National Poetry Month: A Few of My Favorite Poems & Poets

I love these poems and poets for various reasons – technique, beauty of language, intellect, rigor – but mostly, their words burrow into my brain and won’t quit whispering to me…

Jane Hirshfield, “Not Moving Even One Step”

Carolyn Forche, “The Colonel”

Arthur Sze: “Kintsugi”

Antonella Anedda: “A Winter Night in the City”

James Wright: “To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain”

Camille Dungy, “Association Copy”

Who are your favorites? Link in the comments.

59 thoughts on “National Poetry Month: A Few of My Favorite Poems & Poets

  1. Pingback: National Poetry – disue

  2. W.S. Merwin, “The Last One” … A.R. Ammons, “In Memoriam Mae Noblitt” … Tomas Transtromer, “Golden Wasp” … and practically everything by them… and of course — Mei Yao-ch’en, “Hsieh Shi Hou Says The Ancient Masters Never Wrote a Poem About Lice, And Why Don’t I Write One?” and “Lunar Eclipse” and “An Excuse For Not Returning the Visit of a Friend” …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Long-time favorite is Mary Oliver’s “The Journey” – current frequent re-reads include Antonio Machado’s “Wayfarer” (“Traveller” in another translation) and William Stafford’s “Any Morning”.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Off the top of my head:
    “How Do I Love Thee?” Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    “Song of Myself” Walt Whitman
    “Kubla Khan” Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “The Raven” Edgar Allan Poe
    “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” and “Ode on Melancholy” John Keats
    “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” T.S. Eliot
    “O Tell Me the Truth about Love” and “Funeral Blues” W.H. Auden
    “Jabberwocky” Lewis Carroll
    “Horton Hatches the Egg” Dr. Seuss

    And my rare 21st century favorites:
    “Deus Ex Machina” Melissa King Rogers
    “Gulf” and “Mayflies” Robert Okaji

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I shall die, but
    that is all that I shall do for Death.
    I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
    I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
    He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
    business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
    But I will not hold the bridle
    while he clinches the girth.
    And he may mount by himself:
    I will not give him a leg up.

    Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
    I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
    With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
    the black boy hides in the swamp.
    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
    I am not on his pay-roll.

    I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
    nor of my enemies either.
    Though he promise me much,
    I will not map him the route to any man’s door.
    Am I a spy in the land of the living,
    that I should deliver men to Death?
    Brother, the password and the plans of our city
    are safe with me; never through me Shall you be overcome.

    Edna St. Vincent Millay – Conscientious Objector

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My ultimate favorite, if i have to choose from many I love:

    HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half-light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

    William Butler Yeats

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rumi’s The Guesthouse and Wean yourself
    all of Walt Kelly’s nonsense poetry in Pogo…Many Harry Returns
    “Once you were two,
    Dear birthday friend,
    In spite of purple weather.

    But now you are three
    And near the end
    As we grewsome together.

    How fourthful thou,
    Forsooth for you,
    For soon you will be more!

    But – β€˜fore
    One can be three be two,
    Before be five, be four!

    Hafiz, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson, ogden nash
    “The panther is like a leopard,
    Except it hasn’t been peppered.
    Should you behold a panther crouch,
    Prepare to say Ouch.
    Better yet, if called by a panther,
    Don’t anther. “

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I, too, love “The Colonel.” So sinister. My favorite of hers. I also love “The Great Blue Heron” by Carolyn Kizer–speaking of Carolyns. Anything by Mary Oliver, “If I Had Known That You Were Going” by Edna St. VM. I’ll think of others I wish I had added some time tonight before slumber.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Great Poets: Sampler – 1 – Scattered Notebooks

  10. Almost anything by Gwendolyn Brooks, Warsan Shire, or Hafiz. A couple of favorites in no particular order;
    When You Have Forgotten Sunday – Gwendolyn Brooks
    For the Young Who Want To Die – Gwendolyn Brooks
    Where Will You Be – Pat Parker
    Those Winter Sundays – Robert Hayden
    You Are Oceanic – Tapiwa Mugabe
    Fist Writing Since – Suheir Hammad
    Preparing My Daughter For Rain – Key Ballah

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.