Reading a Poem a Day: Sharing My Favorite Poems & Favorite Lines!

It’s the latest edition of me nerding out over literature (more than usual)…

Something I started doing last year in November was challenge myself to read a poem a day. I recorded the date, title, and author in a journal. I also decided to write down a quote that stuck out in order to help me remember the poem was about, since I’ve read a lot of poems over my lifetime but have had trouble recalling them.

So today, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite poems and lines that I’ve read doing this daily challenge! I’m honestly surprised I was able to keep up with this pretty regularly for over half a year (even though it’s morphed into “every other day” instead of “every day”), but it’s made me really happy and has become such a gentle and calming moment in each of my days. Poetry is so beautiful, and being able to make it a part of my daily routine makes me happy.

This is very different from what I usually post on here—even with what I typically read (novels), I’m terrible at recording and remembering quotes that jump out at me—but I hope it’s enjoyable for you all! I know poetry isn’t for everyone, but I think the beauty of poetry comes from how so much of what poets write about can be relatable to everyone. So hopefully you can find something that resonates with you in this post and keep it with you!

(I also wanted to do this because it’s an “easy” post to write, which is what I needed since I’m currently in Thailand!)

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Here’s a list of my absolute favorite poems that I’ve read in the past few months, in case you’d like to check them out! I’ve included links to them as well so you can read them online, if I could find them.

The poems I’ve read have been from recommendations/posts I see online, poetry collections that I read, or on websites/pages with daily poems/updates like Poetry Foundation,, and @poetryisnotaluxury (on Instagram)!

* I’d actually read this one years ago but didn’t realize until I was halfway through—I’m still counting it though, just for the sake of sharing it!

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I am only a hand— / and when I slip it beneath the shirt of my lover / I disappear completely.” —Natalie Diaz, “American Arithmetic”

“Two women tie the knot / in each other’s nooses.” —K-Ming Chang, “Conversion Therapy”

“such then is beauty / surrendered against all hope / you are here again” —bell hooks, “Appalachian Elegy (Sections 1-6)”

“now I write about beautiful things / like I will never touch a beautiful thing again” —Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, “And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes”

“I can say it was beautiful now, my harm, because it belonged to no one else. / To be a dam for damage.” —Ocean Vuong, “Not Even This”

“Look, we are not unspectacular things.  We’ve come this far, survived this much. What / would happen if we decided to survive more? To love harder?” —Ada Limón, “Dead Stars”

“But friends, it’s lunchtime, / and doesn’t my mouth still work; / my appetite, my forked tongue?” —Ada Limón, “The Light the Loving See”

“because why not if you think nothing & // no one can / listen I love you joy is coming” —Kim Addonizio, “To the Woman Crying Uncontrollably In the Next Stall” *

“let me follow you / anyplace / in love / there is no end” —bell hooks, “15. (from when angels speak of love)”

“What the sadness is like: / You are a sculptor and you cannot move your arms. The marble stares the way desire waits.” —Hossannah Asuncion, “Suspending Disbelief While Brown, Part II”

“‘How do you know if you are going to die?’ / […] ‘When you can no longer make a fist.” —Naomi Shihab Nye, “Making a Fist”

“All that we are is the result of having come out. We came walking out of our thoughts to be loved.” —Lee Young-Ju, trans. by Jae Kim, “Nine Steps”

“Between my blood and my tears / there is a tiny bridge, / and nothing crosses; what / this means is I love you.” —Gloria Fuertes, trans. by Philip Levine & Ada Long, “I Think Table and I Say Chair”

To get born, your body makes a pact with death, / and from that moment, all it tries to do is cheat—” —Louise Glück, “A Slip of Paper”

“But this is how to make a god: / The total dissolve of the self into meaning. Gone.” —Arkady Martine, “Abandon Normal Instruments”

“it is the dagger at my throat and / the dagger over my heart and I am / crying out please, please / I always meant to kill us both.” —Venetta O, “I Set It In Stone”

“I thought / the fall would / kill me / but it only / made me real.” —Ocean Vuong, “Skinny Dipping”

“Let me be holy and warm. / Let me be the exhale.” —Stevie Edwards, “Offering”

* In all of the shared lines but this one, / represents a line break. The poet actually used “/” in this one, so // represents the line break here. (Sounding like a nerd here, but the use of “/” is very significant in the poem, so I wanted to make this note!)

shall we chat

do you like poetry? what are your favorite poems? have any poetry book recommendations for me?

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11 thoughts on “Reading a Poem a Day: Sharing My Favorite Poems & Favorite Lines!

  1. I might have to look into “Making a fist” because that line!!

    Danez Smith will always be my favorite poet and “Litany with Blood All Over” is my favorite poem, just in terms of how the words are displayed on the page

    Liked by 1 person

    1. what i’ve read of naomi shihab nye, including “making a fist”, has been so good!

      ah i remember reading a few poems from danez smith for this actually! i just checked out “litany with blood all over” and it’s definitely going on my favorites list because WOW!!!!! thank you so much for recommending it to me <3

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am really impressed that you have kept up reading poetry. Every year I decide that I will read more but I never stick to it. I even bought a poetry book in the New Year but I haven’t opened it yet. I’ve saved your post and will definitely investigate some of these poems.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wow this sounds so fun! i wanna read more poetry but i always feel that i’m dumb for it lmao 😭 i’ll def check out ocean vuong’s poetry [bc on earth we’re briefly gorgeous literally broke me :’)] and “a slip of paper” because that line WOW

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh i definitely feel too unintelligent for so many of the poems i read, but i keep going with it by telling myself that i’ll never develop my analysis skills if i never read more! ocean vuong’s poetry is a punch in the gut, enjoy haha (and louise gluck has such a way with words!!!)


  4. I am so impressed that you’ve kept up with this challenge, May! What a good way to cultivate a daily/every other daily habit of reading as well, since a poem isn’t as daunting as a novel is when you are feeling slumpy. Thanks so much for sharing these poems


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