Poetry Is Not Just For Emo Teenagers

In honor of  World Poetry Day we decided to break out our sonnets, odes, iambic pentameters, haikus, and shockingly ardent devotion to Pablo Neruda to share some of our favorite excerpts from our most beloved poems. And if you still can’t get enough, check out our earlier post on Love Poems or poems to share with someone who is grieving.


“I ask them to take a poem   

and hold it up to the light   

like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem   

and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room   

and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski   

across the surface of a poem

waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do

is tie the poem to a chair with rope   

and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose   

to find out what it really means.”

-Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

Sarah Kay, “If I Should Have A Daughter”

“If only our tongues were made of glass

how much more careful would we be

when we speak.”

-Shaun Shane


“I balanced all, brought all to mind,

The years to come seemed waste of breath,

A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death.”

– W.B. Yeats, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”

I am obnoxious to each carping tongue

Who says my hand a needle better fits.

A poet’s pen all scorn I should thus wrong;

For such despite they cast on female wits,

If what I do prove well, it won’t advance–

They’ll say it’s stolen, or else it was by chance.

Anne Bradstreet, “The Prologue”


The cold insistence of the tide would roll,

Quenching this burning thing men call the soul – 

Then with the ebbing I should drift and be

Less than the smallest shell along the shoal,

Less than the seagulls calling to the sea.

Sara Teasdale, “Sea Longing”

I am an emotional creature.

Things do not come to me

as intellectual theories or hard-shaped ideas.

They pulse through my organs and legs

and burn up my ears.

-Eve Ensler, “I Am An Emotional Creature”

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

– W.H. Auden, “The More Loving One”






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