Here’s a novel idea! What if we find friendship poems all year long, and share them with our besties or those who are in need of a pick-me-up? While the Academy of American Poets claims April as the official month of poetry, there’s no reason why we can’t carry a haiku in our pockets in November, or place sticky notes full of sonnets all over our windows in February.
Certainly, one of the best places to uncover poems for friends is inside several amazing children’s poetry anthologies that are available in your local bookstores or libraries. While discovering poems specifically about friendship is tricky, here are some possibilities. These poems express a range of emotions, from the fear of monsters under the bed to a yeti searching for love. May your young reader discover the perfect poem to share with a friend, old or new.
*Poems used with author permission.
7 Anthology Friendship Poems to Share with a Friend
GNOMES AND UNGNOMES: POEMS OF HIDDEN CREATURES (The Writer’s Loft) by The Writer’s Loft authors and illustrators.
With a wide age range (2-18 years), this fun-filled anthology contains poems about many oft-overlooked mythological creatures. Over 100 authors and illustrators comprise this collection filled with mermaids, gnomes, and even a Cambrian dragon, along with a mix of poetic forms for teachers and librarians alike. One might wonder how these funky critters can offer a tip or two on friendship? Check out the friendship poem by Audrey Day-Williams below to see that a yeti could hold the key to love. This might be perfect poem to include in a Valentine’s Day card. Pub date: October 30, 2023
LEGENDARY LOVE NOTE
Hot sauce comes from dragons’ tears,
fairies poop confetti,
leprechauns burp rainbows,
but I am just a yeti.
I sometimes smell like pickle juice;
my feet are big and sweaty.
Can you find room inside your heart
to love this hairy yeti?
THE PROPER WAY TO MEET A HEDGEHOG AND OTHER HOW-TO POEMS (Candlewick Press) selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Richard Jones.
Sharing tips with a good friend on how to deal with a monster seems like a good idea. After all, you can’t be the only one who is afraid of creatures that go bump in the night. Any friend worth their weight in gold will be there to help frighten those scary critters away. Pub date: February 25, 2019
Keep a light on, that’s the thing.
All closets open, too.
Every fifteen minutes say:
I’m not afraid of you.
Excerpt from “How to Scare Monsters” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
SCHOOL PEOPLE (WordSong) selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated Ellen Shi.
A child encounters many people throughout the day who help at school. From a coach and a nurse, to the lunch lady and custodian, a child can discover a listening ear or new song. Even those who are sometimes overlooked, find gratitude in the pages of Hopkins anthology, as with the bus driver below. Why not deliver a friendship poem to the one who drives the big yellow bus? Pub Date: February 13, 2018
Your good-morning smile
a folding double door;
to work and play,
to laugh, to learn—explore.
Excerpt from “Bus Driver” by Matt Forrest Esenwine
THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE (Millbrook Press) edited by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Marlena Myles.
It’s wonderful to be grateful for gifts and people in a younger reader’s life. Each poem in this anthology is written using a unique poetic form, so there are many ways to learn about gratitude. Sometimes you’ll want to share a dream or two with a friend, something that lies deep in your heart. With that special friend, you won’t have any fear about expressing your wildest dreams. How about exchanging a line like this, which paints a metaphor through a sunset? Pub date: September 3, 2019
PAINT THE SUNSET
Paint the sunset with your eyes.
Sculpt the morning with your heart.
Brush your dreams with light and laughter.
Make your life a work of art.
THE BEAUTY OF THE BEAST: POEMS FORM THE ANIMAL KINGDOM (Alfred A. Knopf) selected by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Meilo So.
How can you go wrong with a poem by Robert Frost? Especially a poem about the snow and a bird. We’ve come to realize how smart crows can be. They might even be purposeful in their actions toward a poet. Sometimes, we can even share the mood that we’re in with a friend. Why not? You might want to ask how they feel in return. Into a cold day, a dusting of snow from a crow on a passerby is playful, and it has the power to change the poet’s mood. Pub Date: March 14, 2006
DUST OF SNOW
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
from a hemlock tree
Has given my heat
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
FOR EVERY LITTLE THING (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)selected by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling.
With poems ranging from morning until night, a reader can find a friendship poem “to celebrate the day” in this collection. Not only can we discover a wide variety of friends in “All My Friends,” but we learn that we need to love ourselves as well. Pub date: Sept 21, 2021.
ALL MY FRIENDS
Thank you, God,
for animal friends
and people friends,
for pretend friends
and school friends,
for family friends
and neighborhood friends,
and thank you, God, for me
because I’m a friend too!
NIGHT WISHES (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Jen Corace.
A best friend is a good listener. Ideally, that could be a friend from school or the playground, but when you’re heading off to bed, it might be the stars above. In this collection, Hopkins works his magic again, imagining the many goodnight wishes that await a young girl as she floats off to sleep. The stars are like friends who are willing to listen all night to whatever she has to say. Pub date: September 5, 2020.
Tell us your wishes
and close your eyes tight.
No need to hurry—
we listen all night.
Excerpt from “Stars” by Deborah Ruddell
Here’s to surprising a friend or two with a poem, even though it’s not the month of April!
Dive into an anthology or two to find more. Perhaps the winter doldrums are the best time to bring a word or two of hope into a friend’s life.
Even if the poem isn’t about friendship itself, it can make your friend think about good-morning smiles and night wishes. After all, when you’re on the lookout for poetry all around you, you’ll want to exchange friendship poems with a friend.