At the end of last year, I made myself a resolution to read a poem a day. As I said in the original post, I’m not a poet. I’m not sure I want to be a poet, either. But I have great respect for poets and words. In an effort to learn more about both, and hopefully better my own craft, I challenged myself to read just one poem a day (I originally called it a resolution, but why weigh it down with such a heavy word. Let’s call it a challenge ūüôā ).

My goal is to not just read a poem, or skim through the lines, but to spend time with a poem. I want to think about it and wonder at the language and structure. Let it run through my head throughout the day. I also want to expose myself to different styles. I want to read masters and those beginning with their craft. If you’re a poet and want to share your work, or you’d like to suggest a poet who’s moved you in some particular way, please leave a comment and post a link, I’d love to check it out.

The first week is over and here are my reading selections:


 January 1st РA Gleam of Sunshine, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Favorite lines:

The Past and Present here unite

Beneath Time’s flowing tide,

Like footprints hidden by a brook,

But seen on either side.

A tender sadness runs through the poem. Honestly, I could have picked any line because each one moved me. I chose these lines though because they seemed fitting for the first day of the year when the past and present are changing hands.


 January 2nd РTiger Butter, by Charlotte Cuevas

Favorite lines:

Kids runnin’ round,

kids on the ground,

popcorn beneath the stars. 

I like the memories these lines awaken. I never went to the circus as a kid, but I kept picturing the county fair and buckets of popcorn. Merry-go-round music ran through my head when I read this poem.


January 3rd – Tomorrow, by Dennis O’Driscoll

Favorite lines:

Sunbeams sprawling on the lawn will set

dew sparkling like a cut-glass tumbler of champagne. 

A bit depressing, but love the imagery.


January 4th – Departure, by Lillian Kwok

Favorite lines:

Here is the hot country, remember it. 

 . . . 

Here are the legends, here is how you repeat them.

What strikes me most is the¬†strength in this poem; how it commands the reader. I admit I cringed a little when I read about the blood like Jell-O. But if you’re looking for something with strong images and strong memories, give this one a read.


January 5th – Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes

Favorite lines:

Don’t you fall now–

For I’se still goin’, honey,

I’se still climbin’,

And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.¬†

I LOVE this poem. I had never read Hughes before, but I’m definitely going to read more of him. The man has¬†such a natural voice, especially in this poem. And the sentiment!¬†Worth a read–or ten.


January 6th – A Love Song From the North, by Sarojini Naidu

Favorite lines:

I see the soft wings of the clouds on the river, 

And jewelled with raindrops the mango-leaves quiver, 

And tender boughs flower on the plain . . . 

Crazy about¬†the imagery. Stuck with me all day long. It might have helped that I’m allergic to mangoes so I pay extra attention to them whenever I see them, apparently even when I see them in a poem.


January 7th –Velvet Beulah, by Heath Muchena

Favorite lines:

butteryfly wings fan her

as she sun bathes

under the shade

of a mulberry with molasses scabs

I like the contrast in the lines–soft and fragile beneath¬†the shelter of a scarred tree.


My favorite? So hard to choose a favorite! I can admit I’ve gone back several times to re-read Tiger Butter and¬†Mother to Son.¬†

Am I looking at words in a new way, yet? I’m not sure. I can’t say that I see a dramatic difference. That’s expected, right? I mean it’s only the first week. I remain, however,¬†anxious to see where this challenge takes me :). I know I’m going to be different at the end of the year, marked in some way from these poems.

3 thoughts on “Weekly Poetry Reading – Week One

  1. If you’re wanting to look at words in a new way, try reading Tiger Butter with the added hint that it’s actually quite a snarky poem about American family values. (The tiger is peeing in their popcorn.)
    Cheers and thanks for reading ūüôā

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  2. BOS de BUSD de buop chitybop. Wickedly romancing the wickertree a Beauty for the Wicked Romancer woman with your beauty romantic wikiditry¬† Beauty to my bungalow persuasive¬† my wickedness of such poetic poetry romancing the beauty of you wickedly in my baffled bungalow the babies a beauty. Wickedness of ever a romantic with wizardrii my body your beauty romance its a wicked tree a witch which full dance the sheer wickedness of a cylindrical body ever to be persuasive of a baffling beauty in my bungalow where beauty ever the beautiful fondled by the poetry my baby poetic will be in my bungalow romantic with the wikid beautiful you baby ever to be mine a wickedness of Wicked Romancer; Romeo of wikidness¬† the romantic Rome.. Sheer wickedness a Wizard in wickedness of my mighty poetry…

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