Of the thousands of flowers in the world, tulips are among the most recognized. They are very popular in paintings, drawings, and illustrations, and are known for their vibrant colors like red, pink, yellow, and orange.
Many people and places have chosen tulips as their symbol because of their beauty. In Iran, where tulips originated centuries ago, it is customary to bring a tulip during Nowruz, the country’s traditional New Year, to signal the advent of spring.
Today, the Netherlands and the US are famous for beautiful, rolling tulip farms that tourists from all over the world visit.
Poets and other writers have also paid tribute to this beloved flower in their poems. From admiration to love and even sadness, here are 13 beautiful tulip poems worth reading.
Tulip Poems From Famous Writers
In a poem featuring the tulip, Sylvia Plath contrasts the flower’s liveliness with her drab situation in the hospital. This poem is one of the most popular poems about tulips and also a favorite from Plath. Read her work and other tulip poems from widely acclaimed poets below.
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.
2. Photograph and Yellow Tulips
Smile please. And so we smile. Pose that
never was, time that could never be! And
the long-necked tulips sinuous out of the vase
bend over the polished table entranced
by their own puffed and smudgy reflections.
3. Colors passing through us
Purple as tulips in May, mauve
into lush velvet, purple
as the stain blackberries leave
on the lips, on the hands,
the purple of ripe grapes
sunlit and warm as flesh.
Every day I will give you a color,
like a new flower in a bud vase
on your desk. Every day
I will paint you, as women
color each other with henna
on hands and on feet.
4. Hora Stellatrix
The stars hang thick in the apple tree,
The south wind smells of the pungent sea,
Gold tulip cups are heavy with dew.
The night’s for you, Sweetheart, for you!
Starfire rains from the vaulted blue.
Listen! The dancing of unseen leaves.
A drowsy swallow stirs in the eaves.
Only a maiden is sorrowing.
’T is night and spring, Sweetheart, and spring!
Starfire lights your heart’s blossoming.
5. The Tulip
She slept beneath a tree
Remembered but by me.
I touched her cradle mute;
She recognized the foot,
Put on her carmine suit, ?
Beautiful Tulip Poetry
These poems use tulips to talk about springtime, life, love, and beauty. Rich with imagery, these tulip poems will make you want to experience the world in spring.
6. At The Bridal Shop
The gowns and dresses hang
like fleece in their glaring
the ruffled matrimonial love in which the brides-
in-waiting dance around, expectantly,
hummingbirds to tulips.
—Joseph O. Legaspi
7. Waving Goodbye
Trees bent toward us, mere shadows
of themselves, their shadows
more substantial than the trees themselves.
The sky at one o’clock
a milky white, light-filled,
yet without sun or cloud. And beds
of tulips rising from the groundswell,
each one a little mouth.
I knelt beside you on one knee,
caught up in walls of air
I couldn’t touch or see, the outer world
around me wavering, as on a hot summer day.
8. The Garden Year
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.
9. What April Proscribes
To pick a tulip from the garden, the red one. To put it on the desk
In the small blue vase, here. No,
To incline toward it then, as if the flower could teach me something
Of its art.
Of my own art.
When did we forget we were knit by waves,
Not mind? Fomented in dirt, brazenly
We rose from all fours and, from the wrenching losses of dusk,
Conjugated our lullabies.
Tulips As A Symbol In Poems
Tulips are an iconic symbol that many poets use throughout their poems. Here are some beautiful lines that will make you reflect.
I am a garden of red tulips
And late daffodils and bay-hedges,
A small sunk garden
About an oblong pool
With three grey lead Dutch tanks—
I am this garden shattered and blown
With a day-long western gale
And bursts of rapid rain.
11. Here, the Sparrows Were, All Along
The garden’s hallelujahs: tulips & rhododendrons, alive
in the ground. We expect so much
of life. Once, I was a child. Then, a child
was locked inside me. Now, a different
country claims us. Tie my hands
to the wind. Strip my mouth of any country
that doesn’t fit. Sorrow the sparrow’s
steel cord & textile torso. Its irrational wings.
12. From Euphoria
Having the wind slip in under our belt loops, though I gently refuse
Gor-Tex, and you bet I will not concede the game. Those small red
Balloons like tulips in your eyes specs of amber, an amulet, an avatar,
My thoughts of you fully indexed, ready to step into.
13. To Spring
Along with snowdrops, forsythia, anemone,
along with tulips breaking out of their bulbs,
comes the long memory of the fatal spring
when I was thirty-three and my love wasn’t there,
had gone without waiting and said she’d return,
but winter’s work done, was still gone.
More Poems You’ll Love
Poetry has been around for so long and has been written by almost everyone at one point in their lives. It’s difficult not to find a poem about what you’re feeling today or a topic you want to read about. Below, we share more poems about other topics you might be interested in:
- 23 Incredible Rumi Poems. Rumi has published over 6,000 poems, amongst other works. His ideas about life unite humans as a species, and highlight how, though our lives are different, we all experience the same emotions, including joy, pain, love, and longing. Take a look at these 23 Rumi poems for some inspiration and much-needed reflection!
- 23 Poems About Confidence. Reading poems about confidence that describes struggles and overcoming difficulties can be inspiring and encouraging. We often find strength in ourselves when we read about strength in others. If you need a little pick-me-upper, we highly recommend these poems!
- 53+ Amazing Sister Poems. Since they have been in our lives forever, we sometimes forget to tell our sisters how important they are to us. If you are looking for “poems for my sister,” this list of happy and funny sister poems will help portray that love and bond that only you two can understand.