World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry day! In honour of the day I thought it’d be nice to share a few poems and poets that I really like. Quite a few years ago I tried my hand at writing poetry and I liked it, it’s an immersive and challenging experience that makes you look at the world differently. I wish I’d kept it up but instead I changed my job which was a different kind of challenging and immersive experience that pays the bills better but isn’t quite so psychologically rewarding.

Anway, I wasn’t very good at it but because I was trying to write poetry I read a lot of poetry and I found a lot of poets that I love. Here are a few of my favourites. Who are your favourite poets and favourite poems?

October by Louise Gluck (note: this is part 3 and my favourite part of the poem, but it is worth reading the whole


Snow had fallen. I remember

music from an open window.

Come to me, said the world.

This is not to say

it spoke in exact sentences

but that I perceived beauty in this manner.

Sunrise. A film of moisure

on each living thing. Pools of cold light

formed in the gutters.

I stood

at the doorway,

ridiculous as it now seems.

What others found in art,

I found in nature. What others found

in human love, I found in nature.

Very simple. But there was no voice there.

Winter was over. In the thawed dirt,

bits of green were showing.

Come to me, said the world. I was standing

in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal –

I can finally say

long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure.

the healer, the teacher –

Death cannot harm me

more than you have harmed me,

my beloved life.

Although the Wind by Izumi Shikibu (tr. Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani)

Although the wind

Blows terribly here,

The moonlight also leaks

Between the roof planks

Of this ruined house.

close up photo of mushrooms

Photo by Fabian Wiktor on

Looking for Mushrooms at Sunrise by W. S. Merwin

When it is not yet day
I am walking on centuries of dead chestnut leaves
In a place without grief
Though the oriole
Out of another life warns me
That I am awake

In the dark while the rain fell
The gold chanterelles pushed through a sleep that was not mine
Waking me
So that I came up the mountain to find them

Where they appear it seems I have been before
I recognize their haunts as though remembering
Another life

Where else am I walking even now
Looking for me

Black Maps by Mark Strand

Not the attendance of stones,

nor the applauding wind,

shall let you know

you have arrived,

nor the sea that celebrates

only departures,

nor the mountains,

nor the dying cities.

Nothing will tell you

where you are.

Each moment is a place

you’ve never been.

You can walk

believing you cast

a light around you.

But how will you know?

The present is always dark.

Its maps are black,

rising from nothing,


in their slow ascent

into themselves,

their own voyage,

its emptiness,

the bleak, temperate

necessity of its completion.

As they rise into being

they are like breath.

And if they are studied at all

it is only to find,

too late, what you thought

were concerns of yours

do not exist.

Your house is not marked

on any of them,

nor are your friends,

waiting for you to appear,

nor are your enemies,

listing your faults.

Only you are there,

saying hello

to what you will be,

and the black grass

is holding up the black stars.

white and black sail boat on ocean

Photo by Mike B on

Gift by Czeslaw Milosz (tr. Anthony Milosz)

A day so happy.

Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.

Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.

There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.

I knew no one worth my envying him.

Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.

To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.

In my body I felt no pain.

When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and the sails.


About bookbii

I'm an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in an ordinary place, and it is quietly wonderful
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to World Poetry Day

  1. Thank you for sharing the lovely poems! Happy World Poetry Day!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s