10 Poems of Encouragement – Part I – The Spiritual Journey Home

When you’re on a journey and the end keeps getting further and further away, then you’ve realized that the real end is the journey.”
Karlfried Graf Durckheim.

Reading poems of encouragement is a recommended spiritual exercise that you engage with each day. This can be either through reading poetry or listening to it.

In these rapidly changing and uncertain times it is good to have a daily anchor of positivity and hope. This anchor needs to be anchored within that which is inspired – in spirit. It is the need to anchor our energy in that which is Timeless and Changeless but out of which time and change arise.

I have been inspired by poetry throughout my adult life.

It is in large part the foundation of this website. When I read poems by Rumi, Yeats, Hafiz and Mary Oliver, to name a few I am in the best of company. These are my Companions of Greatness and invite me in the words of W. B. Yeats, “to make greatness my companion.” (These are the Clouds).

I share with you 10 of my favourite poems. I could share 10 others and another ten. But let me begin by listing these and then include the poems themselves. This sharing of these 10 poems of encouragement will be in two parts. The reason is to keep you encouraged by not making this one article overlong.

Poems of Encouragement – 10 Inspired Invitations

Part I

  1. A Road Less Travelled By – Robert Frost
  2. A Man Stood Up – Rainer Maria Rilke
  3. The Holy Longing – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  4. That Sweet Moon Language – Hafiz
  5. The Song of Wandering Aengus – W. B. Yeats

Part II

  1. Love after Love – Derek Walcott
  2. The Alchemist – Rumi
  3. Pegasus – Patrick Kavanagh
  4. West Wind II – Mary Oliver
  5. The Bright Field – R. S Thomas


Poems of Encouragement – Part I

The Road Less Taken

The Road Not Taken
BY Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The question is, “Are you prepared to be committed, disciplined and patient in the journey into becoming a Companion of Greatness?

A Man Stood Up

The spiritual journey is not a journey you take purely for your own benefit. It may start out that way. It tends to start out that way.  Spiritual growth happens when you humbly realize that you are blessed and can bless.

The children be they your own, or other people’s children, are blessed because you have the courage to search for the church in the East – the arising of the Divine within you.

So that you could know that the Secret of Secrets is inside you again

A Man Stood Up – Rainer Maria Rilke

Sometimes a man stands up during supper
and walks outdoors, and keeps on walking,
because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.

And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.

And another man, who remains inside his own house,
stays there, inside the dishes and in the glasses,
so that his children have to go far out into the world
toward that same church, which he forgot.

The Holy Longing

We all long for the experience of wholeness. Our culture, especially in the first half of life, teaches us that this is an experience of achievement and success in material terms.

There is nothing wrong with this provided it does not become the reason for your being in the world. If you are lucky you will experience the longing for wholeness from within.`

The Holy Longing
by Goethe

I praise what is truly alive
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm waters of the love nights
where you were begotten, where you have begotten
a strange feeling creeps over you
as you watch the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness
and a desire for higher lovemaking
sweeps you upwards.

Distance does not make you falter,
now, arriving in magic, flying
and finally insane for the light
you are the butterfly, and you are gone.

And so long as you have not experienced
this: to die and so to grow
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.

~ Goethe, translated by Robert Bly and David Whyte

That Sweet Moon Language

This is a poem that I very much identify with.

It is a poem about the two parts of my life. There is the first stage of life when everyone I would meet, I would say to them in different ways, “Love me.”

Then there is the invitation to become so much more. An invitation to connection to that which is the Greatness inside you.

This is to become a Seer. Someone who can light the way through the darkness that is the sense of the separate personal self. Someone who can, like the moon, shine a path through the dark night.

With That Moon Language” by Hafiz

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.

Still, though, think about this: this great pull in us to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a moon in each eye,
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

The Song of Wandering Aengus

The next poem is a poem about the longing to connect. It is a poem about the experience of breakthrough that is part of the spiritual journey.

It is my favorite W. B. Yeats poem. I love it so much that I am in the process of writing a book about the way in which it can serve as a guide to

spiritual awakening.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

The End of The Journey (Or is it?)

This is Part I of a two part article on 10 Poems of Encouragement for the Spiritual Journey. The second part follows shortly (after 19th March 2019)

These poems come from different times, cultures and traditions. They are all inviting you into an experience that is changeless and eternal. This is the KNOWING of the true Self.

Most people take the Road More Travelled by which is the identification with the time bound false self – the mask – the persona.

This is the major reason for most of the unnecessary suffering in the world. I hope these deep heart’s core invitations invite you to explore your becoming a true Companion of Greatness.

Why not make reading or listening to sacred poetry part of the way in which you begin your day? This will change your energy because you are connecting with an energy that invites the highest good to come through you. In this way you companion greatness.

It is after all who and why you are.

Poems for Encouragement – Part II

Hope you enjoyed this opening Part I of poems of encouragement.

If so, I would appreciate your giving it a fair star rating below. Maybe you would like to share it on another social media platform or leave a comment or ask a question.

The link to the other five inspirational poems of encouragement is below:-


To remind you these other five poems to uplift the heart are:-

  1. Love after Love – Derek Walcott
  2. The Alchemist – Rumi
  3. Pegasus – Patrick Kavanagh
  4. West Wind II – Mary Oliver
  5. The Bright Field – R. S Thomas



Print Friendly, PDF & Email