It’s Almost Over, It’s Almost Over, It’s Nearly Over….

What, you may (obviously) ask, is almost over?

I hesitate to say right away. After all, most of my readers are North Americans. North Americans, unlike those in many other parts of the world…well…they…um…you…er…sometimes…don’t even want to hear about this stuff.

Here, I will let this guy help me out. It’s a short one; trust me.

Who is “that guy”? And why did I let him read that to you?

“That guy” is Billy Collins, twice Poet Laureate of the United States, known for his accomplishment of actually greatly popularizing poetry in this country of the “poetically averse.”’

See, Billy made clear in that poem why so many avoid poetry—at least in my country. Not realizing that it can be playful, emotional, healing, cleansing, uplifting, heart-opening to read or write it, many avoid it for the very reasons he lampoons in that poem.

We were taught that “poetry” was an obscure, hard to understand thing.

Or how about this one?

“Whatever happens. Whatever

what is is is what

I want. Only that. But that.”

That is the poem “Prayer,” by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Galway Kinnell. Simple enough. Hard to understand? Not. I’m sure my English teacher would never have let me use the word “is” three times in a row! See…poetry. Where anything goes. Definitely.

Here’s a really fun one!:

God Says Yes To Me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic

and she said yes

I asked her if it was okay to be short

and she said it sure is

I asked her if I could wear nail polish

or not wear nail polish

and she said honey

she calls me that sometimes

she said you can do just exactly

what you want to

Thanks God I said

And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph

my letters

Sweetcakes God said

who knows where she picked that up

what I’m telling you is

Yes Yes Yes

~ Kaylin Haught

So you see…poetry can be…well, anything. Diane Rehm recently did a wonderful radio show about this subject of how to embrace your alienation from poetry for a richer life: Poetry Celebration

And if you still aren’t convinced….well, I could go on and on with poems that I adore, but here is an article entitled, “Nine Poems That Will Change Your Mind About Poetry” that has a superb variety…there will be something that you love, I promise!

And of course we haven’t even approached slam poetry!  Here is a slam poet whose video went viral with over 4 million views:

Then there is mystical poetry, Native traditional poems, lyrics, nursery rhymes, and countless other poetic opportunities to see life afresh (Magnetic Refrigerator Poetry, anyone?)

So, what is almost over? It’s the last day of National Poetry Month in the good ol’ U.S. of A. I hope this helped open you up to the idea of welcoming some fresh sources of inspiration for the 11 months ahead…until the next National Poetry Month .

And I hope that you will write some yourself!

Poetry can be truly healing….and that is what I want to help bring to you; many avenues of healing.

Please share your favorite poems (yours or others) or links to poems that you love, below!

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  1. Thank you for this poetry that even I can enjoy!

    • Thank you Nick! I’m so glad my tricking people into poetry seemed to work on you. 😉 Appreciate the comment, and your reading it, as well as watching the videos on the post.

  2. Thanks Elizabeth! I love all of those! And so very, very many besides. I love Billy Collins, and saw him when he was here last fall. And Mary Oliver, oh, Mary Oliver! I love listening to Garrison Keillor read poems every morning – such a great way to start the day. Billy Collins wasn’t the same. I like his voice and deadpan delivery for his own poems – so funny! But for most other people’s poems, it’s a little too dry.

    • Thank you Andrea for your thoughts. I love Mary Oliver as well. And we are so lucky in these parts to have our public radio station play Garrison Keillor’s resonant bartione voice every weekday serving us his delicous selections of the poem for the day. Billy Collins is a kick. Make sure to see his DVD On the Road With Billy Collins, which the library has. It’s wonderful! Thanks again for the thoughtful reply.

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