Some poems for a graduation are "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost and "If" by Rudyard Kipling. A saying for a graduation is "The sidelines are not where you want to live your life...No matter what you do next, the world needs your energy," by Tim Cook.
First published in 1916, "The Road Not Taken" is a popular poem by Robert Frost that is usually interpreted as encouraging boldness in choosing one's path in life. In the poem, Frost remarks on facing the choice of two diverging roads on his journey, and deciding to take "the one less traveled by," concluding this choice "has made all the difference." In the context of a graduation, this poem provides encouraging and useful advice for dealing with eventual, weightier life choices.
Written by Nobel prize-winning poet Rudyard Kipling, the poem "If" was originally intended as advice for Kipling's son John. It contains general advice for dealing with life's problems, advocating stoicism and unwavering steadfastness in the face of adversity while discouraging boastfulness and pride. Throughout the poem, Kipling lays out a series of conditional statements beginning with "If," concluding that these statements form the criteria for becoming a true man. With advice that can be relevant to new graduates, the poem urges the reader to "dream - and not make dreams your master" and "keep your head," encouraging the reader to pursue success while remaining grounded.
For a more modern flavor, the saying from Tim Cook, chief executive officer of successful technology company Apple, is relevant for a graduation. Originally part of a graduation speech addressed to the 2015 class of George Washington University, the quote advises graduates to change the world. Cook points out that society has many problems and is in need of people to provide solutions.