Inside: 23 Heaven poems for curiosity and comfort when you’re not too sure what comes next.
It’s a daunting thing to consider the afterlife and what might be waiting for us when we’re no longer on this Earth we know to be home. When you start digging into literature about it, it’s important to remember that you can surely get too carried away and read some content that is simply scary and unfounded, considering no one truly knows what heaven is like.
Some heaven poems are purely fictional takes, some are more whimsical and based on dreamy forms of classical literature, and some are based on the spiritual takes of different religions and their perspectives of an afterlife and heaven and hell.
Heaven poems are overall beautiful and lovely, and have a very dreamy air to them. They aren’t meant to be practical and real guesses, but to portray a certain image that the poet and author has in their mind.
Dive into these poems if you’re looking for an other-worldly moment that you can find in poetry.
Sometimes poets write about things like heaven as like a dream state or as to creatively paint the image of a certain scenario or feeling that they have going on and want to relay to the readers.
As poets write stories using imagery, it can be taken very literally. And that’s the beauty of art and even poetry specifically, it’s totally open to interpretation and if you want to find their symbolic world of heaven to be more literal and like the heaven that you want to believe in, then it’s all up to you!
The flexibility of art to be interpreted and appreciated in many different ways is the best part of diving into literature and poetry, and it’s a wonderful thing to experience. Enjoy these heaven poems and put stock into them as you see fit.
Popular Themes For Heaven Poems
While I generally think of the more philosophical and artistic kinds of poems for heaven poetry, it’s very common to find poems that are referring to heaven gaining an angel or having a loved one looking down on us when someone we love passes. It’s a therapeutic thought and a very comforting concept. There is plenty of poetry in this sector, as well as the curiosity as to what heaven might be like.
Whether you’re spiritual or not, loss and death will get your gears turning towards thoughts of an afterlife and what that might be like.
If you’re in the grieving process, these kinds of poems can be healing, as well as any that paint the beautiful picture of heaven and what we can only guess it is like.
History Of Heaven In Art
This is a tricky topic, because there has never been an era of time or a culture of art that didn’t include spiritual themes including heaven and the way that it may look if it exists and when we arrive if it does.
From scripture that explicitly describes heaven with the pearly gates and the borderline scary creatures around the throne of God, to the renaissance paintings with stunning people lounging in the clouds with baby cherubs all around them, there’s no lack of ideas of what heaven looks and feels like within history.
They are all up to beautiful interpretation and we each have a different idea of what heaven is like. Even each of the authors of these heaven poems.
As you get ready to dive into these poems, don’t forget that they are all interpretations from people who don’t actually know either what heaven is really like. As you explore different concepts, keep it light hearted and don’t take it too seriously. All we know is that heaven will be a beautiful place.
1. “Heaven”—Is What I Cannot Reach!
“Heaven”—is what I cannot reach!
The Apple on the Tree—
Provided it do hopeless—hang—
That—”Heaven” is—to Me!
The Color, on the Cruising Cloud—
The interdicted Land—
Behind the Hill—the House behind—
Her teasing Purples—Afternoons—
Enamored—of the Conjuror—
That spurned us—Yesterday!
by Emily Dickinson
2. All Nature Has A Feeling
All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.
by John Clare
3. Be Still, My Soul, Be Still
Be still, my soul, be still; the arms you bear are brittle,
Earth and high heaven are fixt of old and founded strong.
Think rather,– call to thought, if now you grieve a little,
The days when we had rest, O soul, for they were long.
Men loved unkindness then, but lightless in the quarry
I slept and saw not; tears fell down, I did not mourn;
Sweat ran and blood sprang out and I was never sorry:
Then it was well with me, in days ere I was born.
Now, and I muse for why and never find the reason,
I pace the earth, and drink the air, and feel the sun.
Be still, be still, my soul; it is but for a season:
Let us endure an hour and see injustice done.
Ay, look: high heaven and earth ail from the prime foundation;
All thoughts to rive the heart are here, and all are vain:
Horror and scorn and hate and fear and indignation–
Oh why did I awake? when shall I sleep again?
by Alfred Edward Housman
4. Heaven Is Not A Place
Heaven is not a place
It is a happening.
It happens in you and me.
The inner beauty
And the serenity
In moments of true love
are its own reward.
In selfless love, heaven happens.
Heaven has no borders,
No distinctions, and
Monopoly of none.
Heaven transcends all religions.
by Dr. Antony Theodore
5. Art Thou Pale For Weariness
Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
6. Hall Of Universal Peace
This midnight bids farewell to parting year
Who then, on chariot Time, his seat vacates.
The New Year succeeds him as Charioteer:
To drive us on, he’s waiting at our gates.
But OURS the choice of paths and destinations:
The Charioteer obeys but our instructions.
We must, to reach the most coveted station
Of PEACE, choose well-lit roads sans obstructions.
Such routes are those of Friendship, Love, Compassion,
Justice, Pardon, Truth and Selflessness.
The dingy lanes of Greed, Envy, Passion,
And Conflict lead to woe and sleeplessness.
Let’s ask the New Year, within time minimal
To drive us to a common rendezvous.
Let’s there construct the Hall of Universal
Peace, each person laying a brick or two.
Let it have Equality-spelling shape –
The rotund one that God has given the world.
Its doors with COLOURLESS curtains let us drape
And let a HUELESS flag be unfurled.
Every year, let’s add a storey more;
Let its height increase step by step
Till, at last, the threshold of its door
Is face to face with our Heaven’s doorstep.
This Heaven-on-Earth – man’s own creation –
Who helps to build of his own volition,
Won’t he find, after life’s duration,
Into Heaven above sure admission?
by Dr. Tulsi Hanumanthu
7. On Looking Up By Chance At The Constellations
You’ll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen in heaven beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves –
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep us sane.
It is true the longest drout will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn’t reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last to-night.
by Robert Frost
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more, day by day,
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be said.
by Christina Georgina Rossetti
9. Remembered in Thy Full Bloom
Thou art remembered in thy full bloom,
a rose grown within my garden of life.
Thou art lost to me and this my doom,
Gone the tender love of my precious wife.
Ill wind had blown, poisoned arrows of fate,
love lost, ever I cry, we reunite.
Tho’, should such be only at Heaven’s gate,
illuminated, in true love’s precious flight.
Thine effect so lives in my lonesome cast
as I meander in my ruthless path,
in darkened dust of my ill-fated past,
dying to break free from this endless wrath.
Yet memories sighs they recall our love,
when we did caress love’s fiery desires.
In wondrous passions our hearts flew above,
Thou art memories ghost, kindling love’s fires.
Pray I, your dream-winds soft and fair tonight,
eager heart leaps to melt in beauty’s glows.
With yellow-moon kisses, all could be right,
our love’s truth, written in destiny’s scrolls.
by Robert J. Lindley, Teppo Gren, and Michael P. Clark
10. God’s Garden
God looked around his garden and found an empty place
He then looked down upon the Earth and saw your tired face
He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest
With the help of his angels they flew you to your heavenly place
Gods garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best
He knew you were suffering, he knew you were in pain
He knew that you would never get well on Earth again
He saw the road was getting rough and the hills too hard to climb
He closed your weary eyelids and whispered “Peace be Thine”
It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn’t go alone
For part of us went with you the day God called you home.
by Melissa Shreve
11. To Those I Love
If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the Silent Way, grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk
Of me as if I were beside you there,
(I’d come… I’d come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me be sad…
For I am loving you just as I always have…
You were so good to me!
There are so many things I wanted still to do…
So many things to say to you…
Remember that I did not fear…
It was just leaving you that was so hard to face…
We cannot see Beyond… But this I know;
I loved you so…
‘Twas heaven here with you!
by Isla Pachal Richardson
12. Go in Peace Dear One
The flowers built their home
upon your earthly grave,
we give thanks in knowing that
by God you have been saved.
Go to the golden city
to be forever with our Lord,
the road of life can be rough
but with God you were able to ford.
Though you will be missed by all you knew,
we know you are in everlasting love that will always be
by Gracie Sullivan
He thinks when we die we’ll go to China.
Think of it—a Chinese heaven
where, except for his blond hair,
the part that belongs to his father,
everyone will look like him.
China, that blue flower on the map,
bluer than the sea
his hand must span like a bridge
to reach it.
An octave away.
I’ve never seen it.
It’s as if I can’t sing that far.
on the map, this black dot.
Here is where we live,
on the pancake plains
just east of the Rockies,
on the other side of the clouds.
A mile above the sea,
the air is so thin, you can starve on it.
No bamboo trees
but the alpine equivalent,
reedy aspen with light, fluttering leaves.
Did a boy in Guangzhou dream of this
as his last stop?
I’ve heard the trains at night
whistling past our yards,
what we’ve come to own,
the broken fences, the whiny dog, the rattletrap cars.
It’s still the wild west,
mean and grubby,
the shootouts and fistfights in the back alley.
With my son the dreamer
and my daughter, who is too young to walk,
I’ve sat in this spot
and wondered why here?
Why in this short life,
this town, this creek they call a river?
He had never planned to stay,
the boy who helped to build
the railroads for a dollar a day.
He had always meant to go back.
When did he finally know
that each mile of track led him further away,
that he would die in his sleep,
having seen Gold Mountain,
the icy wind tunneling through it,
these landlocked, makeshift ghost towns?
It must be in the blood,
this notion of returning.
It skipped two generations, lay fallow,
the garden an unmarked grave.
On a spring sweater day
it’s as if we remember him.
I call to the children.
We can see the mountains
shimmering blue above the air.
If you look really hard
says my son the dreamer,
leaning out from the laundry’s rigging,
the work shirts fluttering like sails,
you can see all the way to heaven.
by Cathy Song
14. A Garden In Paradise
I took her hand beneath the quivering diamond trees
Which shook their hymns upon us in the warm, October sun.
We found paradise in the glades beneath our knees
As flute and horn, wistful and fantastic
Swept through the redolent, scarlet breeze,
Near azure brooks which forever run
Through valley and dale, mellifluous and majestic,
Gracing reeds with currents that shine in gilded rays.
(I love my bride, and her angelic ways.)
The ocean nearby, beyond the alabaster statuary,
Rises with the tide and caresses the purple rocks,
As she reclines on a marble bench with gracility,
Dreaming in her mystic trances, caressing her raven locks.
And the sunset sighs as the fountains rise
To the nascent stars which languishing, hover,
Over the vast and silent courtyard,
As she speaks of things with her sanctified eyes,
To her handsome, young lover,
To her passionate bard.
And our kisses are of ivory nights,
When moonlight sobs, when candle lights
Illuminate the astonishing bower.
Come walk with me, my love, it is the hour
When all seraphs sing their hymns from above.
Come walk with me, my lover, my love!
by John Lars Zwerenz
Heaven they say is the place to be
Up in the skies all I can see
are abstract clouds of glorious seas
Heaven they say is a promised dream
An unseen paradise to me it seems
Which we see only in our dreams
Heaven they say is home
Every inch of it I wish to roam
Heaven they say is the promised land
For the righteous if you understand
Heaven they say is forever
It is forever and after and not never
But I say!
Heaven is the ultimate reward
From the Almighty Lord
by Charles S Mortson
16. Ideas of Heaven
My mother’s idea of heaven was a pulse, nurses
in white spilling light across fields with hurricane
lamps, bandage rolls, syringes, pain killers,
stethoscopes, pressure cuffs, patella hammers.
Twice she almost died herself, and so knew heaven
was not the light moving toward her but the lights
over the operating table, those five blue spheres
a spaceship’s landing gear hovering above
such alien beings as we are. My mother’s idea
of heaven was a jar of peanut butter and saltine
crackers, a patient’s chart and a pot of tea, notes
scribbled in her elegant hand: more Morphine,
Cortizone, Alprazolam. It was a quorum of doctors
in an elevator going up, blood swabbed from the walls,
the smell of bleach following her to the next bed,
the next crisis, the next head she would cradle like
a baby, rubbing gravel from a wound with a
green soap sponge. Plastic gloves, IV stands,
pocket light, Iris scissors, forceps, thermometer,
and her gold Caduceus emblem pin, its coiled snakes
and disembodied wings. Her shoes of breathable
white leather, stain-resistant, slip-resistant, padded
collars, 4-ply pillow-top insole, their signature blue hearts.
Her heaven was smoking Kents while feeding crows
in the parking lot, The God of Sleep, twenty minutes
of uninterrupted unconsciousness, an abyssal cot
in the break room next to a broken ventilator, flat
on her back, her split-shift night-shift back, her spine
with its bolts and bent crossbars, its stripped screws
and bony overgrowths, fusions and cages and allografts.
She was a shaft of light in the inner workings, her touch
a tincture, a gauze dressing, a salve, a room-temp
saline bath. She microwaved blankets
to slide over the dead so when the ones
who loved them filed in to say goodbye,
the body felt warm under their hands.
by Dorianne Laux
17. Eternal Life
We shall live again! how true
That all will live once more!
And in a world most grandly new
Will worship and adore.
Life again! yes, with God, the King,
Who takes us from this earth
That he may greater blessings bring
At our eternal birth.
Live again! yes, with Christ, so dear,
Who taught the splendid truth,
And made the fact so very clear,
Of an immortal youth.
Live again! yes, with dear ones gone
So far from mortal sight!
Live where all hearts shall be like one,
Where all is blessed light.
Thanks, God, for this holy peace,
This greatest gift of thine,
That whilst our earthly part must cease,
As angels we shall shine.
by Caleb Davis Bradlee
18. A Poem Written In Heaven
Heaven is of golden cabins, clad with redolent, diamond snow.
Gilded, angelic streams, through tall, slender grasses flow
To bright, majestic groves of myrtle trees which sway below
Turquoise skies, fulfilling dreams, where lavender-scented breezes go.
Theologians say that paradise knows no change nor night –
Only the cloudless firmament of an infinite, immaculate day.
Yet the astonishing evening reigns in the starry regions of the north,
Bejeweling the sanctified brooks that joyfully tally forth.
Let us go, let us go, my princess, my lover, my only love,
To where the sacred woods are glowing with dappled, silver boughs;
Let us wander there enraptured, as long as love allows –
Lying in the regal reeds – exalted from above!
by John Lars Zwerenz
And his rest shall be glorious. Isa. 11:10
There is a glorious land afar,
Beyond the brightest burning star,
Where peace interminably reigns;
Where soft and balmy breezes blow,
And golden rivers gently flow,
And gladness smiles o’er all the plains.
No groveling thought, no treacherous smile,
No word unkind, no act of guile,
Will e’er disturb the sacred rest:
On every peaceful brow will shine
A living beauty all divine,
And love pervade the sinless breast.
The ills of life, that hover o’er
Our sunniest path, are felt no more;
The cares of earth, a dismal train,
That follow every step we take,
Will there the happy soul forsake,
And not molest her peace again.
At evening, when I sink to rest,
I dream of heaven, the land so blest,
And list to hear the rapturous song.
glorious land! I would I were
In yon pure clime a worshipper,
Amid the bright and sinless throng!
by Daniel C. Colesworthy
20. Preparing For Heaven
The knob on the door to heaven extends to one side alone,
It’s a place of great exaltation with God seated on the throne.
No need for a knob on the inside, it’s a home where all long to go,
Where great joys are never ending and praises ring to and fro.
The key that lets one enter cannot be bought with gold,
No funds or jewels or empires; this key will not be sold.
No power, prestige or position, not tittles or honour or fame,
It’s the wonderful gift of salvation, purchased with love in Christ’s name.
It’s the sacrifice humans can’t offer, no commitment we make can atone;
For sin has tainted our image, it’s Jesus whose holy, alone.
And through God’s great act of mercy, forgiving our failures and sin,
Can we pass through that door of salvation,
Through Christ we’re allowed to come in.
Be assured there’s no other entrance, though many have tried on their own,
The efforts of man are all futile, as Scripture so clearly has shown.
The call to the lost is, “Come hither, earthly belongings are vain,”
Rise to the plea that’s extended, it may not be offered again.
Many are those who will falter, leaving their fate to the last,
Forgetting that time’s of the essence, the dye to their future is cast.
Show God that you are responding, cast aside all your earthly cares,
Prepare for your journey to heaven where all of Christ’s blessings you’ll share.
by Greta Zwaan
21. Oh! If My Weary Soul
Oh! if my weary soul this night,
Should quit its mortal frame.
And from this dreary world take flight,
On the fleet wings of time;
To dust my body would return,
They’d say, She sleeps in death;
But ah! where would my soul he borne
So silently from earth?
Oh! would my soul find rest and peace,
In realms of endless day;
Where all life’s woes and storms would cease
Midst joys that ne’er decay?
Or would it sink to that dark shore.
Of pain and misery,
Where hope, bright star, would gleam no more
Through all eternity?
O God! help me to choose the right,
And ever ready be;
So when I see life’s darksome night,
‘Twill bring no fears for me.
And when my soul is poised to fly
Over the sea of death;
Oh! send bright angels from on high
To bear me from the earth.
by Mary C. Ryan
While none of us really know what heaven is like, it’s a beautiful thing to explore other people’s takes on what they think it might be like. It can be a dangerous thought process to dive into, but it can be so enlightening to do so. You might find new perspectives and views that you hadn’t thought of before, or you might find some ideas that you disagree with– but even disagreeing is still learning and growing.
It’s all subjective and it’s a fun and interesting topic because there is no way we will ever really know what it is like until we’re there.
If you look back through art from any era and from any culture, it usually has a spiritual undertone to it. I think that’s pretty telling about how much our world values spiritual elements in our art, and how we long to process these deeper questions about life in an artistic manor.
If you want to find more poetry along these lines, you might like to read these philosophical poems to spur your thinking.