People need poems sometimes. This thought reassures me.
When we fall in love, marry each other or watch our friends marry each other. When someone we love leaves. When someone we love is sick or in pain. When we are in pain. When a new human enters the world. When the world changes, and we are overwhelmed.
Even when nothing can be done to fix a situation, poems provide single servings of comfort, compassion, and reverie. Tell me what to make of this, we ask the poems we look to for comfort. Tell me what house to build around this experience.
I wanted to share a few of the poems I look for in times of weakness and pain. And I would love to hear your recommendations, too.
“blessing the boats,” by Lucille Clifton
“Recovery,” by Jan Zwicky
“Directive,” by Robert Frost
“Five Odes on Absence” or “Never-ending Birds” by David Baker
“The Crying Hill” by Yusef Komunyakaa
“Tree,” by Jane Hirshfield
“Under One Small Star,” Wislawa Szymborska