more poems to help those mourning right now


(poetry diary 83) The Guardian and The Huffington Post have both put out good round-ups of poems to help mourners deal with the election results. Entropy has also put up poems that can be useful for high school teachers.  The ones which are helping me the most so far (found in the Guardian round up) are Adrienne Rich’s “What Kind of Times are These” and Muriel Rukeyser’s “Poem,” which is about being a poet who “lived in the first century of world wars,” and which poets especially should read.

After a coworker showed me photos one of his took yesterday, though, I have to put up “Where My Books Go” by Yeats, as it’s become the poem I use as a sort of prayer whenever I’m hurting for other people.

The first photograph was of a sign place by the sign of the road addressed to Muslim Americans, basically saying that “we love you.” The second photograph was of the same sign, posted a few hours later, after it was desecrated with the words “Trump 2016” in red spray paint.

No. Right now, as others of us mourn, it is time for words to sing.

Where My Books Go

William Butler Yeats

All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm-darken’d or starry bright.


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