The poems and words were selected by Annie Chagnot and Emi Ikkanda, two editors from the publishing house Spiegel & Grau. They say in the introduction,
...we decided to create a collection to offer readers inspiration in these times of turmoil and divisiveness (and beyond). We collected poems we saw on Facebook. We turned to friends and colleagues for the poems that most spoke to them when nothing else seemed to help.
What I like about the book is that after every two or three poems, there is a quotation that inspires or comforts. For example, here's one by Rabindranath Tagore,
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
And for a sample poem, try this one on for size:
The Thing Is
by Ellen Bass
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
Another poem that stands out for me is "There Are Birds Here" by Jamaal May. I found that there are several filmed versions. Here are two to compare:
Look for How Lovely the Ruins on your next visit to the Library. I think it will help you face both your inner and outer worlds.
You'll find the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week being hosted by Laura at Writing the World for Kids.