The Nature of These Lines

I share poetry lines that move me and why they move me in this poetry series called “These Lines.” I am still reading The Carrying by Ada Limon, so lines from her poems made it to this series again.


I hate the world, the pain of it that circles in us,

that makes us want to be the moon,

the treasure, and not the thing on the sea


from “The Dead Boy” by Ada Limon

  • I have found myself hating the world and its pain. I love how Ada includes everyone in this “want[ing] to be the moon” with her use of “us.” I have also wondered what it would be like to be something nonhuman: a flower, a river, a bird.

Tell me–humongous cavern, tell me…

this endless plummet into more of the unknown,

tell me how one keeps secrets for so long.


from “Notes on the Below” by Ada Limon

  • “Notes on the Below” is a beautiful poem as a whole. I love how Ada addresses this cavern and asks it to tell her things about life. Throughout the poem she talks about envy, desire, greed, and forgiveness. She wonders what it must be like to be a cavern and gives it human-like qualities. I wonder what secrets this cavern keeps.

When the dead return
they will come to you in dream
and in waking, will be the bird
knocking, knocking against glass, seeking
a way in,

from “No Ruined Stone” by Shara McCallum

  • This summer my aunt shared stories about how a family member shows up in her dreams and has given her messages like checking up on other family members. I don’t know if dead people can visit us in our dreams, but the idea of it fascinates me. How a loved one can come back in a different form.

It’s the nature of poetry, it’s the nature of these lines to make me look at the world with a sense of magic.

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