Some people know that one of my favorite movies is Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams means everything to me; the soul he put in Keating’s character not only inspired me to explore poetry, to then become the poet I am today, but also inspired me to “sound my barbaric yawp,” from Walt Whitman’s poem about connections with my self.
So, my self: I enjoy being a wallflower. I sit, watch, listen; it’s beautifully comfortable for me to be the observer I am. Even so, I also keep to myself for fear of being judged or ignored. But when I write my poetry, something comes out of me and I truly feel as if I have a voice someone wants to listen to.
I got “YAWP” tattooed on me, as a reminder to speak up, to be loud, to embrace my passionate self. I’ll remember how Robin Williams inspired me and how I can inspire others with my passion and writing. So here’s to using my voice and speaking up for myself. Inspired by Uncle Walt and Robin Williams, YAWP will remind me too, that “there’s a poet in me after all.”
As a poet, I always get asked about my favorite poetry collections (keep reading for that!) and favorite poems and I figured I’d put them in a list for the benefit of others.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
“The Space Between” - Ruth Madievsky
“Together and By Ourselves” - Alex Dimitrov
“Nothing Gold Can Stay” - Robert Frost
“Poem For Your Leaving” - Karese Burrows
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” -T.S. Eliot
“Bridge, Shadow, Hand” - Ruth Madievsky
“Honey” - Roya Backlund
“In The New Century I Gave You My Name” - Alex Dimitrov
“The Honest House” - Megan Falley
“In The Dead of Spring” - Kristin Chang
“Distance” - Karese Burrows
“Little Songs” - Rowan Ricardo Phillips
“4 Poems Titled Chet Baker” - Jay Deshpande
“Bloom” - Kristin Chang
“Blue Vase” - Cynthia Zarin
Favorite poets and poetry collections:
I was at a bookstore in Manhattan when I found a single copy of this book squished between two thick, large poetry books. Obviously the cover grabbed my attention, but when I flipped through the pages, the poem “Bridge, Shadow, Hand” (I still remember) had me falling in love already. Ruth’s words are enthralling. Her descriptions and wordplay and concepts have moved me to tears. It’s exciting, sensual, heavy, and full of nostalgia. I am forever grateful and inspired by this book of poetry. It’s almost like she took a dip in my head and wrote these words for me.
I found her poems while in a place in my life that I am changed and motivated by everyday. I am so inspired by this woman and her writing, to the point where I could say this helped motivate me to be more of my raw, authentic self in my poems. To whoever is reading this post: please make this book your next purchase. I promise you will re-read this book 500 times just like me.
My favorite poems:
“Bridge, Shadow, Hand”
“The Space Between”
“This is never enough. And of course I’m still here.
waiting for you to look at me.”
These words came to me online, from his poem, “The Past Remembers You Differently.” I didn’t even hesitate to buy the book before I read the rest of his work. He just grabbed me in so quickly.
This book reminds me of New York. It could be because most of the poems refer to places and things in the city, as well as the city itself, but just the heaviness and rawness of his words drag me in as quickly and as deep as Manhattan does. It is sensual, heavy, dark, free-spirited, honest and truly one of the most authentic books of poetry I have ever read.
My favorite poems:
“Together and By Ourselves”
“In The New Century I Gave You My Name”
“The Past Remembers You Differently”
I am a three-time recipient of a poetry award/scholarship at my school, after sending in 2-3 poems of original work that a guest judge reads. One year, the guest judge was poet Cynthia Zarin. The day before I received my award, Cynthia Zarin came to my school for a poetry reading. After introducing myself and praising her poetry, she remembered I was the one who won the award and told me kind words about my writing! I bought a copy of her new poetry collection, to which she signed and wrote a nice note in. I went home later and read her book in one night, completely enchanted by her words and still being able to hear her soothing voice read them to me in my head. Her poetry is more challenging than ordinary speech. It is captivating and rich and, for lack of a better word, poetic.
My favorite poems:
“Rainy Day Fugue”
What are your favorite poems? Send me a message - I’d love to hear from you.