On Writing Poetry: Gratitude –By Eva Marie Cagley

Updated: Mar 7

Guest writer for "The NZDream" blog

This is the perfect time to write about Gratefulness with Thanksgiving being right around the corner. At times, we think the way our world is going that there is nothing to be grateful for. But I assure you there is. I was looking through the five hundred poems I’ve written and could not believe I didn’t find one on gratefulness.

I once wrote a paper of hundred things I am grateful for. A friend of mine challenged me to do it and I remember at the time I thought there is no way I can come up with a hundred. I found once I got started, it became easier and easier. This would be a good idea to use as a guide to writing your poem or letter on gratitude.

Then I started thinking, wait a minute what about those dedication poems I had written? Those are grateful poems. I was so happy to realize that. That would be another way of writing a poem on this subject; think of a memory you have that tugged at your heart to write about it. To show your gratitude. After all, Thanksgiving is about Giving Thanks!

In my family, we all get together at my brothers’ house and have a huge turkey and ham meal. We are grateful to be able to all get together, as we have a very large family with my parents having had nine children. When my mother was alive, we all gathered at her house. But my parents have both passed on now and I am grateful my brother has a large enough house to gather at. We are all only able to get together at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I am also grateful for my extended family that is close to us that we consider one of the family and my friends on Facebook. I am grateful to each one of you. You often put a smile on my face and keep me company on a lonely night. I have written a few poems about being grateful for internet friends.

Then I was thinking about it, and I realized that I had also written a lot of poems about my Higher Power. All of those were grateful as well.

It’s funny how we view our own poetry at times and even we must search within them for the meanings they convey.

Doesn’t it feel good inside to do something for someone else and in doing so, we often find we are doing it for ourselves as well?

Gratitude is combined with a desire to repay others for what they have given. We feel grateful or express our gratitude, but we have a sincere desire to give back. It could be an appreciation that causes us to feel an obligation to give back from being supported and cared for by others.

These principles help us in writing poetry on gratitude. It’s about putting compassion in our poetry.

Think of a memory or experience you had that tugged at your heart and then write about it.

Here are some principles of gratitude.

1. Gratitude is an objective of life circumstance

2. Gratitude is a way of self-expression

3. We often take things for grated

4. Gratitude is knowledge that we have not earned or deserve all we have been given

5. Expressing through deeds and words enhances our experience of gratitude

All of these help us in writing poetry on gratitude and how just plain writing comes into play.

It is putting compassion in our poetry and our secret-ness to happiness!

Gratitude Definition:

The noun- thankfulness, thanks, recognition, obligation, appreciation, indebtedness, sense of obligation, gratefulness.

This is a dedication poem of mine conveying gratitude:


I see you as a man father In my eyes as a woman. I feel your strength Your pride within, And I love you!

You taught me how to stand up And fight for what I believe in. This is so much a part of me today. My survival within And I love you for it.

I respect you dad! For holding us all together as a family. For providing and believing in us. For doing your best. Even when we didn't think it was good enough.

For all the gifts given, to show your love. For never turning any of us away. You have always been the rock. I see you now as the man you've become. And I thank God for the man you are today!

Fathers aren't made to be perfect They keep learning along the way. And children aren't made to be perfect. We keep learning every day. Even when we go astray.

So have a happy Father’s Day dad! And remember we all love you. Even though none of us say it enough. I hold onto the good memories Of childhood and lessons learnt along the way.

Like when I came back home that day from running The love you showed to me has always stayed within me. I never felt closer to you Than when you welcomed me home to stay! I love you Dad!

©Eva Marie Dunlap Father's Day "2005"

As you can see, this was written in 2005 when my father was still alive. Looking back now, I am grateful I wrote this for him while he was still alive to read it.

Why not write that gratitude poem or letter today… Happy Penning, © Eva Marie Cagley

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