*(my apologies to T.S. Eliot and The Wasteland)
Being the logophile and English nerd that I am, you knew that this was coming. I mean, I am that English major who has to restrain herself from quoting Shakespeare and Wordsworth at parties.
Oh wait . . . I do it anyway.
Poetry is the language of the soul.
There are times when a poem expresses exactly what I'm feeling--it gives words and meaning to emotions I couldn't make sense of. Poems make it possible for me to sort myself out. Many times, interpreting a poem is something spiritual for me. Like when reading John Keats's "Ode to Autumn" or Gerard Manley Hopkins's "The Windhover."
Poetry is a part of my life. I can tell you which poets can help after a broken heart or dashed dream (Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda are some of my favorites), and which ones are perfect for a budding romance (W.B. Yeats. All of the way. Love his poetry, especially his love poetry, so so much). And then there's Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and Dylan Thomas for those moments when you need an extra boost.
And then, there are just those poems which are simply delicious to read. Where phrases stick in your mind for days, 'til you can't get them out and you just have to repeat them over, and over, and over again in your mind, until they unexpectedly become a part of your vocabulary.
I could go on.
But instead, I'll just end with a poem which has stuck with me recently. Haunted me, I guess you could say. I can't get it out of my soul. So that means I have to share it.
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands