In honor of World Poetry Day we decided to break out our sonnets, odes, iambic pentameters, haikus, and shockingly ardent devotion to Pablo Neruda to share some of our favorite excerpts from our most beloved poems. And if you still can’t get enough, check out our earlier post on Love Poems or poems to share with someone who is grieving.
“I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.”
-Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”
“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
― Sarah Kay, “If I Should Have A Daughter”
“If only our tongues were made of glass
how much more careful would we be
when we speak.”
“I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.”
– W.B. Yeats, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits.
A poet’s pen all scorn I should thus wrong;
For such despite they cast on female wits,
If what I do prove well, it won’t advance–
They’ll say it’s stolen, or else it was by chance.
–Anne Bradstreet, “The Prologue”
The cold insistence of the tide would roll,
Quenching this burning thing men call the soul –
Then with the ebbing I should drift and be
Less than the smallest shell along the shoal,
Less than the seagulls calling to the sea.
–Sara Teasdale, “Sea Longing”
I am an emotional creature.
Things do not come to me
as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.
They pulse through my organs and legs
and burn up my ears.
-Eve Ensler, “I Am An Emotional Creature”
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
– W.H. Auden, “The More Loving One”
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