Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.20.23

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.20.23

This week is all about love… a difficult subject for me. I am not a flowery, all sorts of love words kind of person.

But I began the great Love Poem search both online and scouring my poetry books for something… loving.

And after all that searching I still came back to two love poems that have a bit of a different focus. The first, Love After Love by Derek Walcott (a poem that Kym shared years ago) and a new-ish poem by Maggie Smith that I discovered after I purchased her book of poems, Goldenrod. It is this poem that I am sharing today… I have printed this poem out and it has joined Love After Love on board by my desk… daily reminders for me. I hope that Maggie’s poem speaks to you as well…


by Maggie Smith

How long have I been wed
to myself? Calling myself

darling, dressing for my own
pleasure, each morning

choosing perfume to turn
me on. How long have I been

alone in this house but not
alone? Married less

to the man that to the woman
silvering with the mirror.

I know the kind of wife
I need and I become her:

the one who will leave
this earth at the same instant

I do. I am my own bride,
lifting the veil to see

my face. Darling, I say,
I have waited for you all my life.

Bride from Goldenrod: Poems © Maggie Smith, 2021. One Signal Publishers / Atria Books, Simon and Schuster, Inc. 

You can hear Maggie read the poem here and you can learn more about Maggie here.

Make sure you check out what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have shared today!

Thursday’s Are For Poetry | 4.13.23

Thursday’s Are For Poetry | 4.13.23

Welcome to the second week of National Poetry Month!

This week, we are all sharing a poem by our Poet Laureate, Ada Limón. I have a plethora of Ada Favorites in my poetry collection, but I think the thing I like best about Ada’s poetry is the way she lifts women… it always inspires me.

And my selection this week is:

How to Triumph Like a Girl

by Ada Limón

I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest, I like
that they’re ladies. As if this big
dangerous animal is also a part of me,
that somewhere inside the delicate
skin of my body, there pumps
an 8-pound female horse heart,
giant with power, heavy with blood.
Don’t you want to believe it?
Don’t you want to lift my shirt and see
the huge beating genius machine
that thinks, no, it knows,
it’s going to come in first.
Ada Limon, “How to Triumph Like a Girl” from Bright Dead Things. Copyright © 2015 by Ada Limon.

To learn more about Ada, you will find some great info here as well as her site here.

Please stop by and see what poems Kym, Bonny, and Sarah are sharing today!


Thursday’s Are For Poetry | 4.6.23

Thursday’s Are For Poetry | 4.6.23

Welcome to my favorite month of the entire year… National Poetry Month!

As usual… Kym, Bonny, Sarah, and myself will be sharing some poetry with you this month on Thursday’s.

Before I share my poem for today, I thought I’d give you some ideas of how you can add more poetry to your April days! You will find a treasure trove of resources here… including getting a Poem-A-Day emailed to you. This month they will all be curated by Ada Limón, Poet Laureate. Want more… you will find 30 ideas here to bring more poetry to your April!

Today, each of us will be sharing a poem around the idea of wonder… I read a good deal of poetry and considered a number of different poems, but ultimately I picked a poem by Ellen Bass. She is a favorite poet of mine… she is easy to read and her poems really hit home for me. This poem starts with Rilke (who I just can’t get enough of!) and from there, she shares the wonder of us… she makes it personal…intimate for the reader… me and you …in the most incredible way.

The World Has Need of You

by Ellen Bass

…everything here seems to need us…

I can hardly imagine it
as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient
prayer of my arms swinging
in counterpoint to my feet.
Here I am, suspended
between the sidewalk and twilight,
the sky dimming so fast it seems alive.
What if you felt the invisible
tug between you and everything?
A boy on a bicycle rides by,
his white shirt open, flaring
behind him like wings.
It’s a hard time to be human. We know too much
and too little. Does the breeze need us?
The cliffs? The gulls?
If you’ve managed to do one good thing,
the ocean doesn’t care.
But when Newton’s apple fell toward the earth,
the earth, ever so slightly, fell
toward the apple as well.

The World Has Need of You © Ellen Bass

If you want to learn more about Ellen Bass and her poetry… look here, and here.

And be sure to stop by to see what Kym, Bonny, and Sarah have shared today!

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.28.22

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.28.22

Today is one of my favorite days…it’s Poem In Your Pocket Day!

It’s a day to carry a poem with you… and perhaps you will even then invite poetry into the remaining days of the year.

I debated about what poem should I share this month. I contemplated Joyce Kilmer’s Tree’s or Carl Sandburg’s Fog… poems that my grandfather loved deeply. I also considered one of the many poems by Derek Walcott. So many choices. Really. There are literally hundreds of poems one could pick to put in your pocket today and not one a bad choice!

But earlier this month I heard a poem by Jane Kenyon and it has stayed with me. I have thought about her words almost daily, and have since printed it out and put in my journal. I have contemplated the words as I began my April chores in the garden – and especially when I saw those rhubarb leaves as they thought their way up through the soil… a certain sign of spring.

I think this poem will fit well in your pocket… enjoy!

April Chores

by Jane Kenyon

When I take the chilly tools
from the shed’s darkness, I come
out to a world made new
by heat and light.

The snake basks and dozes
on a large flat stone.
It reared and scolded me
for raking too close to its hole.

Like a mad red brain
the involute rhubarb leaf
thinks its way up
through loam.

Jane Kenyon, “April Chores” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by The Estate of Jane Kenyon.

Please make sure you stop and visit Kym, Bonny, and Sarah today to see what they have for you to tuck into your pocket as well. I cannot thing of a better thing to fill your pockets with than a handful of poems!

Thank you all so much for reading along with this month… and especially I’d like to thank Kym for including me!

See you all here tomorrow!

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.28.22

Thursday’s are for Poetry | 4.21.22

The theme for this week is Forgiveness. Hmmm. Okay. I vaguely remembered reading a poem about forgiveness… but could I find it? It turns out that was quite a challenge… but, thankfully, not one that was at all painful! I spent an afternoon perusing my poetry books, as well as looking online on the Poetry Foundation I had read from my library… with no luck at all in finding the poem I was thinking about.

I had three other poetry resources to check… poetry I listen to…The Slow Down, Poetry Unbound, and The Writer’s Almanac. Of course, it was Pádraig Ó Tuama who shared the poem on forgiveness that I am sharing today. I have printed it and placed in my journal so I can revisit it frequently. It is such a lovely reminder that forgiveness needs to start with yourself. I hope you enjoy this poem as well!

Phase One

by Dilruba Ahmed

For leaving the fridge open
last night, I forgive you.
For conjuring white curtains
instead of living your life.

For the seedlings that wilt, now,
in tiny pots, I forgive you.
For saying no first
but yes as an afterthought.

I forgive you for hideous visions
after childbirth, brought on by loss
of sleep. And when the baby woke
repeatedly, for your silent rebuke

in the dark, “What’s your beef?”
I forgive your letting vines
overtake the garden. For fearing
your own propensity to love.

For losing, again, your bag
en route from San Francisco;
for the equally heedless drive back
on the caffeine-fueled return.

I forgive you for leaving
windows open in rain
and soaking library books
again. For putting forth

only revisions of yourself,
with punctuation worked over,
instead of the disordered truth,
I forgive you. For singing mostly

when the shower drowns
your voice. For so admiring
the drummer you failed to hear
the drum. In forgotten tin cans,

may forgiveness gather. Pooling
in gutters. Gushing from pipes.
A great steady rain of olives
from branches, relieved

of cruelty and petty meanness.
With it, a flurry of wings, thirteen
gray pigeons. Ointment reserved
for healers and prophets. I forgive you.

I forgive you. For feeling awkward
and nervous without reason.
For bearing Keats’s empty vessel
with such calm you worried

you had, perhaps no moral
center at all. For treating your mother
with contempt when she deserved
compassion. I forgive you. I forgive

you. I forgive you. For growing
a capacity for love that is great
but matched only, perhaps,
by your loneliness. For being unable

to forgive yourself first so you
could then forgive others and
at last find a way to become
the love that you want in this world.

Phase One from Bring Now the Angels by Dilruba Ahmed, © 2020.

Please visit Kym, Bonny, and Sarah and see what Forgiveness Poem they are sharing today.

I will see you all back here next Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!

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