Life Lessons Poems

Writing “life lessons” poems is one of the ways I connect with life, learn from it, and move myself through the inevitable ups and downs with as much grace as possible. And what better way to find grace than in the words of a poem? Thank you for gracing me with your presence here, and don’t forget to send a request my way before using. (Please include full copyright information on every copy. For internet use, a link back to the poem on this site is required.)

FINDING THE POEM YOU WANT:  As you scroll through this section, simply read each snippet sample (usually the first four lines) to get a feel for the poem. When you find something you like, click “CONTINUE READING” to view the entire poem.


A Most Creative Calling

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Life Lessons Poems

©2017 Susan Noyes Anderson


I grew up in a simpler time,
when roles were more defined.
Perhaps I should have felt constrained.
In truth, I did not mind.

The call fate held in store for me
delighted me no end.
I plied it in my daily life
and played it as pretend.

To be a mother was my dream,
to raise a happy clan.
No urge to nurture a career
informed my master plan.

I shadowed a professional;
my mother was the best.
Her gifts (wielded creatively)
supported, taught, and blessed.

In high school, I received advice.
The counsel was to earn
credentials as a teacher,
just in case life “took a turn.”

I student-taught in college,
which annoyed me, on the whole.
I settled for it anyway,
indifferent to that goal.

My focus was on motherhood,
the family I would raise.
It brought fulfillment, growth, and joy,
gave purpose to my days.

And later, when the culture whispered
I should think of me,
I wrote books, got them published,
and produced more poetry.

Yet nothing I have fashioned since,
by paper or by pen,
has matched the thrill of raising children:
good women and men.

And just for me (though not PC),
I took the job full-time.
No limits! Mom – unfettered,
and the payback was sublime.

Choice matters, every kind of choice.
“Home” moms might find more bliss,
if mothering as a career
ranked higher on the list.

Of course, some need an income;
others love their own profession,
but choosing to stay home should be
a job, not a confession!


Today, it almost seems as if a talented, intelligent woman is considered to be wasting her opportunities should she decide to stay home and raise children. Nowhere is intelligence and creativity more useful than in that environment, and no attributes more reliably ensure a successful reign as a stay-at-home mom. But let’s be honest, even the name makes less of it than it is. At least “homemaker” was an active description, not a passive one. “Staying at home” offers no glimpse of what a professional mom does there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing what’s right for you…whatever form that takes…I just hope that the avenue of mothering as a career can one day be afforded every ounce of respect it deserves. For those who can swing it financially, full-time mothering should be seen as a viable, challenging, and equally prestigious option. Sadly, I don’t think we’re there yet.


Depression: Cornering the [Black] Market

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Life Lessons Poems

©2017 Susan Noyes Anderson


You don’t understand me,
he said.
No one knows
of the suffering
stored in my soul.

I told him of dark days
I stumbled
and bled,
days when life nearly
swallowed me whole.

But it wasn’t the same,
he insisted;
his pain
was unique and mine
could not compare.

My empathy suspect,
my counsel
in vain,
I held back things
I wanted to share.

It bruised me to look
at him,
caught up in
misery, claiming
it all as his own.

He holds the black shadow
so close to
his chest
that he’s left
to do battle alone.


“It’s an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” – John Joseph Powell

“No man is an island, entire of itself.” – John Donne

“Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.” – Thomas Carlyle

“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.”
– Dorothy Rowe

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”
– Mother Teresa

“Depression is like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind.”
– Jeffrey Eugenides

“In a strange way, I had fallen in love with my depression.” – Elizabeth Wurzel

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