Do you have a repertoire of poetry that you’ve memorized? Or, one single poem that you turn to when you need to be reminded of what’s important to you? Or one that gives you comfort or support in some way? Or a poem that is solely for your enjoyment?
For me, one poem I memorized and have recited at past poetry readings is Mary Oliver’s “Sleeping in the Forest”
“I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.”
If you haven’t memorized a poem, find one–it can be short–and memorize it. Hold it close and when you’re in a circumstance where you feel it would be appropriate, share it with a friend, family or companion. Surprise them (and yourself) with a poem!