In honor of this amazing day, I thought I would share some of my favorite poems with you. I have loved poetry for a long time and I enjoy it immensely. So, here you go…
1. Emily Dickinson
“Hope” is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without words-
And never stops- at all-
And sweetest- in the Gale- is heard-
The sore must be the storm-
That could ambush the little bird-
That kept so many warm-
I’ve heard it in the chillest land-
And on the strangest sea-
Yet- never in- extremity,
It asked a crumb- of me.
2. Robert Frost
Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
He waited, (they were strangers)
Til they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy
“Be happy, happy, happy,
And seize the day of pleasure.”
The age-long theme is Age’s.
‘Twas Age imposed on poems
Their gather-roses burden
To warn against the danger
That overtaken lovers
From being over flooded
With happiness should have it
And yet not know they have it.
But bid life seize the present?
It lives lives less in the present
Than in the future, always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The Present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing
Too present to imagine.
3. Shel Silverstein
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
Too cool in the peppermint wind
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and beds.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we’ll walk a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
4. William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
5. Edgar Allen Poe
The noble name in Allegory’s page,
The hand that traced inexorable rage;
A pleasing moralist whose page refined,
Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind;
A tender poet of a foreign tongue,
(Indited in the language that he sung.)
A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page
At once the same and glory of our age
The prince of harmony and Stirling sense,
The ancient dramatist of eminence,
The bard that paints imagination’s powers,
And him whose song revives departed hours,
Once more an ancient tragic bard recall,
In boldness of design surpassing all.
These names when rightly read, a name [make] known
Which gathers all their glories in its own.
6. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
It only happened once
many many years ago
before I was alive.
(My father told me, so I know.)
All bicycles grew giant wings
and children pedaled through the sky
making sounds like birds and planes
For one day, everyone could fly.
My dad made friends with honking geese
They taught him how to catch a breeze
He still remembers how it felt
to skin the tops of Grandma’s trees
I see it in his eyes sometimes
He’ll watch me and “remember when”
I ride my own bike every day.
For one day…
…bikes will fly again.
7. E. E. Cummings
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)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet
I want no world
(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon
has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can
hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping
the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
8. William Butler Yeats
When you are old and gray and full of sleep
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face,
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
9. Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please.
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth
The swing in my waist
And the joy in my feet
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
10. William Shakespeare
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne of the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of shy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.