33 Graduation Poems to Inspire Students

Celebrate the class of 2022.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

Graduation is such a bittersweet, beautiful time for students, parents, and teachers. As one chapter of life ends, a new one begins. All of the weeks, months, and years of perseverance have paid off. Now, it’s time to move forward. Graduation poems are the perfect way to capture this emotional and exciting moment. Here are all of our favorite graduation poems to share with students.

1. Ongoing by Jenny Xie

Graduation Poems - Ongoing

“Never mind the distances traveled.”

2. If by Rudyard Kipling

“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.”

3. It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Guest

“There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done.”

4. Up-Hill by Christina Rossetti

Graduation Poems - Up Hill

“Does the road wind up-hill all the way?”

5. The School Where I Studied by Yehuda Amichai


“Here I learned certain things and didn’t learn others.”

6. Always Be a Student by Joanna Fuchs

“Your whole life’s an education that has only just begun.”

7. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Graduation Poems - The Road Not Taken

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.”

8. There was a child went forth by Walt Whitman

“… and who now goes and will always go forth every day”

9. Life by Charlotte Brontë

“Yet Hope again elastic springs.”

10. Beyond the Years by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Graduation Poems - Beyond the Years

“The day that is to come is best.”

11. The Choir Invisible by George Eliot

“Whose music is the gladness of the world.”

12. A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Life is real! Life is earnest!”

13. Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Graduation Poems - Invictus

“I am the master of my fate.”

14. The Prize by Joanna Fuchs

“Spread your wings: You’re going to soar!”

15. From Morituri Salutamus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“And with ambitious feet, secure and proud,
Ascends the ladder leaning on the cloud!”

16. Instructions on Not Giving Up by Ada Limón

Graduation Poems - Instructions on Not Giving Up

“More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree …”

17. Live Blindly and Upon the Hour by Trumbull Stickney

“Go, poor, child, and be not to thyself abhorred.”

18. To You by Walt Whitman

“Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard!”

19. My Heart Leaps Up by William Wordsworth

Graduation Poems - My Heart Leaps Up

“So was it when my life began.”

20. Knows how to forget! (433) by Emily Dickinson

“But could It teach it?”

21. A Blessing by Luci Tapahonso

“Today we reflect a rainbow of creation.”

22. Remember by Joy Harjo

Graduation Poems - Remember

“Remember the sky that you were born under.”

23. Coming of Age by Taylor Lauren Davis

“You’re not perfect, you are everything perfection could not be.”

24. See It Through by Edgar Guest

“Lift your chin and set your shoulders.”

25. Aspiration by Henrietta Cordelia Ray

Graduation Poems - Aspiration

“And eyes wide-stretched, nor dream of coming gloom.”

26. Spoken Word Graduation Speech by Donovan Livingston

“I’ve been a Black hole in the classroom for far too long;
Absorbing everything, without allowing my light escape.”

27. As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world’s a stage] by William Shakespeare

“And all the men and women merely players.”

28. Dreams by Langston Hughes

Graduation Poems - Dreams

“Life is a broken-winged bird.”

29. from Oracles for Youth by Caroline Gilman

“What is your character?”

30. Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye

“The river is famous to the fish.”

31. Theories of Time and Space by Natasha Trethewey

Graduation Poems - Theories

“You can get there from here, though there’s no going home.”

32. We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

“We Left school.”

33. The Graduate Leaving College by George Moses Horton

Graduation Poems - The Graduate Leaving College

“What summons do I hear?”

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33 Graduation Poems to Inspire Students