All posts tagged: poem

What does it mean to not hold back?

In her poem “Little Things,” Sharon Olds writes, I am doing something I learned early to do, I am / paying attention to small beauties, / whatever I have–as it were our duty / to find things to love, to bind ourselves to this world. Like Olds, Mary Oliver’s poems teach me to pay attention to the little things in life. Her words bind me to this world by reminding me to be more present in and more attentive to the world. In the poem “Hum, Hum,” Mary Oliver uses several versions of the phrase “Nothing could hold them back.” Of what can’t be held back, she writes about bees, words of poets, and sadness. I’ll add winter and truth to the list of things that can’t be held back. Another beauty I love from this poem is the phrase hum, hum. It reminds me of a humanities course I took in college in which the professor connected music to our heartbeats. Thump, thump. Hum, hum. Section 5 of the poem reveals the need for music: …

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 floor. 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.

There are Ghosts and Madness in These Lines

This is a poetry series in which I share poetry lines that move me and why they move me. The following lines are from The Carrying by Ada Limon. What if I want to go devil instead? Bow down to the madness that makes me. from “Last Summer After a Panic Attack” I think that all artists including writers carry a madness. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Here, I’m using the either the “state of frenzied or chaotic activity” definition or “extremely foolish behavior.” My madness sometimes occurs after midnight when I can’t sleep and there’s chaos in my mind. A whirlwind of writing ideas and dreams. Unanswered messages like ghosts in the throat. from “Last Summer After a Panic Attack” I have never thought of ghosts living in the throat, and I admire this line so much for its creativity. I would have expected ghosts in the attic or ghosts in the cemetery, so the end of this line caught me off guard. It reminds me of the things I don’t say when I need …