Poems to Lean On


This past week as the news and facts from the Corona Virus accrued, I have found myself restless, at moments rudderless given the uncertainty and lack of clarity all around. My children’s schools are closing for safety and courses at local universities are being taught remotely. Events, literary and otherwise, are being canceled around me and I myself have decided to cancel my own events. Whatever readings, travels, meetings were entered into my calendar have dropped off, swatted by the virus’s relentless advance.

The social separation necessary to spread contagion can also bring a destabilizing effect. I am thinking here of the big things: economic, social and political implications. But small things , things the length of our arm, things inside us, will also suffer from this isolation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I realized that I must not be the only person feeling confused, isolated, worried, in these uncertain times. I realized that turning to the wisdom of others in times of uncertainty can be helpful and offer solace.

In this spirit I thought of “Poems to Lean On” a space where we can share with each other poems to offer fortitude, hope, resilience, humor.

The idea is to share a link to a poem and in two or three lines convey what about this particular poem resonates with you, tell how it moves you.

It is at liminal times is when we most lean on poetry: weddings, births, inaugurations, graduations, funerals. Times of transitions, times of change, times thick with emotion. This is such a time. Please send your chosen poem with a link (unless it is your own poem you would like to share) and your two to three line explanation to poet@humanities.org. I will post them in the WA Poet Laureate website under the tab, Poems to Lean On.

Thank you for sharing of yourself with the rest of us.


[ I took the photograph this spring when I visited the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum near Joshua Tree, CA)


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