What are some poems about heaven?


Quick Answer

Some poems about heaven are: "'Heaven' -- Is What I Cannot Reach!", by Emily Dickinson; "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," by William Blake; and "Heaven-Haven," by Gerard Manley Hopkins. "Paradise Lost," by John Milton, is perhaps the most well-known.

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What are some poems about heaven?
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Full Answer

Poems about heaven may express a speaker's longing to reach heaven, skepticism about heaven's existence, or speculation about what heaven might be like. Poets often write about heaven when pondering sin, the soul or God's relationship to humankind. "Paradise Lost," an epic poem by John Milton, is perhaps the most-famous poem about heaven. This poem is over 10,000 lines long and written in blank verse. In "Paradise Lost," Milton announces his intention to "justify the ways of God to men." He proceeds to tell the story of the Fall of mankind after Satan tempts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Emily Dickinson's poem "'Heaven' -- Is What I Cannot Reach!" centers on the experience of pursuing something great and never quite reaching it. Like "Paradise Lost," it suggests the Garden of Eden through the symbol of an apple hanging on a tree. Each of her images, while beautiful, are always distant and out of reach. Dickinson points out the irony of yearning for heaven and God, or "the Conjuror," because He "spurned us" at the Fall. Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Jesuit priest, presents a much more-hopeful view of heaven. In "Heaven-Haven," Hopkins uses images that conjure feelings of peace and tranquility. Hopkins's heaven is a green, quiet place where "no storms come."

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