20 Amazing Poems About Friendship to Brighten Your Day

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While the topic of love seems to dominate both classic and contemporary poetry, friendship has also been a popular theme for poets to ponder upon for centuries.

Friendship is an essential part of life; after all, where would we be without friends to help us through the tough times and cheer us on when the going is good? Friends stick by us, they challenge us, they support us, and they keep us sane.

So to celebrate true friendship, I’ve compiled a list of poems that remind us how important it is to nurture our relationships with those around us. Some of these poems are joyous celebrations of friendship, while others serve to remind us of how dark the world would be without it.

There are countless incredible poems on the theme of friendship, written by some of the world’s most revered and respected poets, so putting together this shortlist was not an easy task. I’ve tried to select ones that highlight the various aspects of both having a friend and being a friend.

Poems About Friendship

#1. Work For Friendship by J. J. Thorne

The duties of friendship to perform,
Will keep our thoughts wide awake;
Make life true and warm,
For friendship’s sake.

Cursed is he that makes envy,
Lies, tattles, and fraternity break;
Speak in praise and speak the truth,
For friendship’s sake.

Love warms and never alarms,
Sweet as lilies of the lake;
Row your boat and gather charms.
For friendship’s sake.

If peace and harmony through human regard,
We desire to make;
We will work if it is hard;
For friendship’s sake.

In pursuit and plod for wealth,
Let honesty hold the stake;
Do not hate the man of stealth,
For friendship’s sake.

Live upright, honest and fair,
Give rather than take;
In brotherly love do you share?
For friendship’s sake.

#2. Emblems Of Friendship by John Imrie

Friendship is a golden band.
Linking life with life,
Heart to heart, and hand to hand,
The antidote to strife.

Friendship is a silken cord.
Beautiful and strong,
Guarding, by each kindly word,
Loving hearts from wrong.

Friendship is a beacon-light
On life’s rocky shore,
Brightest in our darkest night
When the breakers roar.

Friendship is an iron shield.
Where life’s cruel darts
Ever may be forced to yield
Ere they wound true hearts.

Friendship is the gift of God.
Freely to us given,
As the flowers that gem the sod,
Or the light of heaven!

#3. Us Two by A.A. Milne

Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.

“What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh.
(“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.)
“I think it ought to be twenty-two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.

“Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks, I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.

“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw, and I shouted, “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.

“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

#4. To Me, Fair Friend, You Never Can Be Old (Sonnet 104) by William Shakespeare

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,

Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.

Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion and mine eye may be deceiv’d:

For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.

#5. A Poison Tree by William Blake

“I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath; my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I waterd it in fears.
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole,
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretchd beneath the tree.”

#6. A Friend, by Gillian Jones

A person who will listen and not condemn
Someone on whom you can depend
They will not flee when bad times are here
Instead, they will be there to lend an ear
They will think of ways to make you smile
So you can be happy for a while
When times are good and happy thereafter
They will be there to share the laughter
Do not forget your friends at all
For they pick you up when you fall
Do not expect to just take and hold
Give friendship back, it is pure gold.

#7. A Time to Talk by Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,

I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,

And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.

I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,

And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

#8. Friends For Life by Angelica N. Brissett

We are friends.
I’ve got your back,
And you have mine.
I’ll help you out
Anytime!
To see you hurt,
To see you cry,
Makes me weep
And wanna die.
If you agree
To never fight,
It wouldn’t matter
Who’s wrong or right.
If a broken heart
Needs a mend,
I’ll be right there
Till the end.
If your cheeks are wet
From drops of tears,
Don’t worry,
Let go of your fears.
Hand in hand
Love is sent.
We’ll be friends
Till the end!

#9. The Arrow And The Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth; I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak.
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

#10. 1383 by Emily Dickinson

Long Years apart – can make no
Breach a second cannot fill –
The absence of the Witch does not
Invalidate the spell –

The embers of a Thousand Years
Uncovered by the Hand
That fondled them when they were Fire
Will stir and understand

#11. Your Catfish Friend by Richard Brautigan

If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home
and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, “It’s beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,”
I’d love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,
and ask yourself, “I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them.”

#12. With A Friend by Vivian Gould

I can talk with a friend
and walk with a friend
and share my umbrella in the rain.
I can play with a friend
and stay with a friend
and learn with a friend
and explain.
I can eat with a friend
and compete with a friend
and even sometimes disagree.
I can ride with a friend
and take pride with a friend.
A friend can mean so much to me!

#13. Having a Coke with You by Frank O’Hara

(Having a Coke With You)
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt, you look like a better, happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light, we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look

at you, and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway, it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home, I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal, a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter, Marino Marini, when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me, which is why I’m telling you about it

#14. Alone by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires.
With money, they can’t use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now, if you listen closely.
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
‘Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

#15. I Knew A Man By Sight by Henry David Thoreau

I knew a man by sight,
A blameless wight,
Who, for a year or more,
Had daily passed my door,
Yet converse none had had with him.

I met him in a lane,
Him and his cane,
About three miles from home,
Where I had chanced to roam,
And volumes stared at him, and he at me.

In a more distant place
I glimpsed his face,
And bowed instinctively;
Starting he bowed to me,
Bowed simultaneously, and passed along.

Next, in a foreign land.
I grasped his hand,
And had a social chat,
About this thing and that,
As I had known him well a thousand years.

Late in a wilderness
I shared his mess,
For he had hardships seen,
And I a wanderer been;
He was my bosom friend, and I was his.

And as, methinks, shall all,
Both great and small,
That ever lived on earth,
Early or late their birth,
Stranger and foe, one day each other know.

#16. Old Friends by Edgar Guest

I do not say new friends are not considerate and true,
Or that their smiles ain’t genuine, but still I’m tellin’ you
That when a feller’s heart is crushed and achin’ with the pain,
And teardrops come a-splashin’ down his cheeks like summer rain,
Becoz his grief an’ loneliness are more than he can bear,
Somehow it’s only old friends, then, that really seem to care.
The friends who’ve stuck through thick an’ thin, who’ve known you, good an’ bad,
Your faults an’ virtues, an’ have seen the struggles you have had,
When they come to you gentle-like an’ take your hand an’ say:
‘Cheer up! we’re with you still,’ it counts, for that’s the old friends’ way.

The new friends may be fond of you for what you are today;
They’ve only known you rich, perhaps, an’ only seen you gay;
You can’t tell what’s attracted them; your station may appeal;
Perhaps they smile on you because you’re doin’ something real;
But old friends who have seen you fail, an’ also seen you win,
Who’ve loved you either up or down, stuck to you, thick or thin,
Who knew you as a budding youth, an’ watched you start to climb,
Through weal an’ woe, still, friends of yours an’ constant all the time,
When trouble comes an’ things go wrong, I don’t care what you say,
They are the friends you’ll turn to, for you want the old friends’ way.

The new friends may be richer, an’ more stylish, too, but when
Your heart is achin’ an’ you think your sun won’t shine again,
It’s not the riches of new friends you want, it’s not their style,
It’s not the airs of grandeur then, it’s just the old friend’s smile,
The old hand that has helped before stretched out once more to you,
The old words ringin’ in your ears, so sweet an’, Oh, so true!
The tenderness of folks who know just what your sorrow means,
These are the things on which, somehow, your spirit always leans.
When grief is poundin’ at your breast — the new friends disappear
An’ to the old ones tried an’ true, you turn for aid an’ cheer.

#17. Ode To Friendships by Kayla Rae Pich

Friends…
They’re the few people who accept silence over conversation.
A relationship like this denies silly promises and persuasion.
You don’t feel the need to second guess thoughts or measure words.
Their love comes in wholes, not halves, not thirds.
They’re the ones that guide you through when fate takes a turn.
Fights, small and large, end in forgiveness, never a burn.
You forget about first impressions and the feelings they brought.
You’re grateful for who they are, and you forgive ’em for what they’re not.

#18. The Friend by Matt Hart

The friend lives half in the grass
and half in the chocolate cake,
walks over to your house in the bashful light
of November, or the forceful light of summer.
You put your hand on her shoulder,
or you put your hand on his shoulder.
The friend is indefinite. You are both
so tired, no one ever notices the sleeping bags
inside you and under your eyes when you’re talking
together about the glue of this life, the sticky
saturation of bodies into darkness. The friend’s crisis
of faith about faith is unnerving in its power
to influence belief, not in or toward some other
higher power, but away from all power in the grass
or the lake with your hand on her shoulder, your hand
on his shoulder. You tell the friend the best things
you can imagine, and every single one of them has
already happened, so you recount them
of great necessity with nostalgic, atomic ferocity,
and one by one by one until many. The egg birds whistle
the gargantuan trees. The noise rock fall twisted
into each other’s dreams, their colorful para trooping,
their skinny dark jeans, little black walnuts
to the surface of this earth. You and the friend
remain twisted together, thinking your simultaneous
and inarticulate thoughts in physical lawlessness,
in chemical awkwardness. It is too much
to be so many different things at once. The friend
brings black hole candy to your lips and jumping
off the rooftops of your city, the experience.
So much confusion — the several layers of exhaustion,
and being a friend with your hands in your pockets,
and the friend’s hands in your pockets.
O bitter black walnuts of this parachuted earth!
O gongbirds and appleflocks! The friend
puts her hand on your shoulder. The friend
puts his hand on your shoulder. You find
a higher power when you look.

#19. How Many, How Much? by Shel Silverstein

How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ’em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ’em.

#20. The Best Of Friends by Jill Wolf

The best of friends
Can change a frown,
Into a smile,
when you feel down.
The best of friends,
Will understand
Your little trials,
And lend a hand.
The best of friends,
Will always share,
Your secret dreams,
Because they care.
The best of friends,
Worth more than gold,
Give all the love,
A heart can hold.

Conclusion

Friendship is one of the most wonderful parts of being alive. These incredible poems serve as a reminder to treasure our friends and never take them for granted.

What are your favorite poems about friendship? Let me know in the comments below!

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