It’s Poetry Month Again!

It’s Poetry Month again, and, as usual, I am remembering this well into the month. It’s only the tenth, though, so there’s

Alan Arkin votes for Rumi.

still plenty of time for fun. I plan on posting a favorite poem every day, but I’d love a little feedback from you. Who are some of your favorite poets? Have you read much poetry? Why or why not? Feel free to comment below. At the end of the month, I’ll draw a name from the commenters below, and the winner will get a collection of poetry (exact collection TBD, probably depending on the tastes of the winner). So vote in the poll below and tell me what you think! (Update: If you vote “other,” it doesn’t display what you’ve entered, so be sure to mention it in your comment!)

The poets listed in the poll above are the just the first few that came to mind. I expect the write-in category to be most used. If you don’t have a favorite poet, if you’re not really sure how to approach poetry, if you don’t read much poetry but you’re not opposed to poetry in principle, fear not! There’s no time like the present to get started. And now, A Poem:

The Guest House
by Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(According to The Poem I Turn To, Alan Arkin enjoys this poem a lot. He says, “I need this poem and read it often. The immediacy and abandon of Rumi’s poetry helps me to know that the place which he inhabits is real, tangible and attainable.” Arkin says other stuff, too. What do you think of Rumi?)

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6 thoughts on “It’s Poetry Month Again!

  1. Like Cheryl, Frost is my favorite poet, but I’ve only read much of two poets, him and Whitman and you know how I feel about Whitman. Probably I should give him another try since I’m 14 years older now if not 14 years more mature.

    I can’t think of any poetry I’ve read since high school though I’m sure I must have read some and had to write some in creative writing (apparently rhyming about 9-11 takes something from the seriousness you’re trying to portray).

    I think I might like getting into poetry some more but don’t know where to start. I suppose I could check out Frost again. I kind of like my poetry to be clear and easy to understand. 🙂

  2. As much as I like reading and beautiful use of words and syntax, I don’t really have an appreciation for poetry. I can’t tell you if it’s because I actually don’t like it or that I haven’t spent the time to learn how to appreciate it. But as of late, I have been kind of feeling like I would like to, but there are so many other things to read that it hasn’t ever made it off the bottom of the list.

    I would like someone to pick out a selection of poems for me to read and learn to love. Hint, hint.

  3. I, too, have no great love for poetry. I like to think its because I’m not smart enough for poetry. Shakespeare would have to be my favorite of those listed. Maybe because he’s a playwright and theatre is my thing, maybe because Puck just makes me laugh! My true favorite would have to be my brother, Sean. You can check him out, if you’d like… http://www.seanholliday.com/ but feel free to not critique him to me. 🙂 There are poems on his site that he wrote in 6th grade, its fun to see the evolution of his writing.

    I think the reason that poetry hasn’t ever been my thing is because I like to know what I’m supposed to know/feel/learn. Poetry is just so abstract, and I get frustrated trying to figure it all out. That’s my problem, no doubt. Maybe you’ll convert me this month…

  4. I think you know how I feel about poetry, I listed Heaney as my fave, and no surprise, but I do love Yeats and a whole slew of other Irish poets. And Donne. And Billy Collins. And some of the Romantics (in moderation). I won’t go on, though I could. 🙂 (please forgive the comma splice in the first/second sentence. My iPad is not cooperating with my revision attempts at the moment.)

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