20 Amazing 7th Grade Poems Your Students Will Love

Everyone can benefit from poetry, from young kids to middle schoolers and high school students to adults.

That being said…

For a middle school student, reading a great poem can intrigue their interests while showing them about literary devices like figurative language, word choice, sonnet form, and rhyme scheme, and teaching them a great lesson.

Teaching poetry to your middle schooler can also push them to excel in a poetry unit and maybe even write their poems for middle school.

So if you want to expand your middle schoolers’ collection of favorite poems, keep reading as we’ll showcase 20 famous poems for middle school kids by renowned poets.

1. Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

This Robert Frost poem is one of the most profound poems for seventh graders to analyze. It highlights the mesmerizing beauty of life and its impermanence.

However, the fleeting nature of life is beautiful, as Robert Frost stresses by comparing it to the sunrise.

2. Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

mother holding card with son

“Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes is a very relatable poem for 7th graders, who will read this piece for a perspective on what it’s like to be a mother fighting for the welfare of her son.

It’s also one of the most emotional poems for 7th graders on this list, as Hughes reminds the reader of how hard life can be and how they need to stay strong through it.

3. I’m Nobody! Who Are You? by Emily Dickinson

Traditional 7th-grade poetry in school often neglects an essential aspect of early teen life: the conflict between loneliness and companionship.

That’s what Emily Dickinson addresses with her beautiful poem “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” which shows that no matter how much self-reliance you have, you’ll still long for companionship.

4. Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Some creative middle school students write a lot about their hardships. And if they’re looking for inspiration on being patient through the difficulties in life, they’ll enjoy “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.

In this poem, Angelou showcases a resilient character who stands firm in the face of a jealous enemy who tries to tarnish them.

5. Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

sonnet poem by shakespeare

It’s hard to talk about great literary works without mentioning William Shakespeare, who needs no introduction.

Sonnet 18 is a romantic poem where the narrator talks to their lover, comparing this mysterious person to a summer’s day. The word choice in this poem is outdated, but we value older poetry for 7th graders as it shows the beauty of archaic English.

6. Eating Poetry by Mark Strand

“Eating Poetry” is an unusual poem. The narrative is set in a library, where a man is said to be ecstatic while eating poetry as the librarian watches in confusion.

Of course, this poem shouldn’t be taken literally. But it can be one of the funny poems for 7th graders, who should try to extract a deeper meaning from it.

7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” conveys a different emotion than most poems 7th graders are used to. However, it’s just what a student needs to understand the different sides to poetry.

The poem talks about the end of life and how a person hangs desperately onto life for as long as possible. It’s also said that Dylan Thomas wrote it for his dying father.

8. A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

lovely couple with lake background

This poem can be split into two halves. In the first half, the poet talks about the devastating loss of his wife.

The second half describes the poet embarking on an emotional journey. He never forgets how much he loved his wife. But as he copes with the pain, he wonders if it was all a dream.

9. The Great Figure by William Carlos Williams

“The Great Figure” is a different poem from those you may be used to. It’s a little poem with only 13 lines of 31 words.

It talks about a firetruck speeding through the city with no time to stop for a second. This resembles the poem itself since it’s short and quick.

10. I, Too by Langston Hughes

This is a perfect poem for an English teacher to give their students during black history month. Langston Hughes talks about the racism that African-Americans faced during the Harlem Renaissance.

And although the poem is short, it delivers a powerful message that he is, first and foremost, an American, despite his skin color.

11. So You Want to Be a Writer? by Charles Bukowski

young female writing in a paper

Another poem that breaks the fourth wall, is a kind of mentor text to inspiring writers, guiding them to let the writing come to them instead of actively chasing the hobby.

12. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth

“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is another poem that analyzes the beauty of our world by painting a calm valley scene with an attractive daffodil field next to a fluttering river.

13. The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

Parents of science fiction lovers, we haven’t forgotten about you! The Listeners describes a traveler with his horse knocking on a house’s door, only to realize it’s “abandoned” when they go in, except the house isn’t abandoned as it’s full of ghosts.

14. Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson

businessman meeting with peers

A simple yet strong poem, “Richard Cory” tells the story of its namesake character: a wealthy and presentable gentleman whose peers are jealous without knowing what he’s going through.

Apart from the message, Richard Cory teaches students about rhyme schemes with its simple ABAB pattern.

15. This Is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams

With only 28 words, this short poem seems chaotic but can inspire a great discussion among students searching for a deeper meaning behind the simple words.

16. We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

“We Real Cool” is only 24 words long, but that’s the point! Gwendolyn Brooks is getting her message across in the most minimalist way.

The message itself is intentionally ambiguous, and it’s good practice for students to learn how to interpret something that isn’t instantly clear.

17. Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

baseball player with bat image

Poets don’t frequently write about sports, but if you haven’t picked up the hint already, the “bat” in the title refers to baseball.

“Casey at the Bat”, tells the story of Casey, the star player of a failing baseball team, who crumbles under fan pressure and costs his team the game.

18. Daddy by Sylvia Plath

Unlike most poems that talk about parents, “Daddy” is different, as it swings between how Sylvia held her father highly before his death to implying he was a Nazi.

This gives the readers an idea of what it’s like to experience such a difficult loss during childhood.

19. Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

Although Carroll didn’t live that long ago, his writing looks like it came from Shakespearean times, which is dazzling when combined with his exotic narration.

“Jabberwocky” follows an ABAB CDCD rhyme scheme through its seven stanzas, which talk about the hunt for the Jabberwocky.

20. Having a Coke with You by Frank O’Hara

friends holding cola outdoor picture

Frank O’Hara is known for his appeal to everyday people by writing about the most mundane things of life.

And although a bit cliche, this romantic poem addresses the narrator’s lover and starts by saying how the narrator prefers a coke with this lover over a trip to Europe.

Jump In: Appreciating poem reading by 7th-grade students encourages writing down their thoughts and expressing their creativity using simple but engaging words. Make their self-expression more meaningful by providing them with Engaging 7th Grade Writing Prompts For Creative Essays!

Final Words

It’s important to pick a variety of poems for middle school kids depending on their academic level, interest in literature, hobbies, and experience with poetry, among other factors.

But however you decide to integrate poetry into your kid’s curriculum, make sure the poems have an applicable moral to teach your kid, and never hesitate to experiment with bold poetry.

Last Updated on July 24, 2022 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.

Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more teaching fun!

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