21 Heart-Fluttering Poems About Butterflies

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Here are my favorite poems about butterflies categorized:

  • Short poems about butterflies
  • Famous poems about butterflies
  • Inspirational poems about butterflies
  • Poems about butterflies and love

So if you want the best poems about butterflies, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

21 Best Poems About Butterflies (Handpicked)

Heart-Fluttering Poems About Butterflies

Embrace the beauty and symbolism of butterflies with this collection of the best poems about butterflies.

From works that capture the delicate grace and vivid colors of these winged creatures to pieces that explore the many ways in which butterflies have been used as a symbol of transformation.

These poems offer a glimpse into the many ways in which we find meaning and inspiration in the natural world.

Featuring works by some of the greatest poets of all time, as well as contemporary voices that capture the modern-day experience of encountering butterflies.

This heart-fluttering collection of butterfly-themed poems showcases the enduring appeal and significance of these magical creatures.

If you’re yearning to bask in the breathtaking beauty of butterflies, these enchanting poems are guaranteed to captivate your senses and ignite your imagination, leaving you both delighted and inspired.

Let’s get right to it!

My #1 Favorite Poem About Butterflies

Butterfly on jasmine flower against the blue sky.

“The Genesis of Butterflies” by Victor Hugo

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide!
Ah, Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April, and before the May time
Shredded and flown, play things for the wind’s play-time,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to Butterflies.

Short Poems About Butterflies

Flower and butterfly on the beach

“Butterfly” by John B. Tabb

Butterfly, Butterfly, sipping the sand,
Have you forgotten the flowers of the land?
Or are you so sated with honey and dew
That sand-filtered water tastes better to you?

“Butterflies” by Leigh Gordon Giltner

As if a bed of bloom had taken wing—
Bright marigolds, nasturtiums, zinnias gay—
They breast the breeze or, lightly poising, cling
To other flowers not animate as they.

“The Butterfly” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Butterfly the ancient Grecians made
The soul’s fair emblem, and its only name—
But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade
Of earthly life!—For in this mortal frame
Our’s is the reptile’s lot, much toil, much blame,
Manifold motions making little speed,
And to deform and kill the things whereon we feed.

Yellow wild flowers and butterflies in spring.

“Advice to a Butterfly” by Maxwell Bodenheim

Aimless petal of the wind,
Spinning gently weird circles,
To the flowers underneath
You are a drunken king of motion;
To the plunging winds above
You are momentary indecision.
Aimless petal of the wind,
Waver carelessly against this June.
The universe, like you, is but
The drowsy arm of stillness
Spinning gently weird circles in his sleep.

“Pair of Scrolls” by Ho Shao-chi

Shoals of fish assemble and scatter,
Suddenly there is no trace of them.

The single butterfly comes—
Returning as though urged by love.

“Two Butterflies Went Out at Noon” by Emily Dickinson

Two Butterflies went out at Noon—
And waltzed above a Farm—
Then stepped straight through the Firmament
And rested on a Beam—

And then—together bore away
Upon a shining Sea—
Though never yet, in any Port—
Their coming mentioned—be—

If spoken by the distant Bird—
If met in Ether Sea
By Frigate, or by Merchantman—
No notice—was—to me—

Bee and butterfly flying over flowers

“The Butterfly and the Bee” by William Lisle Bowles

Methought I heard a butterfly
Say to a labouring bee,
Thou hast no colours of the sky
On painted wings, like me.

Poor child of vanity! those dyes,
And colours bright and rare,
With mild reproof, the bee replies,
Are all beneath my care.

Content I toil from morn till eve,
And, scorning idleness,
To tribes of gawdy sloth I leave
The vanities of dress.

Famous Poems About Butterflies

Cherry blossom in wild and butterfly.

“The Butterfly’s Day” by Emily Dickinson

From cocoon forth a butterfly
As lady from her door
Emerged — a summer afternoon —
Repairing everywhere,

Without design, that I could trace,
Except to stray abroad
On miscellaneous enterprise
The clovers understood.

Her pretty parasol was seen
Contracting in a field
Where men made hay, then struggling hard
With an opposing cloud,

Where parties, phantom as herself,
To Nowhere seemed to go
In purposeless circumference,
As ‘t were a tropic show.

And notwithstanding bee that worked,
And flower that zealous blew,
This audience of idleness
Disdained them, from the sky,

Till sundown crept, a steady tide,
And men that made the hay,
And afternoon, and butterfly,
Extinguished in its sea.

“To a Butterfly (2)” by William Wordsworth

I’ve watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers;
Here rest your wings when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We’ll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.

“Butterflies” by Rudyard Kipling

Eyes aloft, over dangerous places,
The children follow the butterflies,
And, in the sweat of their upturned faces,
Slash with a net at the empty skies.

So it goes they fall amid brambles,
And sting their toes on the nettle-tops,
Till, after a thousand scratches and scrambles,
They wipe their brows and the hunting stops.

Then to quiet them comes their father
And stills the riot of pain and grief,
Saying, “Little ones, go and gather
Out of my garden a cabbage-leaf.

“You will find on it whorls and clots of
Dull grey eggs that, properly fed,
Turn, by way of the worm, to lots of
Glorious butterflies raised from the dead.”

“Heaven is beautiful, Earth is ugly,”
The three-dimensioned preacher saith;
So we must not look where the snail and the slug lie
For Psyche’s birth…. And that is our death!

Colorful butterfly amidst field flowers.

“Quest” by Clark Ashton Smith

All beneath a wintering sky
Follow the wastrel butterfly;
With vermilion leaf or bronze—
Tatters of gorgeous gonfalons—
With the winds that always hold
Echo of clarions lost and old,—
We must hasten, hasten on
Tow’rd the azure world withdrawn,
We must wander, wander so
Where the ruining roses go;
Where the poplar’s pallid leaves
Drift among the gathered sheaves
In that harvest none shall glean;
Where the twisted willows lean
In their strange, tormented woe,
Seeing, on the streamlet’s flow
Half their fragile leaves depart;
Where the secret pines at heart,
High, funereal, vespertine,
Guard eternal sorrows green:—
We shall follow, we shall find,
Haply, ere the light is blind,
The moulded place where Beauty lay,
Moon-beheld until the day,
In the woven windlestrae;
Or the pool of tourmaline,
Rimmed with golden reeds, that was
In the dawn a tiring-glass
For her undelaying mien.

Ever wander, wander so,
Where the ruining roses go;
All beneath a wintering sky,
Follow the wastrel butterfly.

“To a Butterfly (1)” by William Wordsworth

Stay near me—do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in Thee,
Historian of my Infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring’st, gay Creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My Father’s Family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when in our childish plays
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chaced the Butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:—with leaps and springs
I follow’d on from brake to bush;
But She, God love her! feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.

Inspirational Poems About Butterflies

a delicate butterfly flies away from a woman's hand.

“Easter” by Joyce Kilmer

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.

“The Butterfly” by Jane Taylor, Ann Taylor

The Butterfly, an idle thing,
Nor honey makes, nor yet can sing,
As do the bee and bird;
Nor does it, like the prudent ant,
Lay up the grain for times of want,
A wise and cautious hoard.

My youth is but a summer’s day:
Then like the bee and ant I’ll lay
A store of learning by;
And though from flower to flower I rove,
My stock of wisdom I’ll improve
Nor be a butterfly.

“Butterfly Laughter” by Katherine Mansfield

In the middle of our porridge plates
There was a blue butterfly painted
And each morning we tried who should reach the butterfly first.
Then the Grandmother said: “Do not eat the poor butterfly.”
That made us laugh.
Always she said it and always it started us laughing.
It seemed such a sweet little joke.
I was certain that one fine morning
The butterfly would fly out of the plates,
Laughing the teeniest laugh in the world,
And perch on the Grandmother’s lap.

White dandelion with flying butterfly on blue sky.

“Butterfly and Baby Blue” by Julia C. R. (Caroline Ripley) Dorr

Butterfly and Baby Blue,
Did you come together
Floating down the summer skies,
In the summer weather?
Seems to me you’re much alike,
Airy, fairy creatures,
Though I small resemblance find
In your tiny features!

Butterfly has gauzy wings,
Bright with jewelled splendor;
Baby Blue has pink-white arms,
Rosy, warm, and tender.
Butterfly has golden rings,
Charming each beholder;
Baby wears a knot of blue
On each dimpled shoulder.

Butterfly is never still,
Always in a flutter;
And of dainty Baby Blue
The same truth I utter!
Butterfly on happy wing
In the sunshine dances;
Baby Blue for sunshine has
Mother’s smiles and glances!

Butterfly seeks honey-dew
In a lily palace;
Baby Blue finds nectar sweet
In a snow-white chalice.
Butterfly will furl its wings
When the air grows colder;
While dear Baby Blue will be
Just a trifle older!

Ah! the days are growing short,
Soon the birds will leave us,
And of all the garden flowers
Cruel frost bereave us.
Butterfly and Baby Blue,
Do not go together,
Sailing through the autumn skies
In the autumn weather!

Poems About Butterflies and Love

Rose garden with butterflies

“The Ways of Time” by William H. Davies

As butterflies are but winged flowers,
Half sorry for their change, who fain,
So still and long they live on leaves,
Would be thought flowers again.—

E’en so my thoughts, that should expand,
And grow to higher themes above,
Return like butterflies to lie
On the old things I love.

“In Memory’s Garden” by Thomas Walsh

There is a garden in the twilight lands
Of Memory, where troops of butterflies
Flutter adown the cypress paths, and bands
Of flowers mysterious droop their drowsy eyes.

There through the silken hush come footfalls faint
And hurried through the vague parterres, and sighs
Whispering of rapture or of sweet complaint
Like ceaseless parle of bees and butterflies.

And by one lonely pathway steal I soon
To find the flowerings of the old delight
Our hearts together knew—when lo, the moon
Turns all the cypress alleys into white.

“Bellerophon IV” by James Russell Lowell

Of Knowledge Love is master-key,
Knowledge of Beauty; passing dear
Is each to each, and mutually
Each one doth make the other clear;
Beauty is Love, and what we love
Straightway is beautiful,
So is the circle round and full,
And so dear Love doth live and move
And have his being,
Finding his proper food
By sure inseeing,
In all things pure and good,
Which he at will doth cull,
Like a joyous butterfly
Hiving in the sunny bowers
Of the soul’s fairest flowers,
Or, between the earth and sky,
Wandering at liberty
For happy, happy hours!

Butterfly on wild flower meadow.

“La Farfalla” by Edward Burrough Brownlow

Bright little butterfly, mounting at morning
Over Love’s garden of sweet delight,
Heedless of harm and the honey-bee’s warning,
Bent upon pleasure, in pains despite.
Gaily thou flutterest, gaudily flaunting
All thy fair charms to the winds that kiss
Like a soul in elysian happiness haunting
New meadows of bliss.

When the first grey beam of the dawn uplifting
Shadows of sleep from a world of dreams,
From sea-marge to mountain and meadow-land drifting,
Lighted at last on thy wings’ bright gleams
Kissed thee and waked thee and whispered thee hasten
To herald the sun where it might not smite
In the deeps of dark dells where white flowers wasten
And languish for light.

Thou hast bathed in the sun-flashing spray that arises
From ripples that laugh on the brook’s fair face,
Thou hast gazed in the mirror that Nature devises
For Beauty’s delight in her own sweet grace,
Thou hast basked in the heat of the noon-tide splendour
When cricket piped high in the grass beneath,
And the blossoms that carried thy burden so tender
Were crowned with a wreath.

The lily grew pale for thou passed its perfection,
The violet bowed in a passion of grief,
The daisy had hope of thy gracious election,
The blue-bell despaired of its heart’s relief,
The hyacinth spread all its beauties before thee,
The marjoram blushed as it caught thine eye,
The mignonette flung its sweet fragrance o’er thee—
But thou passed them by.

Light was thy heart and the pleasures thou scattered
Were pure as the flowers on which they fell,
Till the red rose sought thee and caught thee and flattered,
With promise of love thou hast known too well.
All the long hours till the low sun glamoured
The bright blushing petals to kiss and to toy,
Thou paused in thy flight, for thy heart enamoured
Drank deeply of joy.

The blossoms that drooped in the dark and were sighing
For tidings of light thou wert bidden to tell
Lay down in despair, dreading death, and yet dying
And great was the grief in deeps of the dell,
For thou hadst forgotten the message of morning
And the work of the day thou wast given to do,
For the love of the rose and the honey-bee’s scorning
For thy love was true.

Poor little butterfly! dying so sadly
At the rise of the moon o’er the ripe-gold grain;
Dost thou rue of the pleasure thou tasted so madly,
Would’st thou take back thy love to take life again?
Ah, no! Love is sweeter and meeter than duty,
And shall hold thee in joy till thy last breath beats,
Till thou liest at rest—a dead marvel of beauty
Surrounded by sweets.