Great Poems to Read on Thanksgiving Day

Updated on September 13, 2019
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Linda is an amateur artist and photographer who loves to travel with her husband of 37 years.

These poems are perfect to read at your Thanksgiving Day celebration.
These poems are perfect to read at your Thanksgiving Day celebration. | Source

Thanksgiving Poems

One of my favorite things to do at Thanksgiving (besides giving thanks) is to remember back to the olden days when life was simpler and families would sit around for hours talking to each other, sharing stories, remembering old times. Someone would always come up with an old poem or saying that would make us smile or laugh. I hope you enjoy this light and simple page about this special day.


Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year;
to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow,
which may mean every day,
or once in seven days,
at least

~By Edward Sandford Martin

Thanksgiving Funnies


First Thanksgiving

Venison for stew and roasting,

Oysters in the ashes toasting,

Geese done to a turn,

Berries (dried) and

wild grapes (seeded)

Mixed with dough and gently kneaded~

What a feast to earn! Indian corn in strange disguises,

Ash cakes, hoe cakes (many sizes),

Kernels roasted brown...

After months of frugal living

What a welcome first Thanksgiving

There in Plymouth town.

~By Aileen Fisher

If the Only Prayer

you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.

~Meister Eckhart

Nature, Autumn

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry's cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I'll put a trinket on.

~Emily Dickinson

I am thankful for turkeys!
I am thankful for turkeys! | Source

A Thanksgiving Fable

It was a hungry pussy cat,

upon Thanksgiving morn,

And she watched a thankful little mouse,

that ate an ear of corn.

"If I ate that thankful little mouse,

how thankful he should be,

When he has made a meal himself,

to make a meal for me!

"Then with his thanks for having fed,

and his thanks for feeding me,

With all his thankfulness inside,

how thankful I shall be!"

Thus mused the hungry pussy cat,

upon Thanksgiving Day;

But the little mouse had overheard

and declined (with thanks) to stay.

~by Oliver Herford

Over the River

(Thanksgiving Day)

Over the river and through the wood

To Grandmother's house we go.

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood

Oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the toes

And bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood

To have a first-rate play.

Hear the bells ring,


Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,

Trot fast, my dapple gray!

Spring over the ground

Like a hunting hound,

For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,

And straight through the barnyard gate.

We seem to go

Extremely slow~

It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood~

Now Grandmother's cap I spy!

Hurrah for fun!

Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

~By Linda Maria Child

Let us remember that,

as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.

~Theodore Roosevelt



Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,

An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;

An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they

Are growin more beautiful day after day;

Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,

Buildin' the old family circle again;

Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,

Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door

And under the old roof we gather once more

Just as we did when the youngsters were small;

Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.

Father's a little bit older, but still

Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.

Here we are back at the table again

Tellin' our stories as women an men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;

Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.

Home from the east land an' home from the west,

Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.

Out of the sham of the cities afar

We've come for a time to be just what we are.

Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,

Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun

When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;

Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,

Let me sit down with the ones I love best,

Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,

See the old faces unblemished by wrong,

See the old table with all of its chairs

An I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

~ By (Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)

A Thanksgiving Dinner

Take a turkey, stuff it fat,

Some of this and some of that.

Get some turnips, peel them well.

Cook a big squash in its shell.

Now potatoes, big and white,

Mash till they are soft and light.

Cranberries, so tart and sweet,

With the turkey we must eat.

Pickles-yes-and then, oh my!

For a dessert a pumpkin pie,

Golden brown and spicy sweet.

What a fine Thanksgiving treat!

~ By Maude M. Grant

We can only

be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~Thornton Wilder

A Thanksgiving Poem

The sun hath shed its kindly light,

Our harvesting is gladly o'er,

Our fields have felt no killing blight,

Our bins are filled with goodly store.

From pestilence, fire, 'flood, and sword

We have been spared by thy decree,

And now with humble hearts, O Lord,

We come to pay our thanks to thee.

We feel that had our merits been

The measure of thy gifts to us,

We erring children, born of sin,

Might not now be rejoicing thus.

No deed of ours hath brought us grace;

When thou wert nigh our sight was dull,

We hid in trembling from thy face,

But thou, O God, wert merciful.

Thy mighty hand o'er all the land

Hath still been open to bestow

Those blessings which our wants demand

From heaven, whence all blessings flow.

Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,

Looked down on us with holy care,

And from thy storehouse in the sky

Hast scattered plenty everywhere.

Then lift we up our songs of praise

To thee, O Father, good and kind;

To thee we consecrate our days;

Be thine the temple of each mind.

With incense sweet our thanks ascend;

Before thy works our powers pall;

Though we should strive years without end,

We could not thank thee for them all.

~by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

is a jewel,

to set in the hearts of honest men;

but be careful

that you do not take the day,

and leave out the gratitude.

~ By E.P. Powell

Forever on Thanksgiving Day

The heart will find the pathway home.

~Wilbur D. Nesbit

Two Thanksgiving Poems by Emerson

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

For flowers that bloom about our feet;

For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;

For song of bird, and hum of bee;

For all things fair we hear or see,

Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

To Speak Gratitude

is courteous and pleasant,

to enact gratitude

is generous and noble,

but to live gratitude

is to touch Heaven.

~Johannes A. Gaertner

A Poem

He who thanks but with the lips

Thanks but in part;

The full, the true Thanksgiving

Comes from the heart.

~J.A. Shedd

Thank You!

I am thankful everyday for those of you that visit my lenses!

Thank you so much, I really appreciate you!


Thank you!

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    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      Beautifully done! I love the way you presented "Holiday Letters." We liked to sing "Over the River" on the way to my grandparents' house. I'm happy to discover so many other ways to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for another fantastic blog. Where else could I get this kind of information written in such an incite full way? I have a project that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such information..


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hey this is amazing Stuff on your lens. I am really very Impressed to your effort. I am new on SQUIDOO and just just open your lens first time. Thank you very much for sharing this lot of stuff.


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    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      9 years ago from Templeton, CA

      What a beautifully designed lens! Many of the poems were new to me.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a wonderful lens to read on Thanksgiving day!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Congratulations for being included on the Best of Lists, 75 Lenses You Shouldn't Miss This Thanksgiving by SquidTeam, and Happy Thanksgiving! - Kathy

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Heartiest Congratulations to being selected by the SquidTeam. Very well-deserving with lovely poems and pictures!

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 

      9 years ago from Earth

      Great lens - well deserving of a Thanksgiving Blessing from a Squidoo Angel.

    • DeborahHutto Ba profile image

      DeborahHutto Ba 

      9 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanksgiving is always a special time of year for families.

    • sarita garg profile image


      10 years ago from Hisar

      Fantastic lens. I must say.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Beautiful Thanksgiving lens. Lensrolling to my Thanksgiving Prayer lens and leaving you with a Squid Angel blessing.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      10 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Wonderful Collection of Poems. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    • eccles1 profile image


      10 years ago

      How beautiful ! I love thanksgiving

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      10 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Wonderful lens! My you be blessed on thanksgiving and every day! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • ZenandChic profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow! I love this lens! It looks great and I love the poetry!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      10 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love the lens - you've captured so many of poems for the season!

    • imolaK profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens.I like the poems.


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