May 13, 2009

What I'm Taking In - A Poem a Day

For Christmas, my husband bought me "Poem a Day, Volume 1" edited by Karen McCasker and Nicholas Albery , and it has sat on our bookshelf, unopened, since then. Recently I've been trying to read a short reflection and snatch a moment of prayer in the mornings since my infant son is now able to feed himself breakfast. I came across "Poem a Day" as I was packing up our bookshelves in preparation for the move to our first house, and decided to add a poem to my morning routine.

I read the poem for January 1st rather than for May 13, which turned out to be a very good place to start:

New Every Morning
by Susan Coolidge

Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows,
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.

I'm quite excited by this new discipline! I am sometimes overwhelmed by the conflict between my desire for art and literature and the pouring out of my time on my work and my family. But a poem a day is quite manageable, as well as being, I hope and believe, transformative.

On a related note, one of my favorite poets, Billy Collins, started the program Poetry 180, which you can check out here. It's a program designed to make it easy for high school students to hear a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. He says that poetry can and should be part of our everyday lives. I prefer to see poetry as simple daily bread, wholesome and nourishing, rather than a grand, occasional feast. How about you? How do you view poetry? Are you willing to try to incorporate it into your every day?

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