Pause. Shall We Read Some Poetry?

We are at the halfway mark of April aka the month where poetry gets all the love and everyone thinks it’s cool I’m a poet instead of feeling sorry for me that I’ll never make any money. Although, as the poet Robert Graves once said, “there’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.”

It is unfortunate this year’s National Poetry Month is in the midst of a global pandemic, but also oddly opportune—why don’t we all take a pause from the frightening reality outside our homes and escape briefly into the comforting lines of beautiful poetry?

Compiled below are just a few of my favorite poems over the years, divided into three sections: Classic, Modern, and WordPress. I hope you enjoy them. Shall we read together?


CLASSIC

Harlem by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

~ ~ ~

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
 
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
~ ~ ~

The Road Goes Ever On by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

*There are actually three versions of this poem throughout the Lord of the Rings series, but my favorite is this one.

~ ~ ~

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

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.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.


MODERN

Self Love by Lang Leav

Once when I was running,
from all that haunted me;
to the dark I was succumbing-
to what hurt unbearably.

Searching for the one thing,
that would set my sad soul free.

In time I stumbled upon it,
an inner calm and peace;
and now I am beginning,
to see and to believe,
in who I am becoming-
and all I’ve yet to be.

~ ~ ~

Dreams by Michael Faudet

She turns her mind
to countless things,
then back again
where it begins.

This restless urge,
and all it brings,
to be someone—
to do something.

~ ~ ~

The Girl He Loves by Nikita Gill

The girl he loves is midnight, like the blue of the sea cradled by the moonlight.
The girl he loves is verdant, the very green of the hill kissed by the summer delight.
The girl he loves is coral, as pink as the roses that grow in his mother’s garden.
The girl he loves is crimson, red like the autumn leaves that lay abandoned.

The girl he loves I can never be,
Because he’s allergic to violets,
And violets are too much like me.

~ ~ ~

Kissing in Vietnamese by Ocean Vuong

My grandmother kisses
as if bombs are bursting in the backyard,
where mint and jasmine lace their perfumes
through the kitchen window,
as if somewhere, a body is falling apart
and flames are making their way back
through the intricacies of a young boy’s thigh,
as if to walk out the door, your torso
would dance from exit wounds.
When my grandmother kisses, there would be
no flashy smooching, no western music
of pursed lips, she kisses as if to breathe
you inside her, nose pressed to cheek
so that your scent is relearned
and your sweat pearls into drops of gold
inside her lungs, as if while she holds you
death also, is clutching your wrist.
My grandmother kisses as if history
never ended, as if somewhere
a body is still
falling apart.


WORDPRESS

Silent Spring by Maria

It was a spring without voices, devoid of man and his obsessions
Warm light bathed, for once, the stricken world that was silenced
For what worth were our gold and our Earthly possessions?
It was a spring without voices, devoid of man and his obsessions
Love is what carries weight, not money or possessions
Nor hatred and greed can answer mother nature’s siren
It was a spring without voices devoid, of man and his obsessions
Warm light bathed, for once, the stricken world that was silenced

~ ~ ~

doors upon the sea by The Lonely Author

who am i to tell the roses
not to bloom
how do I stop the hands of time
or silence a lonely wolf
howling at the moon
how can i not think of you
it’s like asking my heart
to remember not to bleed
or a pianist who lost his hands
to forget his keys
my beautiful muse
tell me I can lock these thoughts out
convince me
I can put doors upon the sea

~ ~ ~

What if Snowflakes Don’t Fall in Winter? by Mich

What if snowflakes don’t fall in winter?
and fresh buds don’t bloom in spring?
or summer don’t need sunshine?
nor leaves don’t fall in autumn?

Will you remember how we used to be?

the love we shared gently
like snowflakes falling smoothly in winter out of thin air unannounced, unnoticed
unspoken yet blissful

the dreams we dream, hopes we hope
like spring awakening the earth
bringing heaps of sunshine after
the cold, gloomy winter

the laughters we gave out
like sunshine in a summer day
rhyming along as the birds singing
passionately hot, vibrant and crisp

the memories we created
like leaves falling flawlessly in autumn breeze, with cooling temperatures and darkening nights

What if snowflakes don’t fall in winter?
and fresh buds don’t bloom in spring?
or summer don’t need sunshine?
nor leaves don’t fall in autumn?

Will you still love me tenderly?

~ ~ ~

It is a reality, never a dream by Ally L. Mare

A daily life filled with white walls,
Without any spark of excitement,
Nor relaxation,
Or even a drop of inspiration,

A day I couldn’t ignore,
Brightening, brimming, blinding,
Numb and numbing,
Smirking snobby walls,

Such day like the drying stream,
As I closed and opened my eyes,
The white walls stands,
It is a reality, never a dream.


Robin Williams once said (in the movie Dead Poets Society), “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” So stay alive, my fellow bloggers, readers, and lovers of poetry. Stay alive, stay safe, and stay well.

45 thoughts on “Pause. Shall We Read Some Poetry?

    • ‘Tis life, Andrew. Life, more often than not, throws obstacles our way and forces us to find our moments of solace and beauty in the pain and chaos. I’m happy we have poetry, and I’m glad you enjoyed this selection. I wish you a great and inspiring end to the month as well 💜

      Like

  1. Jade!! Oh I just got back and read this.

    First, thank you for sharing these inspiring collections to feed our muse. I especially love, Lang Leav, Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson 🙂
    Second, I am seeing my name here. YAY! I feel honored to be in the same blog post with these awesome poets.
    Third, happy NaPoWriMo. I know this pandemic has been a bane to our life (real and virtual) but please keep writing. We love reading your pieces. ❤

    Keep safe, dearie !

    Liked by 2 people

    • I see we love our badass and talented female poets! Three cheers for sisterhood! 💜💜💜

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, which I extend to you as well, my dear Maria. You are super talented and this world needs your lovely, beautiful words. Please keep writing and sharing as well.

      Always keeping you and your loved ones in my thoughts. Stay safe and well!

      Like

  2. A brilliant idea, and you’ve chosen a good selection. Poetry is an escape, yet so important to normal life. It helps us to understand ideas, different perspectives and the beauty of the world. Happy Poetry Month, Jade!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Okay. Where do I begin? I love the J.R.R. Tolkien’s poem for it kind of reminds me of Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’. ‘Kissing in Vietnamese’ is my favorite from this post. I’ll surely look up Ocean Vuong after this although I think I’m familiar with a book of his about being briefly gorgeous.

    As for WP, I love Maria, Andrew, and Mich! Their writing is amazing! So too are yours and Rosema! You guys are wordsmiths!

    Thank you for this post! Now, I’m off to read my all-time favorite poem, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh wow Jade..teary eyed here..i am so honored and happy and joyful…(name it all lol) that my poem was chosen by you as one of your favorites here in WP…

    Ahhhh i am speechless..thank you 🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 3 people

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