Toasts and Celebrations

Poems to celebrate successes, salute loved ones, and offer thanks for life’s blessings, big and small.
Illustration/gif of a person holding up a champagne glass in celebration with a crowd.
Poems for Giving Toasts
  • Joshua Weiner

    A quiet mind, a strong body, short hours
       In the office; close friends who speak the truth;
         Good food, cooked simply; a memory that’s rich

  • Du Fu

    We had better empty the wine-cups.
    To-morrow, at bright dawn, the world’s business will entangle us.

  • Tony Hoagland

    and it is good, a way of letting life
    out of the box, uncapping the bottle
    to let the effervescence gush
    through the narrow, usually constricted neck.

    • Appeared in Poetry Magazine Song
    Muriel Rukeyser

    To celebrate the waking, wake.
    Burn in the daylong light;

  • John Greenleaf Whittier

    I feel the earth move sunward,
    I join the great march onward

  • Stanley Plumly

                                          Be of good-cheer,

    my father says, lifting his glass to greet
    a morning in which he's awake to be
    with the birds: or up all night in the sleep
    of the world, alive again, singing.

Poems of Praise and Celebration
Odes to the Little Things
  • Meredith Holmes

                I close my eyes, hear myself
    moan, so grateful to be held this way.

  • Wesley McNair

                                                       Let us praise them  
    in all of their varieties, some skinny  
    as the bands of headphones, some rising  

  • Alicia Ostriker

                    to live and work
    so hard
    God’s love
    washes right through you

  • Marge Piercy

                                                  Season of
    joy for the bee. The green will never
    again be so green,

  • Pablo Neruda

    was the only shape left
    with purpose or direction

  • Dale Ritterbusch

    toes pointing, a smile steeped
    in ceremony, a celebration,

Seize the Day
  • Josephine Miles

    Where we can ponder, celebrate, and reshape
    Not only what we are, where we are from,
    But what in the risk and moment of our day
    We may become.

  • Alfred Noyes

    Now, in a breath, before we, too, grow old,
       We'll mount and sing and spread immortal sails.

    • Appeared in Poetry Magazine Odes
    Ricardo Reis (Fernando Pessoa)

    In each thing, be all. Give all you are
             In the least you ever do.

  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti

    Eat thou and drink; to-morrow thou shalt die.