Five poems to celebrate National Poetry Month

QuillPoetry is not just sappy love sonnets (although, if that’s what you’re into, that’s totally fine — here’s a tissue.) But poetry can also be funny, thoughtful, dark, simple, complicated, long, short, interesting and all-around awesome. Like jeans, poetry comes in all shapes and sizes.

Here are five reading suggestions (some of my favorites) to help celebrate National Poetry Month. You can find the full poems on poets.org, your local library or in my head (two of those are much easier to access and understand than the third):

Eletelephony – Laura Elizabeth Richards

There once was an elephant,

Who tried to use the telephant –

No! No! I mean an elephone

Who tried to use the telephone –

(Dear me! I am not certain quite

That even now I’ve got it right).

I don’t think my phone warranty covers elephant damage.

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth —

Some questions cannot be answered by Google Maps.

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout – Shel Silverstein

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout

Would not take the garbage out.

She’d wash the dishes and scrub the pans,

Cook the yams and spice the hams,

And though her parents would scream and shout,

She simply would not take the garbage out.

Sounds like a couple of roommates I’ve had.

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep – Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on the snow. 

It’s okay to ask the love sonnet fans for a tissue.

The Spider and The Fly – Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly;

“’Tis the prettiest parlor that ever you did spy.

The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,

And I have many pretty things to show you when you are there.”

“O no no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,

For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

If you have the opportunity, check out the version with illustrations by Toni DiTerlizzi.

What are some of your favorite poems? Share in the comments below.

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