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the kindred project: day 4 (poetry)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 



here 8

shelf of poetry . march 2011

i want to say this as simply as possible. i want to chip away at the words until i am left with a simple answer to a question i am often asked: why poetry?

poetry holds up a mirror and forces me to see truth. it makes me laugh out loud in the middle of a bookstore in portland, oregon. it invites those pinpick tears that force me to remember something i thought i had let go. it holds me while i weep. it makes me just uncomfortable enough to know i must look closer. it dances and dips and turns and stretches and lives.

poetry lives big. 
(poetry saves me from myself.)

if you are sitting in your corner and wondering how to begin your relationship with poetry or perhaps you already have one and are always looking for more poems to collect...well, i invite you dare you to start here (each link below is to a poem by this list of some of my favorite poets), today, right now:

mary oliver (after you read that poem, head over to oprah.com to watch a video with ms. oliver being interviewed by maria shriver)
william stafford (more of his poetry can be found here)
david whyte (he teaches me again and again. if you have the chance to hear him speak. do it. until then, visit him on his site.)
hafiz (translated by daniel ladinsky. you should have the gift on your shelf.)
billy collins (includes collins reading his poem)
maya angelou (see dr. angelou read her poem here. soak it up.)
elizabeth bishop (read this one aloud...well, read them all aloud but for sure this one)
may sarton (how i wish i could arrive at her house for tea and ask her to read this one. [you should also read her journals. in fact, we should read them together this summer.])
marge piercy (and this one about the day her mother died...yes...read this one too)
carl sandberg (the first poem that got me thinking back in fourth grade...took a long break after that)
nikki giovanni (the women and the men is a favorite collection)
david lehman (and many other poems of lehman's have been shared on the writer's almanac and can be found here)
sharon olds (her poems often have a bit of grit and push me [teach me] big time)

and you reading this? please share any other poets who you enjoy in the comments...maybe you will even want to share a story about how poetry speaks to you in your life.