Example poetry

National Poetry Day – what is it?


National Poetry Day is celebrated on the first Thursday of October every year and its main purpose is to celebrate the love of language and communication.

I dare say it’s no longer a secret that poetry has somehow always made other people feel better.

Why? For me, for example, poetry explores the parts of ourselves that we are often too ashamed to talk about with others.

However, once we have enough courage (or don’t have it but do it anyway) and write, not only will writing things down help us deal with our inner states more easily, but it will also help others to find someone to identify with.

I would like to share a few of my forever favorite pieces of poetry today, because that is what today is all about, sharing love through language:

Whether –Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head up when all around you

Lose theirs and blame you for it,

If you can trust yourself when all the men doubt you,

But take into account also their doubts;

If you can wait and not be tired while waiting,

Or to be lied to, don’t deal with lies,

Or be hated, don’t give in to hate,

And yet, do not look too handsome, nor speak too wisely:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your goal;

If you can meet Triumph and Disaster

And treat these two impostors alike;

If you can bear to hear the truth you said

Twisted by rogues to trap fools,

Or look at the things you gave your life to, broken,

And bend down and build them with worn tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings

And risk it on a round of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start all over again

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart, your nerves and your nerves

To serve your turn long after they’re gone,

And so hold on when there’s nothing in you

Except the Testament which tells them: ‘Wait!’

If you can talk with the crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings – nor lose common contact,

If neither enemies nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the ruthless minute

With sixty seconds of running,

To you the Earth and all that it contains,

And, what is more, you will be a Man, my son!

(source: PoetryFoundation.com)

Image credit: Pinterest

The reason I love this one so much is its simplicity. Despite the fact that the content might seem a bit heavy on some days, it still speaks words of truth to many. Although some might consider it not to be a particularly good example of quality poetry, it is still one of the best poems I have ever come across.

morning song – Sylvia Plath

Love got you going like a big gold watch.

The midwife slapped your soles and your bald cry

Took his place among the elements.

Our voices resound, magnifying your coming. New figurine.

In a drafty museum, your nakedness

Shades our security. We stand round empty like walls.

I am no longer your mother

Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slowness

Hand erasing from the wind.

All night your moth breath

Sparkles among flat pink roses. I wake up to listen:

A distant sea moves in my ear.

A cry, and I stumble out of bed, heavy and floral

In my Victorian nightgown.

Your mouth opens cleanly like a cat’s. The window square

Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try

Your handful of notes;

Light vowels rise like balloons.

(source: PoetryFoundation.com)

Image credit: BuzzFeed

If you know Sylvia Plath, her work or her character, you can probably guess that her poetry is sometimes not easy to read at all for its strong expression of emotions. Related to this, I am aware that this is exactly what poetry does, it introduces powerful and often ugly emotions.

However, with Sylvia Plath, you can’t really help but empathize with her, feeling like she’s your big sister showing you what the real world is really like for her.

To yell –Allan Ginsberg

Image credit: Pinterest

The third poem that I will not include in this article, because it is To yell, by Allan Ginsberg. If you didn’t know, this poem is very long. However, it is definitely worth reading.

I first read it after my high school teacher introduced it to my classmates and me and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. Every time I get this one in my hands, I personally feel like I’m not even reading a poem but an Allan Ginsberg diary. I recommend trying to read To yell out loud, you’ll get a much stronger feeling.

Likewise, I often wondered, should I really read something that sounds so personal? It seems too private and detailed to be read by someone who has never met Allan Ginsberg. Following this, I would also like to warn you, there will most likely be passages that could confuse you. This is because the poem was written for Ginsberg’s friends who, of course, had a much better understanding of his personal life than we do.

Access the poem at Poetry Foundationhttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/

Naturally, the list of poems close to my heart could go on and on, but that’s not my main topic here. I wanted to remind you that today is National Poetry Day, a genre that, in my humble opinion, is sometimes underestimated and should be given more attention. Happy reading today!

Image credit: Aaron Abaureden/Unsplash

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