Thanksgiving 2022: Poem Roundup

By Aunye Boone
On a wooden table: yellow and burgundy leaves and a small pumpkin with the word "grateful" on it.

Photo by Kit Ishimatsu  on Unsplash

Autumn ushers in a feeling of renewal and restoration. From the falling leaves to the crisp chill in the air that reminds us to grab a sweater, this season also serves as a reminder to pause and reflect on how far we have come in our personal life journeys. As we gather near, far, and virtually this Thanksgiving holiday, the NEA brings you six poems that offer peace, comfort, and thankfulness. Click on the poem’s title to read the full text.

"When Giving Is All We Have" poem quote by Alberto Ríos.

“We give because someone gave to us. / We give because nobody gave to us. / We give because giving has changed us. / We give because giving could have changed us.” —from “When Giving Is All We Have” by Alberto Ríos


"Thanksgiving Day" poem quote by Lydia Maria Child.

“Over the river and through the wood— / Now grandmother's cap I spy! / Hurrah for the fun! / Is the pudding done? / Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!” —from “Thanksgiving Day” by Lydia Maria Child


"Ripeness" poem quote by Jane Hirshield.

“Ripeness is/ what falls away with ease. / Not only the heavy apple, / the pear, / but also the dried brown strands /of autumn iris from their core.” —from “Ripeness” by Jane Hirshfield


"Paul Robeson" poem quote by Gwendolyn Brooks.

“we are each other’s / harvest / we are each other’s / business: / we are each other’s / magnitude and bond.” —from “Paul Robeson” by Gwendolyn Brooks


"Butter" poem quote by Elizabeth Alexander.

“My mother loves butter more than I do, / more than anyone. She pulls chunks off / the stick and eats it plain, explaining / cream spun around into butter!” —from “Butter” by Elizabeth Alexander


"Thanksgiving" poem quote by Edgar Albert Guest.

“Give me the end of the year an’ its fun/ When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done; / Bring all the wanderers home to the nest, / Let me sit down with the ones I love best” —from “Thanksgiving” by Edgar Albert Guest

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