What are some other poems I would like?
April 12, 2017 12:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for short-ish poems related to change, growth, rebirth, beginning again, new years, birthdays, the inevitable (but often delightful or joyful) passage of time, and/or the idea that we're all going to die, but also we're all in it together and sometimes it ends up working out.

I like accessible, fairly plain-spoken poems. I also think (though I honestly have no idea) that I prefer more contemporary poets and/or poems. Here are some examples of poems that evoke that feeling for me --

Wild Geese, Mary Oliver
The Trees, Philip Larkin
Turning, W.S. Merwin
From Blossoms, Li-Young Lee
Sometimes, Sheenagh Pugh
posted by vakker to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
So, I post a poem a day for poetry month and keep the years-long running list in my profile here because I asked a question about this once; most of the ones you list are there so you might check that. Spending 30 seconds scanning through it, here are some from that list that hit the same buttons for me as the ones you list:

He Said Turn Here- Dean Young

Let The Day Go- Grace Paley

Not Yet- Jane Hirshfield

You Can't Have It All- Barbara Ras

The Peace of Wild Things- Wendell Berry
posted by charmedimsure at 12:26 PM on April 12, 2017

This may not be shortish enough for you, but Yeats' Lapis Lazuli is my favorite poem in this general subject area. It was written in 1936, when things were getting dark in Europe.
posted by FencingGal at 12:39 PM on April 12, 2017

You would probably like Billy Collins.
posted by Dolley at 12:42 PM on April 12, 2017

I came across this the other day; it seems similar. Dana Gioia in general has a pretty straightforward style.

You might also want to check out William Carlos Williams. Doesn't get much more plain-spoken than that.
posted by kevinbelt at 1:16 PM on April 12, 2017

You already have a Larkin on your list, so you may know this: Born Yesterday.

Also worth looking at Hopkins's Spring and Fall, though it is nineteenth-century and may not be as plain as you prefer. Definitely short and about change, but not necessarily on the optimistic side of things.
posted by paduasoy at 1:48 PM on April 12, 2017

e.e. cummings - "who are you,little i"
posted by lousywiththespirit at 1:57 PM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another Larkin: First Sight

Perhaps Auden's As I Walked Out One Evening? It has that we're all going to die but we're all in it together vibe to it, at least to my ear.
posted by Aravis76 at 2:48 PM on April 12, 2017

I recently asked this question about quotes related to New Years and got several good poem suggestions, including the one I ended up using, "To the New Year", also by WS Merwin.
posted by skycrashesdown at 2:51 PM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I recommended a couple of poems in that thread (including "To the New Year"--I'm glad you liked it, skycrashesdown!) and there's another I think would fit: "Your Luck is About to Change," by Susan Elizabeth Howe.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:45 PM on April 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

A glass of water by May Sarton - I first read it in my local hospital, pinned up on a board, and found it very apt.
Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy.

I also love Sometimes by Sheena Pugh and You Can't Have It All by Barbara Ras
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 5:45 PM on April 12, 2017

I seem to post this poem to Metafilter fairly regularly, but I think it fits: A Brief for the Defense - Jack Gilbert
posted by crocomancer at 4:14 AM on April 13, 2017

Oh dang yeah Sarah Teasdale is great for this. Here's another one of my favorites of hers.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:53 AM on April 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

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