Some poems for pleasure

It’s National Poetry Month and You Haven’t Read a Single Poem Yet, Have You?

I don’t know many people who like poetry, though I do know a good number of people who read. Poetry remains rarefied and uninviting—or is the better word unappealing?—which is why I suspect National Poetry Month consistently passes uncelebrated and unacknowledged in the lives of most Americans. Poetry is the country music to those who might otherwise fancy themselves readers of everything, the form of writing almost all otherwise enthusiastic readers (of fiction and history and short stories and essays…) are excused for eschewing.


In honor of National Poetry Month, then, here are some poems that might inspire non-poetry readers to reconsider their abstinence. My only criteria for inclusion: the poem had to be written by a living American, and it had to be good. There’s no pressure to “get” anything about a certain poem and no quiz about symbolism or syllables at the end. This is purely for pleasure, not for points.

Thomas Sayers Ellis’s “All Their Stanzas Look Alike

Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Facing It

EJ Koh’s  “To My Mother Kneeling In The Cactus Garden

Steve Roggenbuck’s “Somewhere in the Bottom of the Rain

Eileen Myles “Peanut Butter

Marie Howe’s “What The Living Do”

Stephen Dobyn’s “How To Like It

Denice Frohman’s “Dear Straight People

Yoko Ono’s “End Piece” (auf der Seite unten)

/ Charlotte Shane, The New Republic

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