Inspiration: Poems

Poem: “Empathy,” by A.E. Stallings

Poem: “Empathy,” by A.E. Stallings

My love, I’m grateful tonight Our listing bed isn’t a raft Precariously adrift As we dodge the coast-guard light, And clasp hold of a girl and a boy. I’m glad that we didn’t wake Our kids in the thin hours, to take Not a thing, not a favorite toy, And we didn’t hand...

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Poem: “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus

Poem: “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus

We originally published this poem three years ago, but today seems like a good day to post it again. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in October, 1886. The Emma Lazarus poem was added in 1903. Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride...

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Poem: “On Good and Evil,” by Kahlil Gibran

Poem: “On Good and Evil,” by Kahlil Gibran

And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil. And he answered: Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves,...

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Poem: “Any Morning,” by William Stafford

Poem: “Any Morning,” by William Stafford

Just lying on the couch and being happy. Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head. Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has so much to do in the world. People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t monitor you all the time, and sometimes they...

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POEM: “Unison Benediction,” by May Sarton

POEM: “Unison Benediction,” by May Sarton

Return to the most human, nothing less will nourish the torn spirit, the bewildered heart, the angry mind: and from the ultimate duress, pierced with the breath of anguish, speak of love. Return, return to the deep sources, nothing less will teach the stiff hands a...

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Poem: “Good Bones,” by Maggie Smith

Poem: “Good Bones,” by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children. Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways, a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that’s a...

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POEM: “Bear in Mind,” by John Martin

POEM: “Bear in Mind,” by John Martin

A bear is chasing me through a meadow and I’m running as fast as I can but he’s gaining on me—it seems he’s always gaining on me. I’m running and running but also thinking I should just turn around and say, “Stop it! Stop chasing me. We both know you aren’t going to...

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POEM: “Singularity,” by Marie Howe

POEM: “Singularity,” by Marie Howe

(after Stephen Hawking) Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity we once were? so compact nobody needed a bed, or food or money — nobody hiding in the school bathroom or home alone pulling open the drawer where the pills are kept. For every atom belonging...

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POEM: “The Layers,” by Stanley Kunitz

POEM: “The Layers,” by Stanley Kunitz

In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written....

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Poem: “Statement,” by Robert Francis

Poem: “Statement,” by Robert Francis

I follow Plato only with my mind. Pure beauty strikes me as a little thin, A little cold, however beautiful. I am in love with what is mixed, impure, doubtful and dark and hard to disencumber. I want a beauty I must dig for, search for. Pure beauty is beginning and...

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