9 beautiful poems for baby-naming ceremonies

Discover the perfect reading to welcome a new baby into the world in our list of the best poems for naming ceremonies.

8 minutes to read
Black and white photo of baby head being cradled in someone's hands

When a new baby comes into our lives, it's a time to celebrate and welcome the little one to the world. If you're looking for the perfect meaningful words for a naming ceremony reading, look no further. We've curated some of the most moving and beautiful poems suitable for naming ceremonies.

Discover our edit of the best poetry books.

‘For my niece' by Kae Tempest

I hold you in my arms,

your age is told in months.

There's things I hope you'll learn.

Things I'm sure I learned once.

But there's nothing I can teach you.

You'll find all that you need.

No flower bends its head to offer

teaching to a seed.

The seed will grow and blossom

once the flower's ground to dust.

But even so, if nothing else,

one thing I'll entrust:

Doing what you please

is not the same

as doing what you must

From Hold Your Own by Kae Tempest

‘Sweet and Low' by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea,

Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!

Over the rolling waters go,

Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me;

While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;

Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to thee soon;

Father will come to his babe in the nest,

Silver sails all out of the west,

Under the silver moon:

Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

‘A Baby's Feet' by Algernon Charles Swinburne

A baby's feet, like sea shells pink,

Might tempt, should heaven see meet

An angel's lips to kiss, we think,

A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea flowers toward the heat

They stretch and spread and wink

Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower bells that expand and shrink

Gleam half so heavenly sweet,

As shine on life's untrodden brink

A baby's feet.

‘Infant Joy' by William Blake

‘I have no name:

‘I am but two days old.'

What shall I call thee?

‘I happy am

Joy is my name.'

Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!

Sweet joy but two days old,

Sweet joy I call thee:

Thou dost smile,

I sing the while,

Sweet joy befall thee!

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year

‘Human Affection' by Stevie Smith

Mother, I love you so.

Said the child, I love you more than I know.

She laid her head on her mother's arm,

And the love between them kept them warm.

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year

‘Love' by Kate Clanchy

I hadn't met his kind before.

His misericord face – really,

like a joke on his father – blurred

as if from years of polish;

his hands like curled dry leaves;

the profligate heat he gave

out, gave out, his shallow,

careful breaths: I thought

his filaments would blow,

I thought he was an emperor,

dying on silk cushions.

I didn't know how to keep

him wrapped, I didn't know

how to give him suck, I had

no idea about him. At night

I tried to remember the feel

of his head on my neck, the skull

small as a cat's, the soft spot

hot as a smelted coin,

and the hair, the down, fine

as the innermost, vellum layer

of some rare snowcreature's

aureole of fur, if you could meet

such a beast, if you could

get so near. I started there.

From Selected Poems by Kate Clanchy

‘I'd Love to be a Fairy's Child' by Robert Graves
Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart's desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they're seven years old,
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild -
I'd love to be a Fairy's child.

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year

On children from The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year

‘Love you more' by James Carter

Do I love you

to the moon and back?

No I love you

more than that

I love you to the desert sands

the mountains, stars

the planets and

I love you to the deepest sea

and deeper still

through history

Before beyond I love you then

I love you now

I'll love you when

The sun's gone out

the moon's gone home

and all the stars are fully grown

When I no longer say these words

I'll give them to the wind, the birds

so that they will still be heard

I love you

From A Poem for Every Night of the Year

Hold Your Own

by Kae Tempest

Book cover for Hold Your Own

Based on the mythical figure of Tiresias, this ambitious four-part work holds a mirror up to contemporary life as it follows the character through transformations from child to man, woman to blind prophet.

Selected Poems

by Kate Clanchy

Book cover for Selected Poems

Drawing together Kate Clanchy’s three prize-winning collections, SlatternSamarkand and Newborn, this is the perfect introduction to those who are new to Clanchy’s witty, lyrical and accessible work, as well as a must-have for long-term fans.

A Poem for Every Day of the Year

by Allie Esiri

Book cover for A Poem for Every Day of the Year

This collection, full of 366 poems, is bursting at the seams with poetry to share on every day of the year. From perfect seasonal poems to verses for important dates and key events, this beautiful gift book is one you’ll dip into time and time again.

A Poem for Every Night of the Year

by Allie Esiri

Book cover for A Poem for Every Night of the Year

A beautiful collection, with a poem to share for every night of the year, this is a must-have for poetry lovers. From familiar favourites to contemporary voices, this collection is perfect for reading aloud and sharing with family and friends.