Since the start of the year the pace of life has eclipsed the slow savor of the moments. I’ve struggled to inhabit the swift-ticking revolution of the clock’s hands. This year will be remembered as a year of transition: the transition to working more hours at the hospital, to being a mother of a son off-to-school, to grieving the tapering of the writing life, to changes in this body-temple my spirit inhabits … . It’s enough to open my eyes each morning and show up for the next thing. I’m finding new ways to feed my heart in the midst of this rapid-cycling season.
One thing that slows me down? Poetry. Taking ten minutes to read a poem every day gives my soul a spirit-vitamin like nothing else.
“Poetry is a nookish sort of place,” Megan Willome says in her book The Joy of Poetry: How to Keep, Save & Make Your Life with Poems.
And it’s a nook I’ve found refuge in many times throughout these past months. Megan’s book is one I’ve been dipping into and savoring as I maneuver through this uncomfortable shift in my life. The Joy of Poetry is part memoir, part instruction manual—instructions for life and enjoying poetry.
“Poetry is my prescription for adversity,” Megan tells us, at one point in the book, as she shares bits of the story of walking with her mother through cancer and how poetry did, indeed, “save” her during that time. Megan has a gift for weaving in the perfect poem to illustrate her prose. She introduced me to many voices—some of the old tried and true poets, and some new—all aptly featured in the greater narrative.
“Good poetry reaches beyond biography to touch a reader or to talk about greater things,” she says, and then proceeds to give us poems that do just that. (You’ll even find one by yours truly in her treasury).
If you’ve ever felt the nudge to learn more about poetry, or are just looking for a good book to feed your soul, may I recommend The Joy of Poetry? I love it so much I’m giving away one copy. All you need do is leave a comment on this post to be entered for a chance to win an autographed copy sent directly to you from the author herself. If you post about this giveaway on social media, make sure to mention this in your comment and you’ll get one extra entry for each outlet on which you share.