Whenever I ask my students what their favorite month, they always always choose the month of their birthday. But I can’t really blame them. October is my favorite time of year for exactly the same reason. Some people love them. Other people hate them. But we all have them. Whether looking for a way to reflect on your birthday or finding some words to celebrate a lover or friend, here are 15 birthday poems. From thoughtful and sweet to funny and sarcastic, I hope you find the birthday poems you’re looking for this year.
birth-day by Lucille Clifton
today we are possible.
the morning, green and laundry-sweet,
blind and mewling.
irreplaceable by rupi kaur
Birthday Lights by Calef Brown
Light bulbs on a birthday cake.
What a difference that would make!
Plug it in and make a wish,
then relax and flip a switch!
A Birthday by Christina Rossetti
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
The Party by Jason Shinder
And that’s how it is; everyone standing up from the big silence
of the table with their glasses of certainty and plates of forgiveness
and walking into the purple kitchen; everyone leaning away from the gas stove
Marie blows on at the very edge of the breaking blue-orange-lunging-
forward flames to warm another pot of coffee, while the dishes pile up in the sink,
perfect as a pyramid. Aaah, says Donna, closing her eyes,
Birthday by Andrea Gibson
We Are All the Same by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
We are all the same
Listen to the reeds
as they sway apart
Hear them speak
of lost friends
Birthday by Sukasah Syahdan
At Twenty-Eight by Amy Fleury
It seems I get by on more luck than sense,
not the kind brought on by knuckle to wood,
breath on dice, or pennies found in the mud.
I shimmy and slip by on pure fool chance.
30th Birthday by Alice Notley
May I never be afraid
especially of myself
Muhammed Ali are you telling
Well you’re being true aren’t you and
you talk so wonderfully in your body
that protects you with physique of voice
raps within dance
May I never be afraid
For K.R. on her Sixtieth Birthday by Richard Wilbur
Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark,
Who round with grace this dusky arc
Of the grand tour which souls must take.
Cheerios by Billy Collins
Mrs. Baldwin by Fleur Adcock
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
Ninon de Lenclos, On her Last Birthday by Dorothy Parker
So let me have the rouge again,
And comb my hair the curly way.
The poor young men, the dear young men
They’ll all be here by noon today.
Written in a Carefree Mood by Lu Yu
Old man pushing seventy,
In truth he acts like a little boy,
Whooping with delight when he spies some mountain fruits,
Laughing with joy, tagging after village mummers;