Jessie-In New Hampshire, enjoying the garden coming to life!
We all read and write a lot of prose, but I thought I would ask if you also enjoy poetry If so, do you have a favorite poem or poet?
Edith/Maddie: I was stunned and so impressed by Amanda Gorman reading/performing her “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration. But the poem I turn to most often (and have nearly memorized) is “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver. It ends, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” That line speaks to a deep place in me. After a poetry workshop I took in 2001, I wrote a prose poem for my father.
Julie: Faye Snowden, a wonderful writer, pointed me to the Poetry Foundation’s site, and I signed up for a poem a day. I will confess, poetry is not a natural go-to for me, but as a writer I marvel at the beautiful economic use of words, and how effectively they can trigger emotions.
Liz: I also love Mary Oliver. Her poem The Journey was the backdrop for a huge transformation in my life and I still get chills when I read it. I also really love Rupi Kaur, a Canadian poet who shares a lot of her work on Instagram.
Barb: I say I don’t love poetry, but then I end up at a spoken word event or similar and I’m enthralled. I’d rather hear it aloud than read it. As for favorites, I must confess, the poems I memorized in childhood, the fragments still there in my aging brain, are the ones I go back to: The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, and, of course, The Cremation of Sam Magee by Robert W. Service.
Sherry: Edith, I loved The Hill We Climb too! And Julie, I think I need to have a poem a day in my life. I’ve always loved Emily Dickenson’s poem If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking. I had it on the bulletin board in my bedroom growing up. Barb reminded me of two poems I love Stopping by the Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost and Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe.
Jessie: I am feeling so inspired by your responses! Julie, thanks for mentioning the Poetry Foundation’s offerings! I have to confess, I am not someone who turns to poetry with any frequency. I admire it when I feel it is meaningfully written, but I don’t seek it out. I will say that as a child I was a huge fan of Shel Silverstein’s poems and read them to my own children. Perhaps it is time to add something new to my reading list!
Readers, how about you? Are you a poetry lover?