Inspiration: Poems

Poem: “Passover,” by Primo Levi

Poem: “Passover,” by Primo Levi

Tell me: how is this night different From all other nights? How, tell me, is this Passover Different from other Passovers? Light the lamp, open the door wide So the pilgrim can come in, Gentile or Jew; Under the rags perhaps the prophet is concealed. Let him enter and...

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POEM: “Small Kindnesses,” by Danusha Laméris

POEM: “Small Kindnesses,” by Danusha Laméris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” when someone sneezes, a leftover from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying. And sometimes, when you spill...

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Poem: “Pandemic,” by Lynn Ungar

Poem: “Pandemic,” by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life....

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POEM: “Hope,” by Lisel Mueller

POEM: “Hope,” by Lisel Mueller

It hovers in dark corners before the lights are turned on, it shakes sleep from its eyes and drops from mushroom gills, it explodes in the starry heads of dandelions turned sages, it sticks to the wings of green angels that sail from the tops of maples. It sprouts in...

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Poem: “Love,” by Czeslaw Milosz

Poem: “Love,” by Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to learn to look at yourself The way one looks at distant things For you are only one thing among many. And whoever sees that way heals his heart, Without knowing it, from various ills— A bird and a tree say to him: Friend. Then he wants to use himself and...

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Poem: “Antilamentation,” by Dorianne Laux

Poem: “Antilamentation,” by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read to the end just to find out who killed the cook, not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark, in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication, not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot, the one...

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CONTINUE: a poem, by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem, by Maya Angelou

My wish for you Is that you continue          Continue To be who and how you are To astonish a mean world With your acts of kindness          Continue To allow humor to lighten the burden Of your tender heart          Continue In a society dark with cruelty To let the...

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Poem: “I know the way you can get,” by Hafiz

Poem: “I know the way you can get,” by Hafiz

I know the way you can get When you have not had a drink of Love: Your face hardens, Your sweet muscles cramp. Children become concerned About a strange look that appears in your eyes Which even begins to worry your own mirror And nose. Squirrels and birds sense your...

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Poem: “Allow,” by Diane Faulds

Poem: “Allow,” by Diane Faulds

There is no controlling life. Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado. Dam a stream and it will create a new channel. Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet. Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground. The only safety lies in letting it...

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Poem: “Unconditional,” by Jennifer Welwood

Poem: “Unconditional,” by Jennifer Welwood

Willing to experience aloneness, I discover connection everywhere; Turning to face my fear, I meet the warrior who lives within; Opening to my loss, I gain the embrace of the universe; Surrendering into emptiness, I find fullness without end. Each condition I flee...

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Poem: “Epitaph,” by Merrit Malloy

Poem: “Epitaph,” by Merrit Malloy

When I die Give what’s left of me away To children And old men that wait to die. And if you need to cry, Cry for your brother Walking the street beside you. And when you need me, Put your arms Around anyone And give them What you need to give to me. I want to leave...

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