The days of knowing poetry and famous poets seems to have gone the way of posts, messages, comments, emails, friends, likes, etc.
It just isn’t something society gives attention to like it used to.
A present-day preoccupation with chatting, watching the best subscription television, posting, and swiping has become the routine.
I encourage you to put the phone down. Turn off your computer monitor. Mute your television, and enjoy all that great writing has to offer to the soul, spirit and minde.
While I have to admit, I do not know the works of all these to be mentioned—I do know some.
And all are place markers in the annals of history, when it comes to great writing and prose.
Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, E.E. Cummings, and one of my favorites, Rudyard Kipling. And if your background goes further in-depth, then, Shakespeare, Dante, Chaucer, William Wordsworth, John Keats, T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, John Milton, William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Ted Hughes, Edgar Allan Poe, William Carlos Williams, W. H. Auden will be front-of-mind, as well. The list can go on.
And, modern-day poets with us, and passed, including: Sherman Alexie, Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Hayden, Frank O’Hara, Sharon Olds, Wislawa Szymborska, Natasha Tretheway, Kevin Young. The list can go on.
And finally, how about the lyricist poets? Take some time to read the lyrics of songwriters and musicians absent of the music behind it—–very deep. Lennon, McCartney, Springsteen, Morrison, Dylan, Baez, Guthrie, Taylor. The list can go on and on.
Poetry is a matter of preference. Maybe it’s the mood you’re in, or the type of inspiration you’re seeking.
Maybe it is poetry from such names as the above, which I have provided so you can research and discover their works.
Or, maybe it’s poetry you write yourself, for yourself.
It all can be a form of therapy to the mind, body and spirit if you will allow yourself to be still and enjoy the inspiration of where poetry meets your soul.
Your entry into the writing realm may have you gravitate to one form over another: haiku, limericks, sonnets, sestinas, diamonte and rhyme —- all part of the poetic writing palette.
Don’t get frustrated if your approach to poetic therapy is the writing route, and it’s not the way you want it at first. It’s not going to be perfect in the first draft. Keep at it, and before long, you will have your first poem.
And for those of us who prefer to read from the greats, I leave you with one of my favorites written by Robert Frost,
Stopping by Woods on A Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.