Handpicked Daughter Poems for Cherished Moments

Photo by Daria Obymaha

A Heartfelt Journey Through Poetry

As a parent, the desire to immortalize our love, guidance, and hopes for our children is a sentiment shared universally. For me, this desire finds its poetic expression – a collection of verses that I fondly whisper to my daughters as they grow, evolve, and navigate life’s intricate path.

In this blog post, I invite you into a deeply personal space where I share poems crafted with love and care, each a tribute to different phases of my daughters’ lives. Through these verses, I attempt to encapsulate the tender innocence of their childhood, the bittersweet transition into adulthood, and the beautiful complexities of love and growth.

Our children, our daughters, are our heartbeats that echo in the poetry we write and the verses we read. These poems aren’t just words; they’re an intimate conversation, an embrace of love and understanding. It’s my hope that through this poetic journey, you too can find inspiration, comfort, and the joy of sharing heartfelt sentiments with your loved ones.

Photo by Emma Bauso

Innocent Beginnings: Poems for Childhood

In the tender embrace of childhood, where giggles hold the magic of the universe and dreams take flight on the wings of innocence, we find the beginnings of a life’s tapestry. It’s in this early journey that the essence of who we are is often most pure and untouched.

1 “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” is a powerful poem that exudes courage and resilience. It’s a perfect piece to inspire daughters to face the challenges of life with confidence and strength.

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all
Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.
I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.
That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.
Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.
I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
by Maya Angelou

2. “Sky And Tree And Hill And All” by Anette Wynne

Anette Wynne’s poem celebrates the wonder and potential of youth. It encourages embracing the beauty and vastness of the world with youthful zeal.

Sky and tree and hill and all,
I could touch you were I tall;
But I shall not even try,
Great big tree and hill and sky;
I shall stay down here, and see
All the little things like me,
And let all the big things be,
Till I grow up wise and tall,
Sky and tree and hill and all.

Sky and Tree and Hill and All
by Annette Wynne

3. “Baby” by George MacDonald

“Baby” by George MacDonald beautifully captures the innocence and curiosity of childhood. It’s a gentle reminder of the purity and potential inherent in youth, making it a wonderful addition to this section.

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into the here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into bonds and bands.
Feet, where did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs’ wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

by George Macdonald

Poems for Adolescence and The Journey of Growth

Adolescence, that beautiful, tumultuous bridge between childhood and adulthood, is a time of self-discovery, growth, and change. It’s a period marked by transitions, both internal and external. Poetry, with its ability to encapsulate emotions and experiences, can be a soothing guide during these transformative years.

1. “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is a timeless poem that resonates deeply with adolescents facing choices and decisions about their future. It beautifully portrays the importance of individual choices and the impact they have on life’s journey.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, 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 traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken 
By Robert Frost

2. “For My Daughter” by Sarah McMane

Sarah McMane’s “For My Daughter” is a touching poem that encapsulates the hopes and dreams a parent has for their daughter. It’s a testament to the enduring love and the empowering aspirations parents hold as they guide their daughters through the ups and downs of life.

Never play the princess when you can be the queen: rule the kingdom, swing a scepter, wear a crown of gold. Don’t dance in glass slippers, crystal carving up your toes — be a barefoot Amazon instead, for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet.

Never wear only pink when you can strut in crimson red, sweat in heather grey, and shimmer in sky blue, claim the golden sun upon your hair. Colours are for everyone, boys and girls, men and women — be a verdant garden, the landscape of Versailles, not a pale primrose blindly pushed aside.

Chase green dragons and one-eyed zombies, fierce and fiery toothy monsters, not merely lazy butterflies, sweet and slow on summer days. For you can tame the most brutish beasts with your wily wits and charm, and lizard scales feel just as smooth as gossamer insect wings.

Tramp muddy through the house a purple tutu and cowboy boots. Have a tea party in your overalls. Build a fort of birch branches, a zoo of Legos, a rocket ship of Queen Anne chairs and coverlets, first stop on the moon.

Dream of dinosaurs and baby dolls, bold brontosaurus and bookish Belle, not Barbie on the runway or Disney damsels in distress — you are much too strong to play the simpering waif.

Don a baseball cap, dance with Daddy paint your toenails, climb a cottonwood. Learn to speak with both your mind and heart. For the ground beneath will hold you, dear — know that you are free. And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.

For my Daughter
By Sarah McMane

3. “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” is a beacon of empowerment and strength, celebrating resilience and determination in the face of adversity. It echoes the struggles that adolescents face and reminds them of their innate ability to rise, evolve, and conquer.

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou

First Steps into the World: Poems for Young Adulthood

1. “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” speaks to the sense of belonging and self-acceptance often sought during young adulthood. It’s a reminder that we are part of something greater and that we are allowed to claim our place in the world.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Wild Geese
By Mary Oliver

2. “A Song of the Rolling Earth” by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman’s “A Song of the Rolling Earth” exudes the spirit of youth and exploration. It encapsulates the restlessness and passion that young adults often feel as they set out to make their mark on the world.

A SONG of the rolling earth, and of words according,
Were you thinking that those were the words, those upright lines?
those curves, angles, dots?
No, those are not the words, the substantial words are in the
ground and sea,
They are in the air, they are in you.

Were you thinking that those were the words, those delicious sounds
out of your friends’ mouths?
No, the real words are more delicious than they.

Human bodies are words, myriads of words,
(In the best poems re-appears the body, man’s or woman’s, well-
shaped, natural, gay,
Every part able, active, receptive, without shame or the need of

Air, soil, water, fire—those are words,
I myself am a word with them—my qualities interpenetrate with
theirs—my name is nothing to them,
Though it were told in the three thousand languages, what would
air, soil, water, fire, know of my name?

A healthy presence, a friendly or commanding gesture, are words,
sayings, meanings,
The charms that go with the mere looks of some men and women,
are sayings and meanings also.

The workmanship of souls is by those inaudible words of the earth,
The masters know the earth’s words and use them more than
audible words.

Amelioration is one of the earth’s words,
The earth neither lags nor hastens,
It has all attributes, growths, effects, latent in itself from the jump,
It is not half beautiful only, defects and excrescences show just as
much as perfections show.

The earth does not withhold, it is generous enough,
The truths of the earth continually wait, they are not so conceal’d

A Song Of The Rolling Earth
By Walt Whitman

3. “To Be Of Use” by Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy’s “To Be Of Use” echoes the sentiments of many young adults seeking purpose and fulfillment. It’s a rallying call to find meaning and usefulness in our actions, resonating deeply with those navigating the complexities of early adulthood.

The people I love the best

jump into work head first

without dallying in the shallows

and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element,

the black sleek heads of seals

bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,

who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,

who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,

who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge

in the task, who go into the fields to harvest

and work in a row and pass the bags along,

who are not parlor generals and field deserters

but move in a common rhythm

when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.

But the thing worth doing well done

has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,

Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums

but you know they were made to be used.

The pitcher cries for water to carry

and a person for work that is real.

To Be Of Use
By Marge Piercy

Finding Love: Poems for Romantic Relationships

Love, in all its forms, is a voyage that weaves through joy, heartache, and self-discovery. For our daughters, it’s a journey we keenly watch, empathize with, and celebrate. Here, we gather poetry that mirrors the diverse hues of love and the strength it takes to navigate its complexities.

1. “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron

Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” is a timeless tribute to the beauty and grace of a beloved, echoing the feelings that often accompany the experience of falling in love. It encapsulates the awe and wonder of love’s discovery.

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

She Walks In Beauty
By Lord Byron

2. “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda’s “If You Forget Me” is a profound exploration of love, distance, and yearning. It captures the deep emotions tied to love, making it a perfect addition for daughters experiencing the complexities of love and its potential loss.

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

If You Forget Me
By Pablo Neruda

3. “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love” beautifully explores the significance of self-love and acceptance after heartache. It’s a reassuring reminder that amidst heartbreak, the most important love we find is often within ourselves.

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Love After Love
By Derek Walcott

Poems for Blossoming into Motherhood

Motherhood, a tapestry of selfless love, nurturing care, and boundless strength. As daughters, we witness this beautiful journey as it unfolds before our eyes. From the moment we become mothers ourselves, we understand the intricate dance of love, sacrifice, and the pure, unconditional bond that ties generations together. In this section, we cherish the poems that honor the profound role of mothers through the eyes of daughters.

1. “A Mother’s Love” by Helen Steiner Rice

Helen Steiner Rice’s “A Mother’s Love” is a heartfelt tribute to a mother’s nurturing love. Its gentle verses capture the essence of the deep connection daughters share with their mothers, even as they become mothers themselves.

A Mother’s love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.

A Mother’s Love
By Helen Steiner Rice

To-day’s your natal day;
   Sweet flowers I bring:
Mother, accept, I pray
   My offering.
And may you happy live,
   And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
   Great happiness.

To My Mother
Christina Rossetti

Stand in a field long enough, and the sounds   

start up again. The crickets, the invisible   

toad who claims that change is possible,

And all the other life too small to name.   

First one, then another, until innumerable

they merge into the single voice of a summer hill.

Yes, it’s hard to stand still, hour after hour,   

fixed as a fencepost, hearing the steers

snort in the dark pasture, smelling the manure.

And paralyzed by the mystery of how a stone   

can bear to be a stone, the pain

the grass endures breaking through the earth’s crust.

Unimaginable the redwoods on the far hill,   

rooted for centuries, the living wood grown tall

and thickened with a hundred thousand days of light.

The old windmill creaks in perfect time

to the wind shaking the miles of pasture grass,   

and the last farmhouse light goes off.

Something moves nearby. Coyotes hunt   

these hills and packs of feral dogs.

But standing here at night accepts all that.

You are your own pale shadow in the quarter moon,   

moving more slowly than the crippled stars,   

part of the moonlight as the moonlight falls,

Part of the grass that answers the wind,

part of the midnight’s watchfulness that knows   

there is no silence but when danger comes.

Becoming A Redwood
Dana Gioia

Through the magic of poetry, we navigate the joys and heartaches that accompany the different stages of life. The power of these verses is not just in the beauty of the words, but in how they resonate with our experiences, evoking a sense of unity in this intricate dance of being a daughter, growing into a woman, and embracing the profound joy of being a mother.

As mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, we share a collective journey that these poems encapsulate so eloquently. They remind us that amidst the complexities of life, love, and change, there’s an enduring thread of connection and understanding that binds us.

May these poems find a cozy nook in your heart and enrich your relationship with your daughters, just as they have in mine. Let us celebrate the beauty of these words and the ever-evolving, forever enduring love between a mother and her daughter.

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