Knowing that it's World Poetry Day! Fortunately, my daily Magnetic Poems are NOT the standard by which poetry is judged. There are so many brilliant poets, living and dead, whose words give us insight into emotion, beauty, language, history--every facet of the human condition--not to mention the non-human condition.
Poetry can enlighten us, entertain us, inform us. It can make us laugh and cry. It can make us say, Yes! Someone understands. And sometimes, I never thought of it that way. With the greatest economy of language, it offers the entire universe from the smallest speck of matter to the grandest concept we can imagine. Poetry is precise and concrete and magical and evocative all at once. It is music to our ears, images for our eyes, and gives us smells and tastes and touches we remember or only imagined.
I'd like to name my favorite poem, but as soon as I think of one, a half dozen more come to mind. For as long as I was able to read, poetry was there. This is one of the earliest books I was ever given--just for me, all mine:
I still remember, to the word, the lines of poetry Mrs. Bryan had us memorize in high school. Poetry was the first of my writing I was brave enough to share with anyone. It bonded me to one of my mentors, my uncle, and became a dialogue between my dear friend Riley and me, and later Timothy F and me.
Poetry can be, for me, as good as meditation. If I can open a book of poems while sitting outside somewhere, that's a slice of paradise. Currently, it's going to be this one:
Framed in Silence by Lynn Domina
Sometimes, as in this case, I'm fortunate enough to know the poet. That makes discovering and savoring each poem even better. But really, when I read Yeats and Keats and Dickinson and Sexton and Coleridge and Auden and Millay and Frost and Plath and Browning and Bishop and Lowell and Shakespeare and Larkin and Thomas and Doty and Monette and Hopkins and Donne and--okay, okay, I'll stop--I feel that I know them a little, too.
Their poems are old and beloved friends.