I believe poetry can inspire us. Just in the same way that novels do – it can teach us something about ourselves and bring something to light in our lives. But I have been on and on about that in my previous post which was all about the importance of poetry. Right now I wanted to share with you some poetry and poems that have moved me and effected me somewhat in my life. Maybe it can do the same for you as well.
IF – Rudyard Kipling
Kipling is someone you might know as the author of the Jungle Book – and in that retrospect you would be perfectly correct. What a lot of people don’t know is that he also wrote rhyming, meaningful poetry. He manages to keep a light tone to things while still giving a valuable moral message. I love his poem If just for that reason – it’s all about how life will try to change you. But if you can stay true to yourself, then that is being you and being human. I love the message, I love the literary poetry techniques used and I think it is a poem everyone should read at least once in their life.
Daddy and Three Women – Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath was a women who had a lot going on in her life, and she struggled with depression quite a lot. I think that her life is incredibly interesting, but more so than her life would be her poetry. Although her initial poetry seems very tame and simple, when we get into her later stuff we can start to see the emotion so clearly and cleverly worded in poetry. The poem Daddy is an incredibly dark and dangerous one – one she wrote close to her suicide date and really shows her emotions and thoughts on the world. It’s incredibly interesting to study. When you read a poem with that kind of weight, it always makes me wonder if people didn’t question Plath’s health more when she was still alive. And when it comes to the poem Three Women, I like how it shows three different perspectives on the same matter (pregnancy).
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye
This poem has helped me through my life twice when it came to both passings of my grandfathers. It is never easy to lose someone, and grief can really overtake you. But this poem – although it doesn’t make everything better – did help to put things into perspective for me. Especially as, being a Christian, I do not believe one person remains in their grave forever but is freed from it eventually. Although short, this poem reminds me that there is more to death then a dead, stale body.
Still I Rise – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is a genius poet. She works well with rhythm and especially with meaning. I have known this poem for a long time and can admire the way the repetition and the rhyme works well to reflect its meaning. No matter what people do or say, remember you can rise. And you will rise, far above them all. Don’t let anyone hold you down.
I hope these poems will or might already mean something to you as they already for me!