Tag: Poems

5 Poems About The Comforts of Home

In this difficult time, many of us have been urged to stay at home. This can be difficult for many, as this is not only a change in routine, but it is also a change to how we once interacted with the world around us. That isn’t easy. Regardless of if you are an introvert or an extrovert, a sudden change in routine is jarring.

When I find myself struggling with what is going on around me, I have a tendency to turn towards the stories and poems that I feel are comforting. While I can’t say that everyone does the same, or that my way even works, this is my way of processing the difficult emotions that I come up against.

So, with that in mind, here are five poems about the comforts of home.

 

1. “home” by Edgar Albert Guest

image via wikimedia commons
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything. (read more)

2. “A home” by sarah c. woolsey

image via stocksy united
What is a home? A guarded space,
   Wherein a few, unfairly blest,
Shall sit together, face to face,
   And bask and purr and be at rest?
Where cushioned walls rise up between
   Its inmates and the common air,
The common pain, and pad and screen
   From blows of fate or winds of care?
Where Art may blossom strong and free,
   And Pleasure furl her silken wing,
And every laden moment be
   A precious and peculiar thing? (read more)

3. “in praise of my bed” by meredith holmes

image via videohive
At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!
The labor of being fully human,
working my opposable thumb,
talking, and walking upright. (read more)

4. “dog in bed” by joyce sidman

image via dogtime
Nose tucked under tail,
you are a warm, furred planet
centered in my bed.
All night I orbit, tangle-limbed,
in the slim space
allotted to me.
If I accidentally
bump you from sleep,
you shift, groan,
drape your chin on my hip. (read more)

5. “From a rooftop” by timothy steele

image via smartcity press
At dawn, down in the streets, from pavement grills,
Steam rises like the spent breath of the night.
At open windows, curtains stir on sills;
There’s caging drawn across a market’s face;
An empty crane, at its construction site,
Suspends a cable into chasmed space.
The roof shows other rooftops, their plateaus
Marked with antennas from which lines are tied
And strung with water beads or hung with clothes.
And here and there a pigeon comes to peck
At opaque puddles, its stiff walk supplied
By herky-jerky motions of its neck. (read more)
Featured image via Apartment Therapy

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‘Pandemic,’ A Viral Poem About Coronavirus

Given our confinement during this pandemic, we are left to either let our minds rot or put it to use and be creative. Lynn Ungar, a poet from Castro Valley, California, found a way to express herself amidst all of this. ‘Pandemic’ is a short poem about Coronavirus. As Ungar puts it, it is “a viral poem about a virus, that’s funny in a twisted kind of way.” Her reasoning behind this poem was taken from the idea of social distancing. She reflects on the question: how do we socially distance ourselves to prevent the spread of this virus, without emotionally distancing ourselves in the process?

 

 

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

Upon my first read, I could tell Ungar was going for a satirical approach. I chuckled when I read the lines, “know that our lives are in one another’s hands.” Which is pretty darn cynical since we are spreading this virus through day-to-day interactions and transactions. She then offers a more than obvious solution in her next two lines, “do not reach out your hands, reach out with your heart.” That gave me a good laugh, while also tackling the concept of social distancing.

Lynn Ungar is an extraordinary poet who teaches us to find creativity and laughter during eventful times. I highly recommend reading more of her poems and writing pieces.

Featured Image Via UU World

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9 Female Poets to Celebrate Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, here are nine contemporary female poets that are making a big impact!

1. Warsan Shire

Even before her poetry was featured in Beyonce’s Lemonade, Warsan Shire has been a poetic super-star with a cult following. Shire’s work centers around feminist issues, race displacement, immigrant and refugee experiences, trauma, and politics. Her most notable works include Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and Her Blue Body.

 

image via The New Yorker

 

2. Rupi Kaur

Another poetic super-star, Rupi Kaur, initially gained a following through social media. She was one of the forerunners of the Instapoetry movement, sharing her poems along with her own illustrations. Kaur’s work focuses on abuse, femininity, self-care, love, and heartbreak. Kaur’s two books are titled Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers.

 

image via The Michigan Daily

 

3. Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

Author, trans performance artist, priestess. Amid an impressive and expansive bio, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi has received multiple awards for her work in both literature and the trans community. Her works feature themes of liberation, revolution, love, and healing among others. Her poetic works include Baltimore: A Love Letter, Remains: A Gathering of Bones, The Blood of a Thousand Roots, For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss a Motherf***er Out When Snatching an Edge Ain’t Enough, and Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem.

 

image via theatre washington

 

 

4. Megan Falley

Megan Falley is a queer femme author and powerful slam poet. Her Youtube Channel, where she posts her epic performances, has garnered over a million views and she has been named a National Poetry Slam Finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work focuses on LGBTQ issues, sex and body positvitiy, sexism, homophobia, and love. Some of her notable works include After the Witch Hunt, Drive Here and Devastate Me, Bad Girls Honey (Poems About Lana Del Rey).

 

image via meganfalley.com

 

5. Elizabeth Alexander

An American poet, essayist, and playwright, Elizabeth Alexander is well known for her poem Praise Song for the Day, which was written and performed by the poet for President Barack Obama’s 2009 presidential inauguration. Alexander’s most notable poetic works include The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, Antebellum Dream Book, and American Sublime.

 

image via Elizabeth Alexander

 

6. Evie shockley

Evie Shockley is somewhat of an experimental poet, often stepping outside of the box in terms of structure, form, and themes within her work. Her work focuses on race and feminism and are often presented in the form of a retold fairytale. Some of Shockley’s most recent and prominent works include the new black, and semiautomatic.

 

image via Poetry foundation 

 

 

7. Olena Kalytiak Davis

Poet Olena Kalytiak Davis’ work gives voice to all the female experiences that are otherwise not often talked about. Themes of her poems include love, sexual violence, and aging as a woman. Davis’s honors include a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry and a 1996 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in poetry. Her most recent works include The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems and shattered sonnets love cards and other back handed importunities.

 

image via official uk chapbook chart

 

8. Suheir Hammad

Inspired by New York City hip hop and the traditional Palestinian stories of her grandparents, poet Suheir Hammad explores the destruction and reconstruction of the female body, of culture, and of language in her work. Hammad has received many awards, including a Tony award for her work on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway (2003). Some of her collections include Born Palestinian, Born Black; Zaatar Diva; and Breaking Poems.

 

image via medium

 

9. matthea harvey

Poet Matthea Harvey has a unique talent for blending the most iconic commercialized images and blends them all together into one. She describes herself as a “gatherer” collecting inspiration for her poems from music, scraps of conversations, images, and paintings. Harvey’s most prominent works include If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?Modern Life, and Sad Little Breathing Machine.

 

image via the New Yorker

 

Featured Image via Penguin Random House Audio

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5 Love Poems to Read on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is typically known as a couple’s holiday – a holiday which inspires gifts of roses, chocolates, and even marriage proposals. For me though, and maybe it’s the English major in me, this is a day that makes me want to read love poems. I know, I know. It’s extremely corny to say that. Call me a romantic, but there is something about reading a poem and knowing that it was crafted for someone that the poet loved that just makes me want to sit with those words. Poetry is hard to write. Sometimes, a five line poem can take hours, or even days, to craft. So a love poem, to me, isn’t just a handful of sweet words–it is one of the most powerful ways to express one’s affection.

All of my mushy rambling about love poetry aside, here are five love poems that you can read on Valentine’s day.

 

 

1. Harold pinter’sit is here

image via wallpaper flare

What sound was that?
I turn away, into the shaking room.

What was that sound that came in on the dark?
What is this maze of light it leaves us in?
What is this stance we take,
To turn away and then turn back?
What did we hear?
It was the breath we took when we first met.

Listen. It is here.

 

2. E.E. Cumming’s[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

image via pinterest
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling) (read more)
(Cummings has a very interesting way of formatting his poetry. The absence of capitalization and absence of spaces between parentheses and the rest of the line is fully intentional)

3. Pablo Neruda’sIf you Forget me

image via dhgate

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. (read more)

 

 

4. Spiritwind Wood’sLet’s Grow old Together

image via wallpaper flare

Let’s sit underneath the open sky
and watch the night just pass us by
let’s me and you dream of the now
and don’t worry about tomorrow
you know we will make it somehow

Let us talk about our plan
two lover’s hand in hand
and let’s grow old together (read more)

 

 

5. Christina Rossetti’sI loved you first: but afterwards your love

image via pinterest
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? my love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong. (read more)


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