Margin Notes: Poetry Kick

16 in '16 is going well, though I still haven't been as good at some things as I would like to be. Reading more poetry is going strong, thanks to Ruth. Her English teacher from high school sends one poem each week--and she forwards them along to me. Some I absolutely love, some I like, and a couple I'll pass on--but it really has spurred in me the desire to read more poetry. I read a Mary Oliver collection and loved it. I'm trying to figure out what I love and what speaks to me when it comes to poetry. So far, I'm liking accessible poems about nature or relationships.

I have a few books of poetry on my to-read list. Any I should add?


One of BuzzFeed's “16 Best Poetry Books of 2015” and “24 Best Literary Debuts of 2015”

Robin Beth Schaer’s startling first collection of poetry,Shipbreaking, charts a beautiful and dangerous journey where seas rise, mastodons roam, aeronauts float overhead, bodies electrify, and a child is born as a ship wrecks in a hurricane. The speaker here is curious and fierce, consulting scientists, philosophers, ancient maps, fossil bones, and lovers in order to survive and understand the strange majesty of living. With empathy and exaltation, the poems collapse the distance between natural disasters and human struggles, interweaving relationships between the upheavals and renewals that both the heart and Earth undergo.

“In Schaer's voluminous, shipwrecked world, everything is beautiful and no one is safe—it is from this suffering that song is created. This is a gorgeous debut from a smart, incisive young poet.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

A sample poem called "Wreck"

House of Belonging

"The House of Belonging" is David Whyte's fourth book of poetry, following "Songs for Coming Home", "Where Many Rivers Meet", and "Fire in the Earth". His fifth volume of poetry, "Everything is Waiting for You" was published in 2003. He is the author of two best-selling books of prose, "The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America", and "Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity". These books and a highly acclaimed audio lecture series are available from bookstores.

"David Whyte makes the reading of poetry a matter of life and death. His writings have moved and changed me."
- Pat Conroy, author of "The Prince of Tides"

The title poem can be found here.

The Shape of the Journey: New & Collected Poems

This collection includes all of the works from Harrison's eight previous volumes of poetry, including the renowned Letters to Yesenin, The Theory and Practice of Rivers, and After Ikkyu, together with new poems. 6 line drawings.


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