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The Best Thanksgiving Poems

Updated on November 16, 2012

Find the Perfect Poem for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a treasured holiday for millions of people to spend time with family, enjoy amazing food and company, and take some time to reflect on just how blessed and lucky we are.

Thanksgiving poems are a perfect way to share those feelings, especially for people who might otherwise struggle to find just the right words to let everyone know how much they love them.

You'll find all sorts of Thanksgiving poetry here -- Christian poems, funny poems, very short poems -- and we'll even give you some tips to write your very own Thanksgiving poem.

Traditional Thanksgiving Poems

Below you'll find some traditional Thanksgiving poems that have proven to be some of the most popular over the years.

These poems are religious in nature, touching on themes of God, prayer, and giving thanks to the Lord.

If you do decide to share these with your family -- many people like to read a poem before Thanksgiving dinner -- please give credit to the author listed and keep in mind that the authors featured here own all the copyrights to their works.

Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving Day

We bow our hearts to You and pray.

We give You thanks for all You've done

Especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son.

For beauty in nature, Your glory we see

For joy and health, friends and family,

For daily provision, Your mercy and care

These are the blessings You graciously share.

So today we offer this response of praise

With a promise to follow You all of our days.

-- Mary Fairchild

We Give Thanks

Our Father in Heaven,

We give thanks for the pleasure

Of gathering together for this occasion.

We give thanks for this food

Prepared by loving hands.

We give thanks for life,

The freedom to enjoy it all

And all other blessings.

As we partake of this food,

We pray for health and strength

To carry on and try to live as You would have us.

This we ask in the name of Christ,

Our Heavenly Father.

--Harry Jewell

We Gather Together

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;

He chastens and hastens his will to make known;

The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,

Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,

Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;

So from the beginning the fight we were winning;

Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,

And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.

Let thy congregation escape tribulation;

Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Amen

--Traditional Thanksgiving Hymn

Explore Great Christian Poetry Books

You'll also find similar poems giving thanks in some of the best Christian poetry books on Amazon featured below, many of which are available for the Kindle and tablets so that you can instantly download it and have the perfect poem to share this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

More Thanksgiving Poems

If you're looking for more Thanksgiving poems -- or ones that are non-denominational and not overtly religious -- you'll find a wide range of poems below.

Some of these deal more with giving thanks in a general way and might not all be overtly about "Thanksgiving".

But they very much touch on the subjects of giving thanks for blessing such as good health, being surrounded by loving, caring family members, and feeling cared for and grateful for life.

Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Thanksgivings

We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here

to praise Him.

We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered

that these beings shall always be living to multiply the earth.

We thank Him for making the earth and giving these beings its products

to live on.

We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth and runs

for our lands.

We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.

We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have fluids coming

from them for us all.

We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow shadows

for our shelter.

We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, the thunder

and lightning that water the earth.

We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun

that works for our good.

We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.

We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, and thank

all its trees.

We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being

of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.

We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,

the stars.

We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.

We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard

through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.

We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of this pleasant

occasion.

We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit's music,

and hope they will be privileged to continue in his faith.

We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies

on this occasion.

-- Translated by Harriet Maxwell Converse from a traditional Iroquois prayer

Te Deum

Not because of victories

I sing,

having none,

but for the common sunshine,

the breeze,

the largess of the spring.

Not for victory

but for the day's work done

as well as I was able;

not for a seat upon the dais

but at the common table.

-- Charles Reznikoff

Thanks

Listen

with the night falling we are saying thank you

we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings

we are running out of the glass rooms

with our mouths full of food to look at the sky

and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it

smiling by the windows looking out

in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging

after funerals we are saying thank you

after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you

in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door

and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you

in the banks we are saying thank you

in the faces of the officials and the rich

and of all who will never change

we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us

our lost feelings we are saying thank you

with the forests falling faster than the minutes

of our lives we are saying thank you

with the words going out like cells of a brain

with the cities growing over us

we are saying thank you faster and faster

with nobody listening we are saying thank you

we are saying thank you and waving

dark though it is

-- W.S. Merwin

What Was Told, That

What was said to the rose that made it open was said

to me here in my chest.

What was told the cypress that made it strong

and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made

sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in

Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush

like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in

language, that's happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,

chewing a piece of sugarcane,

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

-- Rumi, translated bu Coleman Barks

Explore More Amazing Poetry from These Authors

Write Your Own Thanksgiving Poem

Don't be scared off by the prospect of writing your own Thanksgiving poem; there's an inner poet lurking in everyone and your friends and family will love that you shared something unique and personal with them.

Below we've got a few tips to get started on your very own poem for Thanksgiving to give you a few helpful nudges.

  • Be Yourself: Most people don't walk around speaking in rhymed couplets so don't worry about whether or not your poem rhymes or if it's in iambic pentameter. Just speak from the heart and pretend you're writing a letter to your family letting them know how much you love them.
  • Short is Good: Your family loves you very, very much but they're also ready to tuck into that yummy turkey, so it's probably not a good idea to write a fifty page epic poem extolling their virtues and the glory of Thanksgiving. Aim for a poem that takes you a minute or less to read out loud.
  • Find a Muse: If you're completely stumped and can't get started just think of a common item associated with Thanksgiving and start writing about that, such as a turkey or pumpkin or God. Usually once you get started and over the initial hump of staring at a blank page the rest will flow very easily.
  • There Are No Bad Poems: Trust me, your family will LOVE the fact that you wrote a poem for Thanksgiving. This is the most receptive, happy audience a poet will ever have. It's the effort they'll love so don't get hung up on how "good" it is or get nervous; just write it!

(All poems featured here are copyright of their respective owners and images are legally licensed or the work of the author.)

Most Popular Poetry Books on Amazon

Have You Got Any Favorite Thanksgiving Poems? Let Me Know!

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    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      So nice! Very neat to see such a wonderful array of different types of poetry from several authors and generations. God bless :) John 3:30

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Wow awesome lens! You have so many wonderful poems here...thanks for sharing them.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Very nice indeed. I particularly enjoyed the Iroquois prayer; hadn't read that one before.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      I don't think I could write a poem but I really enjoyed the ones you presented. RocketSquid tip....try using the Text With BIG Picture Module for your photos. I would love to see what you have a little larger. Very nice work.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I too like the traditional poems...but really any heartfelt ones are great. Thanks for providing some great choices.

    • Fart Pickins profile image

      Fart Pickins 4 years ago

      I'm a fan of the traditional ones you have near the top which talk about God and Jesus.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 4 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but I think it is still important not forget to be thankful for all we have. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      MiaMusement 4 years ago

      Loverly!