Thursday, May 11, 2023

Review of Poetry Month

 I began the month of April with the goal of reading more slowly and reading more poetry. And I did both.

On a whim, I decided to post a poem a few times during April on my WhatsApp status. I thought it would be a good way for me to pull out some poems I liked and maybe I'd find some new poetry. 

The first week of April was the week of Palm Sunday and Easter. There were so many great Easter poems that I shared a poem every day. Then I didn't want to break my streak. And I found if I didn't share a poem in the morning, one friend would ask where the poem was. :)

While I guessed that most of the people who saw my status would ignore the poems, I was surprised how many people, even rather unlikely ones, said that they enjoyed the poems. A few even stated that they were sad to see the month end.

At the beginning of the month, I would have guessed that I didn't have thirty favorite poems. I had decided that I would only share one poem per author, so that cut out sharing my collection of Amy Carmichael poems that I've enjoyed since I was a teen. But I ran out of month before I ran out of poems. I didn't even get to my favorite children's poems.

I began the month with no planning. Most days I had no idea what poem I would share the next day. I wouldn't say I shared the best examples of poetry by the best poets. Sometimes I shared a poem because it fit the one I had shared the day before. Sometimes I shared a poem because it was the one that caught my attention at 7:00 in the morning. Some of the poems were long-time favorites. Others I found because a friend said, "Have you read any poems by.....?" Some were shared when I asked a poet friend, "Can I share one of your poems this month?"

Was the month a success? I think so. I read (and enjoyed) far more poetry than usual. I loved finding new-to-me poets and hearing others' favorite poems. 

In case you are curious which poems I shared, here is the list. If they are found online, I'll include a link. If they were found in a book, I shared a link to the book. (Number 14 is a video of the author's friends reading her newly-published poetry book.)

1. The Bright Field by R.S. Thomas

2. Palm Sunday by Malcolm Guite

3. The Messiah by Sarah Beiler

4. The Thorn by Elizabeth S. Riall

5. As Simon by Lydia Hess

6. Royalty by Luci Shaw

7. Amazing Grace by Marlene Brubacher

8. Seven Stanzas for Easter by John Updike

9. The Lord Is Risen! by Emily J. Gingrich

10. Go and Tell Peter by Gwendolyn Eby

11. Spring Romance by Janice Etter

12. Plant Me by Lucy Martin

13. When Spring Breaks Forth by Rebecca Weber

14. The Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living by Leslie Bustard

15. Working with Daddy by Daniel Hess

16. Make Me Thy Fuel by Amy Carmichael

17. A Birthday Poem by Claudia Martin

18. Anniversary by Claudia Lehman

19. Like the Water by Wendell Berry

20. On His Blindness by John Milton

21. Thinning Pines by Sarah Martin

22. Ritual by Lori Hershberger

23. I Shall Not Want by Jennifer Perfect

24. What a Gorgeous Thing by Mary Oliver

25. The Mask by Maya Angelou

26. The Early Bird by Ted Kooser

27. Pray by Ruth Bell Graham

28. God's Grandeur by Gerald Manley Hopkins

29. Matthew VII, 28 ff. by Richard Wilbur

30. Make Me Red-Tailed Hawk by Abigain Carroll

You could probably find a theme in this collection if you searched for it. Grief, birds, God's Word, gardens, spring, quiet. 

If you are interested in stats - Nine men and twenty-one women are featured on this list. Nineteen of the poets are still living today and all but two were living within the last couple decades. Fifteen, exactly half, of these poets are Anabaptists (probably because I found many of these poems on The Curator. 

And best of all, seven of these authors I consider friends. And I could have included poetry by more friends if April had more days.

So, maybe you could say I most enjoy modern poetry written by Anabaptist women. 


  1. I’m glad you’ve discovered Ruth Bell Graham’s delightful poetry.😊

    Thank you for sharing your list with me.

  2. My favorite poem has always been The Touch of the Masters Hand by Myra Brooks Welch.


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