by Julia Alvarez
Listening to a poem on the radio,
Mike Holmquist stayed awake on his drive home
from Laramie on Interstate 80
tapping his hand to the beat of some lines
by Longfellow, while overcome by grief
one lonesome night when the bathroom cabinet
still held her husband's meds, May Quinn reached out
for a book by Years instead and fell asleep
cradling "When You Are Old," not the poet's best,
but still...poetry made nothing happen,
which was good, given what May had in mind.
Writing a paper on a Bishop poem,
Jenny Klein missed her ride but arrived home
to the cancer news in a better frame of mind.
While troops dropped down into Afghanistan
in the living room, Naomi Stella clapped
to the nursery rhyme her father had turned on,
All the king's horses and all the king's men...
If only poetry had made nothing happen!
If only the president had listened to Auden!
Faith Chaney, Lulu Perez, Sunghee Chen--
there's a list as long as an epic poem
of folks who'll swear a poem has never done
a thing for them...except...perhaps adjust
the sunset views one cloudy afternoon,
which made them see themselves or see the world
in a different light--degrees of change so small
only a poem registers them all.
That's why they can be trusted, why poems might
still save us from what happens in the world.
YOU ARE READING
BEAUTIFUL CHAOS; poetry appreciationPoetry
None of these poems will be mine. These are all poems I have collected from other sources, from other people. Most of these poets will be famous or semi-famous. I just thought to start an appreciation collection.