Poetry holds what can’t be said. It can’t be paraphrased. It can’t be translated. The great poetry I love holds the mystery of being alive. It holds a kind of basket of words that feels inevitable. [Marie Howe, in an interview with Krista Tippett]

Marie describes poetry as a way to acknowledge and remember a moment in time. The only way to embody that space is to put words to the way it feels to be alive right then. I often have those moments, moments where I want to remember the feeling or even the very basic idea of being alive in that instant. This desire for time to stop, this deep longing for awareness of the time and place – this is poetry.

I took my first ride on Amtrak last fall and found an overwhelming sense of peace in that journey. It was picturesque to be sure, but even more remarkable was the air, this spirit of camaraderie in suspended time. Perhaps it’s the dated perception of train travel or embracing the now foreign idea of sharing a meal with strangers, but as we chugged along through golden fields and reddening trees I felt an overwhelming clarity. Like a snow globe of a forgotten era, we were living. Truly living.

Looking at myself now, I see a transformed self. Poetry came alive to me in ways previously unknown and now stands as a real way to interpret some of life’s depths and peaks and commonalities. Naomi Shihab Nye, a new favorite poet, writes that our lives are a poem. This idea captivates me, completely certain in its truth. What better way to embrace life than to write its stanzas with the air we breathe?

Here you will find a collection of my favorite poems as I come across them. This new appreciation for the magic of poetry has inspired me to write a few myself, and I plan to share these with you as well.

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