This month is National Poetry Month here in the US, which seems like the perfect excuse to share a few poems with you.
I'm a big fan of poetry. I think it can save your life (for real). Poets are truth tellers who get right to the guts of life. They have such a short amount of space to tell the story, so they just do it. They demand we pay attention. They edit out all the extra stuff so that as the reader we are left with a mirror or snippet of a memory or a last breath or the first crocus of Spring.
People often ask me for a place to begin when it comes to reading poetry. My advice is start with the poets whose poems caused you to ask this question. If you read a Mary Oliver poem and said, "YES!" then search for more of her poems. If Rumi caught your eye over on Pinterest, look him up.
You might even want to just stand in the poetry section of your closest bookstore and pretend you are choosing a bottle of wine. Look at the names of the collections, the colors of the covers. Choose one. Flip through. Read what catches your eye. If nothing does. PICK UP ANOTHER BOOK. Start over again. You will find the ones you were meant to find. (I share some more thoughts about this over here.)
Here are five poems to get you started:
"why i feed the birds" by Richard Vargas
"Any Morning" by William Stafford
"The Art of Disappearing" Naomi Shihab Nye
"Now I Become Myself" by May Sarton
"Morning" by Billy Collins
Poem It Out: It's a way of living. My way of living. The way I move through the world, through my grief, through my fears, through my joy. I poem. I read poetry. I write it. I put pen to the page and find my way. It is also a series of ecourses and in-person workshops that I teach.