A little know fact about me is that I went to graduate school to be a poet. My very first advisor felt that I had some skills at prose and so I ended up with a dual-focused MFA (poetry and non-fiction). While I write non-fiction now, I am still in love with poetry so when a Twitter friend was looking for some inspiring poems, I couldn’t help but bombard her with suggestions. Revisiting all those beautiful poems made me fall in love all over again and so I thought I’d share a round up of gorgeous poems whose beauty comes from their powerful expression of life with you here today. For each poem, I share a poignant excerpt and then you can click on the poem’s title to read all of its beauty. Enjoy.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves…
….as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world…
…I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees…
…You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise….
….and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
…Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake…
…The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident…
…If they say We should get together
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget…
…I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick…
I have this son who assembled inside me
during Hurricane Gloria. In a flash, he appeared,
in a tiny blaze. Outside, pines toppled.
Phone lines snapped and hissed like cobras.
Inside, he was a raw pearl: microscopic, luminous.
Look at the muscled obelisk of him now…
Do you have a favorite poem? What is one that you love to read?