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10 Best Poetry Books About Life (2024)

Best Poetry Books About Life

Pulling Through

As we find ourselves trying to survive in these unprecedented times, having the best poetry books about life can be the lifeline that gets us through. Sometimes, just knowing that others have floundered and overcome, is all we need to put one foot in front of the other. Poetry will always reflect the pain of being human, and offer us a way to use words to celebrate life.

Your Soul Is a River by Nikita Gill


Candid and Uplifting

Reviews of Your Soul Is a River state that it is unreservedly one of the best books about life. Nikita Gill has written intimately about her pain. Those who have also suffered, recommend this book as a way out of the darkness.

Love Yourself

Your Soul is a River is a beautiful description of the journey to self-love. By comparing her experiences to the cosmos, Gill finds expression for the emotional rollercoaster of life. There are eight sections to the collection that are entitled: the cosmos, fire, the storm, ache, the sea, wild, the earth, and heal.

Being Connected

Nikita Gill’s poetry reminds us that we are all connected and part of something much bigger than ourselves. We can share our pain, help one another to heal, and accept that no-one is perfect.

This message is what makes this one of the most popular poetry books about life, and surviving harsh experiences. Take Nikita’s advice – “read this book beneath the stars and apply it gently to your soul.” Many readers believe that this book has healing powers. Always remember that you are unique and amazing from the beginning to the end of your life. 

Salt by Nayyirah Waheed


Living Out Loud

As you read Salt, you cannot help but fall in love with this poet’s work. Nayyirah Waheed is a talented poet who is not afraid to bare her soul. Salt is amongst the best poems about living your best life because it says out loud what we have been feeling in our hearts. Best of all, we feel encouraged and uplifted after reading her beautiful words!

Nayyirah Waheed’s life has been anything but perfect. Few of us would ever have to experience what she has survived. She talks about the prejudice that she has suffered because of her race and her gender. She also knows the pain of growing up without the love of a father.

Not Bitter

Salt could well have been an outpouring of bitter anger. Instead, Nayyirah decided to use her talent to write poetry that inspires and uplifts. Her bravery and courage in sharing her poetry ensure that Salt is amongst the best-selling poetry books about life. With inspiration from Salt, you can live your best life, and finding the healing that you deserve.

The Road Not Taken and Other Poems by Robert Frost


Deluxe Edition

The Road Not Taken is a poem that has been read, recited, and remembered for over a century. It is one of his most famous poems, and this collection of poems by Robert Frost is one of the poetry books about life ranked as the best.


Frost’s Frequently Quoted, and Much Misunderstood Poem

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Here we find other brilliant poems from his earliest works such as After Apple-Picking, The Oven Bird, and Mending Wall.

Meaning in Life

The introduction by poetry critic David Orr explains the reason for Robert Frost’s enduring popularity. Frost is one of the most famous American poets and his astounding ability to craft intricate poetry makes him the poet of choice when people are searching for meaning in life.

He took the simple things in life, and the beauty of nature and shaped them into poetry that is full of symbolism and significance. That is what makes it an example of the best poetry book about life.

Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo


One of the Top Female Poets

If you are looking to fill your bookshelf with the top poetry book about life then you have to buy Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo! She is a Nigerian woman who has been writing beautiful poetry since she was seven years old.

Women and Power

Questions for Ada is full of poems about womankind and empowerment. Her work shows fill us with respect for the women who have made sacrifices to give us emancipation and opportunities in life.

Questions for Ada talks of the harsh realities of discrimination against women of color. Ijeoma Umebinyuo is an African American woman who has had to find her way through cultural differences and gender discrimination.

Healing and Hope

She is an outstanding literary talent who shares her pain with honesty and can bring healing to the broken-hearted. She said, “I am too full of life to be half-loved” and that should be the war cry of every woman who has been mistreated in life.

This Is How You Survive by Lana Rafaela Cindric


Only You Can Do It

Lana Cindric is considered to be one of the most talented modern poets, and she brings us good news with her collection of poems called This Is How You Survive. It is one of the top poetry books about life.

Poems About Healing

Lana does not lie about the harshness of life, but she reminds the reader that they have what it takes to rise above the crappy bits of life. Some of the poems are gentle and soothing, while others are a battle cry to gird your loins and get on with it. You will be swept along on a rollercoaster of emotions as you read these poems, and some will even take your breath away.

Survival Guide

If you need inspiration about how to survive, then this is one of the best poetry books about surviving life experiences you will ever find! How to Survive is poetry about creating your own life story that is unique, wonderful, and yours.

Tell Me the Truth About Life by Cerys Matthews


Truth About Life

Tell Me the Truth About Life is the 25th-anniversary publication of National Poetry Day. This collection of poetry is a representation of the type of poetry that people want to read. It contains poems that have been selected because of their insight into the human condition and offer wisdom for surviving in our modern world.

We Are All Human

Tell Me the Truth About life has poems chosen by people from all walks of life, for example, Helen Sharman (first British astronaut) to sportspeople, comedians, and celebrities from the art world.

The poems that have been included range from modern poets to the classics. These are some of the best poems ever written about life, and they will bring you comfort and inspiration through the bad times and the good.

The Dark Between Stars by Atticus Poetry


Refreshing Look at Life

Atticus knows how to squeeze every emotion possible into his poetry. In The Dark Between Stars, he examines the contrasts between our life experiences and the links between the best bits and the worst. He forces us to think about living a meaningful life.

Your Umbrella on the Rainy Days

Atticus knows that we cannot have pleasure without pain, and he eloquently describes “the darkness and the stars”. Not all the poems are dark and deep. There are lovely light-hearted observations about joyful things like dancing, Paris, jazz clubs, sunsets, sharing a bottle of wine on the river.

These are among the best poems about beautiful life. But, with mature pragmatism, he reminds us that we have to experience the rainy days and the pain of loneliness. This Instagram sensation has gained an enormous following with his astute observations and he has created some of the best short poems about life.

New Perspective

It is no easy task to write optimistic poetry because the medium lends itself more naturally to sad and melancholy words. However, Atticus has brought a fresh new perspective to poems about life and we are loving it!

Swimming Lessons by Lili Reinhart


Honesty and Vulnerability

Swimming lessons is the collection of poems that Lili Reinhart has been writing over the past five years. They cover a range of themes and leave the reader feeling uplifted and hopeful about the future. Her work gets the best poetry book about life reviews. Lili has experienced heartache, grief, and romantic disasters, but she says that reading and writing poetry has always brought her solace in dark times.

Burning Issue

Lili Reinhart is a passionate campaigner for mental health awareness and self-love. In Swimming Lessons, she talks openly about her battles with anxiety and depression, and her struggle with self-acceptance. Lili understands how hard it is to get over a broken heart and how passion can go quickly from steaming hot to ice cold.

Swimming Lessons is written in a relatable and profound way. The poetry is both comforting and astounding, and the layout of the poems is beautiful. The interesting illustrations bring the whole collection of poems to life.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


Taking the World by Storm

The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical book by Sylvia Plath, and it is 234 pages of genius! This is one of the best poems about life and death and tells the story of Esther Greenwood. She once had ambition and dreams, but her life degenerates to a frightening low as she tries to navigate a way through the loneliness of living in New York City. One becomes curious to know what the outcome will be.

Story of Her Own Life

Plath’s description of Esther’s empty life in the big city gives insight into her own feelings of isolation and loneliness. We watch as Esther’s life crumbles as she loses her identity and her passion for the things she once loved.

This story is sadly not unique, as it epitomizes the empty lives of many women who felt forced to choose between ambition and the drudgery of marriage and family. We watch as Esther gradually disintegrates into a full-blown depression and her mental health cracks.

Pressures of Society

Sylvia Plath has written one of the best poetry books on life and what it looks like when it all goes horribly wrong. She makes a clear statement about the pressures of society on women and the impact on their mental health.

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver


Concerns About Environment

This famous poet writes poems that are accessible to everyone and the themes are universal. Mary Oliver’s passion for the world and all living things is well documented, and she is supported by many who are concerned about the environment. She is a poet who forces all her passion for the world into poetry that is almost religious in its fervor.

If We Only Look and See

Her poems personify wildlife and her feathered friends, and she places them firmly in the center of her search for purpose in this life. In this way, she engages the reader and fills us with the rapturous joy that she is experiencing as she writes.

She has a unique way of making us look through the magnifying glass of her poetry to see the wonder in the most mundane of places. Examples of this are poems the unearthing of an arrowhead, or the relentless “breakage” on the seashore. In her poem Bear, the sight of a large footprint in the trail causes her to be “aflutter” with menace.

Expression of Life

In this collection of poetry, we begin to understand the reasons why Oliver likes to wake up early, and we feel enticed to join her in the glorious expression of life that is waiting to be enjoyed. It is easy to see why this is one of the best-rated poetry books about life.

Alissa Wynn

Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.