary say, “Beauty is
of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint
light that quivers in fear of the shadow.”
But the restless say, “We have heard her
shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of
hoofs, and the beating of wings and
the roaring of lions.”

At night the watchmen of the city say,
“Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the
east.”
And at noontide the toilers and the way-
farers say, “We have seen her leaning over
the earth from the windows of the sunset.”

In winter say the snow-bound, “She shall
come with the spring leaping upon the hills.”
And in the summer heat the reapers say,
“We have seen her dancing with the autumn
leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her
hair.”
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of
needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty
hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul en-
chanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the
song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you
close your eyes and a song you hear though
you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark,
nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and
a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when
life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mir-
ror.
But you are eternity and you are the mir-
ror.

12. “Pretty” by Katie Makkai

13. “Rondel of Merciless Beauty” by Geoffrey Chaucer

Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.

Only your word will heal the injury
To my hurt heart, while yet the wound is clean—
Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene.

Upon my word, I tell you faithfully
Through life and after death you are my queen;
For with my death the whole truth shall be seen.
Your two great eyes will slay me suddenly;
Their beauty shakes me who was once serene;
Straight through my heart the wound is quick and keen.

14. “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron (George Gordon)

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!

15. “Sonnet 54: O, how much more doth beauty beauteous seem” 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 perfumèd tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer’s breath their maskèd buds discloses;
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwooed 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 vade, by verse distills your truth.

16. “Sonnet: To Tartar, a Terrier Beauty” by Thomas Lovell Beddoes

Snowdrop of dogs, with ear of brownest dye,
Like the last orphan leaf of naked tree
Which shudders in black autumn; though by thee,
Of hearing careless and untutored eye,
Not understood articulate speech of men
Nor marked the artificial mind of books,
-The mortal’s voice eternized by the pen,-
Yet hast thou thought and language all unknown
To Babel’s scholars; oft intensest looks,
Long scrutiny over some dark-veined stone
Dost thou bestow, learning dead mysteries
Of the world’s birth-day, oft in eager tone
With quick-tailed fellows bandiest prompt replies,
Solicitudes canine, four-footed amities.

17. “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!

18. “A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)” by John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness 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-darkn’d 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;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

19. “Untitled: We Are All Born so Beautiful” by Rupi Kaur

20. “Youth and Beauty” by William Carlos Williams

I bought a dishmop—
having no daughter—
for they had twisted
fine ribbons of shining copper
about white twine
and made a tousled head
of it, fastened it
upon a turned ash stick
slender at the neck
straight, tall—
when tied upright
on the brass wallbracket
to be a light for me
and naked
as a girl should seem
to her father.


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