What Are Some Good Poems for a Sermon?


Quick Answer

Several appropriate poems for a sermon are "Death, Be Not Proud" and "A Hymn to God the Father" by John Donne, and "The Lamb" and "The Tyger" by William Blake. Both men were religious. John Donne wrote in the early 17th century and Blake in the late 18th century.

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Full Answer

"Death, Be Not Proud" is a poem about the ultimate inability of death to triumph. The final line "Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die" speaks to the Christian hope of resurrection. This poem would be appropriate at a funeral, or in any sermon that deals with the resurrection. In "A Hymn to God the Father," Donne struggles with and overcomes his fear of death, trusting in God at the end. Blake's poems contrast the meek nature of Jesus with the more awesome and terrifying aspects of God. In "The Lamb" he points out the humility of Christ: "He is meek and he is mild // He became a little child." In "The Tyger" Blake wonders how the same God could make such a fearsome animal: "When the stars threw down their spears // And water'd heaven with their tears: // Did he smile his work to see? // Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" Both of these poems would be useful in a sermon that seeks to explain how God can be a tender friend, yet a fearsome foe of those who do evil.

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