- Carpe Diem
- Faith & Religion
- Family & Home
- Food & Drink
- Rhyme & Rhythm
- Sea & Sailing
- Stages of Life
- Story Telling
- Time of Day
Poems of memory often follow familiar patterns - memories of childhood, memories of friends and loved ones, memories of favorite places, and of course, memories of old love and lost love. Poems to remember an individual who has died are very common, and are often titled In Memoriam. There is a also a separate Subject Index for Memorials
In addition to the memories themselves, poets often write about the events, places, or objects that evoke memories. One of the very best of these is Bread and Music by Conrad Aiken.
Another common theme is lost memory - poems range from de la Mare's profound All that's Past, to Aldrich's simple selective Memory, to Calverley's Companions, written a century before playwrights and poets thought of Alzheimer's as a disease rather than a vehicle for humor.
Memories of childhood and of lost love tend to create the most powerful poems. Both are often tinged with a wistful sadness that rings true. Memory by President Abraham Lincoln and Spring Rain by Sara Teasdale are good examples.
- Discordants - I. Bread and Music by Conrad Aiken
Simple but powerful lines describe memories of a lost loved one. A favorite poem of many.
- Memory by Abraham Lincoln
Beautifully written and structured - and yes, by President Lincoln. Thanks to the Smithsonian.
- When the Rose is Faded by Walter De La Mare
Be careful who you say this to - while it quite ends strongly, you may not make it through the introduction.
- In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
While this is a very famous piece, the challenge made in the name of those remembered has led (and still leads) to yet more poppies.
- Memory by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
We forget much, but sometimes retain a single, crystal clear thought.
- Spring Rain by Sara Teasdale
Simple and elegant, like most of her works.
- Old Letters by Norman Rowland Gale
Love letters, of cousrse, and roses.
- In the high leaves of a Walnut by Laurence Binyon
Perhaps one of those "The child is father to the man" poems.
- Dost Thou Remember Ever by Mathilde Blind
Do you remember me?
- Heraclitus by William Cory
An ancient poem (23 centuries old) in memory of a lost friend.
- Companions by Charles S. Calverley
Grandfather's imperfect memory.
- The Room Beneath the Rafters by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
A very typical Wilcox reminiscence.
- Love and Age by Thomas Love Peacock
You could say 'memory of lost love', but this continues onward.
- All that's Past by Walter De La Mare
Our dreams are tales
Told in dim Eden
By Eve's nightingales;
- Woodman, Spare That Tree by George Pope Morris
My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
- At an Old Drawer by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Like Wilcox, I have drawers full of things I just can't seem to throw away.
- The Bucket Air - The Flower of Dumblane by Samuel Woodworth
The hit song of 1826 - and a popular song for much of the nineteenth century.
- Retrospect by Rupert Brooke
Perhaps the ultimate Mothers' Day poem.
- Mementos by Charlotte Bronte
Sometimes there are too many memories.
- I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood
Memories of childhood.
- Memory by Oliver Goldsmith
To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain:
- Winter Memories by Henry David Thoreau
Within the circuit of this plodding life
There enter moments of an azure hue,
- The Long Small Room by Edward Thomas
A childhood memory, its "witnesses", and what remains.