Poems in May

The first of my poems in May
The second of my poems in May
The last of my poems in May

Is there any better way to start a new month than with a fresh collection of poems to absorb and find inspiration in? Back in April, I shared my curated pieces that focused heavily on love and living through tragedy (they felt relevant to our current time), and this selection of poems in May are some of my newly discovered favorites. I haven’t been extraordinarily invested in poets.org’s pieces as of late (with the odd exception here and there), so all of these pieces are from poets I love and follow on Twitter (no, they’re not some kind of social media poets like R*pi K*ur). A few of these came from screenshots on Kaveh Akbar’s (one of the most brilliant writers) account, while the others were found randomly. “Crucifix” by Luke Hankins is one of the most unbelievable poems I’ve ever read, and I can’t stop going back to it. That Hankins fit so much depth into only 12 lines is staggering, and the last stanza knocked me out. I’ve written one poem about religion (or my lack of), but I hope to one day write about it with this much significance one day. The second of my poems in May is a portion taken from “Anti-Elegy” by Cameron Awkward-Rich. I’ve been thinking a lot about death recently (I know, not morbid or disturbing at all) and what it means to grieve the loss of a loved one and this piece helps me sort out my feelings. “Crater Lake” is by one of my favorite poets Louise Glück and it highlights the inconsistent disparities between what we consider to be good and evil. I like how she recognizes that the two labels aren’t permanent and that they’re often biased depending on who gets to establish the classifications. Carl Phillips’ “Is It True All Legends Once Were Rumors” has one of the most breathtaking endings in: “We mapped our way north by the stars, old school, until there / were no stars, just the weather of childhood, where it’s snowing forever.” I love how Phillips juxtaposes the opener of the piece as a dark and almost brutal introduction about the headless birds and finishes with a reminder of the purity and hope of youth. His language and ability to craft imagery is timeless. The last of my poems in May is another one about religion (think church, but dark…so just church), and it’s “3:16 [For]” by Geffrey Davis. The poem is another somber look at religion—specifically Christianity—as it plays off of John 3:16 in the Bible. My favorite part of the piece is the final stanza where Davis mixes the verse as, “if god so / loved I nev- / er knew him.” As both a criticism of god’s choices, and a lament, I love this poem so much; I’ll never stop reading it.

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