April is National Poetry Month.
Confession #1: I love poetry
Confession #2: I don’t always understand poetry.
Here’s the thing. I absolutely adore how beautiful words look and sound when they are in the form of a poem. There is an eloquence and sophistication to poetry that is rare among other forms of writing. I have always felt a connection to the way poets put their entire self into a poem with the caveat that if the reader doesn’t look closely enough, they may not see it–almost like a secret language. There is also the added intricacy of very few words that express a lifetime of emotions and circumstances.
With all of that being said, sometimes the secret language gets the best of me. There are times when I read a poem over and over again, but can’t fully grasp what the poet is trying to convey. There have been times that I have read a poem, loved the meaning, but come to find out that I completely missed the point. But that’s what’s great about poetry—there can be multiple meanings and interpretations that come from one poem. And whether or not they are “right” isn’t as important as the fact that the poet made some impact on the reader as the words were being spoken.
If you don’t read poems, I would challenge you to try it. You never know what message might reveal itself to you!
If you need a few suggestions, here are some of my favorites:
The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (this is the one I am reading and rereading now and I love it)
Love In The Last Days by D. Nurkse
Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell
Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson
High Poets Society by B. Abbott
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Anything, literally anything by Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman (Walt is my absolute favorite)
Finally, I will leave you with my favorite poem.
To a Stranger
Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Happy National Poetry Month!!