Let's face it: Easter really doesn't have the overwhelming and all-encompassing feel that's characteristic of Christmas. While (obviously) many people don't celebrate either of those two holidays, for many, it can be a bit difficult to dodge all of the red and green, Nativity sets, Santa sightings, and tree lightings that appear right after Thanksgiving and carry on through Dec. 25. Easter, on the other hand, doesn't take over TV channels with movie marathons or radio stations with seasonal tunes, but there are Easter poems, stories, and images that you can share with family and friends to celebrate the season.
While the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts are a few of the more commercial aspects of Easter, it tends to be a more inherently religious holiday celebration than some of the others. After partaking in brunch or dinner, you may want to read a few Easter poems. In the Christian tradition, the story of the days leading up to Easter Sunday isn't necessarily as small child-friendly as that of Christmas, and there aren't many movies that work well for family viewing. Poems can articulate the themes and capture the importance of the holiday in the same way that a movie such as The Passion of the Christ can, but are a good compromise if you're looking to avoid such vivid imagery. While not all deeply religious, one of these Easter poems may be just what you're looking for to cap off your springtime celebration.
1"Easter Day" by Oscar Wilde
"Easter Day" by Oscar Wilde tells the story of the moment of Jesus's resurrection, which Christians believe happened that Sunday morning, three days after his death. This is just an excerpt; read "Easter Day" in its entirety here.
2"Easter" by Joyce Kilmer
Joyce Kilmer's poem, "Easter," is quite brief, but, in my opinion, perfectly describes the season of rebirth for which springtime and Easter are both known.
3"Easter" by George Herbert
According to Patrick Comerford, an online journal on Anglicanism (among other things), "Easter," written by priest and theologian George Herbert, was published in 1633, not long after Herbert's death. It was originally written in two parts and later combined. It's a bit lengthy, but it's worth reading. You can read "Easter" in its entirety here.
4"I See His Blood Upon The Rose" by Joseph Mary Plunkett
This poem, written after the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916, is more about Easter and Plunkett's Christian faith than obvious revolutionary ideologies. According to Dr. Lucy Collins, a lecturer in English at University College Dublin, who wrote an assessment of the poem (and others about the Easter Rising) for the Irish Independent, "At the centre of the poem lies the conviction that Christ's suffering will never be forgotten, as long as God's word remains the bedrock of existence." The perfect poem to read on Easter Sunday. Read "I See His Blood Upon The Rose" in it's entirety here.
5"The Easter Story" by Joanna Fuchs
Joanna Fuchs's "The Easter Story" tells the whole extended — yet, somehow, still condensed — story of Easter and the events leading up to Easter Sunday. The last stanza, in particular, might be good for kids, as it explains the importance of the holiday in words that they can understand. You can find the entire version of "The Easter Story" here.
6"An Eastern Ballad" by Allen Ginsberg
This short Allen Ginsberg poem isn't about Easter directly, but encapsulates many of the themes that Easter celebrates, like the dawning of a new day. You might have to explain how it's connected, but it's a good, unreligious read.
7"The Easter Bunny" by Josephine Todd
"The Easter Bunny" by Josephine Todd was written in 1909 and tells the story of the Easter Bunny decorating the eggs she'll (that's right, in this poem, the Easter Bunny is a she) later bring to deserving kids. It's a cute poem and is probably especially good for the little ones. Read "The Easter Bunny" in its entirety here.
8"Some Things That Easter Brings" by Elsie Parrish
"Some Things That Easter Brings" is a fun, cute little poem that's sure to get your little ones excited for Easter Sunday morning.
9"An Easter Carol" by Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti's "An Easter Carol" is, of course, about Easter, but it's also about the changing seasons and the dawning of Spring. It's the perfect way to end the day on Easter Sunday. You can read all of "An Easter Carol" here.