I did not know her, but acutely knew her words and lyrical poetry. Her story was well known – growing up in a dysfunctional family and finding solace in the outdoors, writing and exploring. I knew about some parts of her life…but I only knew her through the poems.
My grief was ignited by the realization there would be no more words from Mary Oliver. My thoughts rolled over the tremendous gift she was and that often the words were taken for granted, like they sprang from an overflowing well. But, she was a treasure and had a limited engagement with us…as do so many.
For me, poets live closest to the soul. I wrote poetry as a child and younger person, but found I had to scrape so close to the core it burned me raw and I didn’t want to live there.
It’s April – National Poetry Month. I’ve been spending March and April writing haiku – a form of Japanese poetry, in preparation for my upcoming June art exhibit with the talented Judy Jacobs titled “See it with Words.” This exhibit features writing and visual art. It opens June 11th at ARTHOUSE Gallery.
In honor of what I believe is the rawest, most saturated and divine form of expression, I’m presenting you with 3 poems, in different forms. These are, of course, some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them. If you’d like to add a poem that speaks to you, please do so in the comments. I’d love to know what speaks to you! It’s a good way to celebrate National Poetry Month.
Mary Oliver’s “The Journey” is a poem that spoke to me as I transitioned from working in the corporate world to becoming a full time artist. I’m sure this piece speaks to your experience with transitions as well…at least I hope it does.
This Maya Angelou poem speaks to the indomitable human spirit and the common, perhaps familiar feeling of being opposed or defeated. I love that the author is reading it….the sound of her velvety voice is comforting to me and makes me smile. And Still I Rise.
Finally, I present a “boss poetry jam” by Derrick Brown exploring what is “holy” in our world. It might be more than you think. This one gives me chills for the obvious reasons. It is worth every second of your time.
Also, a gentle reminder, April 21st is Poem in Your Pocket Day.(Click to Tweet) Click on the link to learn more and download a poem for your pocket. Of course, writing your own would be a fine thing to do, too. Feel free to share these and celebrate….
Because Life is A Poem,
Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Lived Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.