The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD – July 1st – Bringing it Back to Poetry

I’ve been buying so many incredible poetry chapbooks as of late, and it’s starting to remind me of why I fell in love with words in the first place – so many emotions built into simple lines, punctuation that drives home meaning, a spoken word artist who is able to give the same power on the page as they do on the stage.

I love words – obviously, or I would never have started this site. I love the way an author can play with a line, or a stanza, or a bit of enjambment to force you into a certain state of mind. The perfectly placed hyphen, or “but” or semi-colon or line break, that just leaves you breathless.

We’ve had this type of question before, but it’s what we’re here for, and it’s something that is immensely important to us, to our readers, so I don’t mind having it again.

Question of the day:

What is your favorite poem? Please copy and paste, or type it into the comments section. This can either be your favorite piece by your favorite author, or your favorite out of the pieces you yourself have written. 

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

8 comments on “QOTD – July 1st – Bringing it Back to Poetry

  1. alexiscubit
    July 1, 2013

    One of my favorite poems:
    Luxury by Nikki Giovanni

    I suppose living
    in a materialistic society
    to some would be having
    more than what you need

    living in an electronic age seeing
    the whole world by
    pushing a button
    the nth degree might
    perhaps be
    adequately represented
    by having
    someone there to push
    the buttons for you

    i have one though if only
    i could become rich and famous
    i would
    live luxuriously in New York knowing
    famous people eating
    in expensive restaurants calling
    long distance anytime i want
    but you held me
    one evening and now I know
    the ultimate luxury
    of your love

  2. Mess
    July 1, 2013

    I have had my chance to live with the people who have
    too much and the people who have too little and I chose
    one of the two and I have told no man why.

    -Carl Sandburg (Expert from “Testament”)

  3. Mess
    July 1, 2013


  4. kiwiskan
    July 1, 2013

    by Allen Curnow

    Sea go dark, dark with wind,
    Feet go heavy, heavy with sand,
    Thoughts go wild, wild with the sound
    Of iron on the old shed, swinging, clanging:
    Dark with the wind,
    Heavy with the sand,
    Wild with the iron that tears at the nail
    And the foundering shriek of the gale.

    I love the imagery in this.

  5. mexifordays
    July 1, 2013

    A dream within a dream by Edgar Allan Poe

    Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,
    Thus much let me avow–
    You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream;
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.

    I stand amid the roar
    Of a surf-tormented shore,
    And I hold within my hand
    Grains of the golden sand–
    How few! yet how they creep
    Through my fingers to the deep,
    While I weep–while I weep!
    O God! can I not grasp
    Them with a tighter clasp?
    O God! can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream

  6. Lacey Young
    July 2, 2013

    Oh man. I love this question, and my answer changes daily, but this is a frequent answer. This is one of my favorite poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis. I love her writing, so you should read more of it!

    The Panic of Birds

    The moon is sick
    of pulling at the river, and the river
    fed up with swallowing the rain,
    So, in my lukewarm coffee, in the bathroom
    mirror, there’s a restlessness
    as black as a raven.
    Landing heavily on the quiet lines of this house.
    Again, the sun takes cover
    and the morning is dead
    tired of itself, already, it’s pelting and windy
    as I lean into the pane
    that proves this world is a cold smooth place.

    Wind against window—let the words fight it out—
    as I try to remember: What is it
    that’s so late in coming? What was it
    I understood so well last night, so well it kissed me,
    sweetly on the forehead?

    Wind against window and my late flowering brain,
    heavy, gone to seed. Pacing
    from room to room and in each window
    a different version of a framed woman
    unable to rest, set against a sky
    full of beating wings and abandoned
    directions. Her five chambered heart
    filling with the panic of birds, asking: What?

    What if not this?

  7. Lacey Young
    July 2, 2013

    I’m posting again. I hope that’s allowed. Here’s a poem by Laurel Snyder. She is amazing. This is “Despite She is Small,” and is also my frequent answer to your question.

    The sky has a blackbird.
    The field has a girl.
    The sky is to the field as
    The field is to the sky, only

    Backwards. White is
    To the blackbird as fear
    Is to the girl, despite
    She is small and alone.

    The bird has a wing
    in the wind, a face to
    the sky and a shadow
    on the girl.

    Now there is a boy
    in the field, too. Now
    the girl says she would
    like to hold the blackbird.

    “Free is not the same
    as clean” says the boy, “or safe
    and anyway, the blackbird
    would not want to be held.”

    The bird beats its wings.
    The girl does not hold the boy.
    The sky creaks.
    The girl says, “I live in this

    World,” and means it,
    But still—she is small
    In the field and beneath
    The sky and the path

    Of the blackbird. “I live
    In this,” says the girl.
    “Alone,” says the girl.
    (Things become quieter)

    (the boy decides to go
    home) “—No matter
    what you may do
    with your life,” says the girl.

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