With all that is going on in our world today, the overwhelming burden of tragedy can negatively influence your mental health. When it’s difficult to make sense of this life, writers and poets articulate the human experience as no one else can. Even if you gave up on poetry after reading Shakespeare in your high school literature class, try some of these accessible poetry collections for easy-to-read, feel-good poetry to lift your spirits.
“Heart Talk” by Cleo Wade
If you’re in need of some positive mantras to take with you into your daily life, Heart Talk by Cleo Wade should be your first read. Unlike many books of poetry, Wade is not trying to trick you or make you question if you’ve ever actually read a book before. Her writing is direct and easily digestible. Many of the pages are short and sweet, offering a quick affirmation or nugget of wisdom to carry with you during your day. Gift this to a friend who is going through a rough patch and needs a reminder that everything is going to be okay.
“Sailing Alone Around the Room” by Billy Collins
Billy Collins is known for his subtle, comedic poetry that infuses truths about life, love, and loss. His collection “Sailing Alone Around the Room” offers a great introduction to his approachable style. The book pulls some of his greatest poems from various other collections he’s published. Non-poetry readers will appreciate Collins’ plain writing style and relatable metaphors. Read this if you need a reason to laugh today.
“Walk a Little Slower” by Tanner Olson
Sometimes you need a reminder to take stock in what’s good in life. Stop and smell the roses, look up from your phone and appreciate what you have. Olson’s collection is faith-based for those who are looking for some divine, spiritual inspiration. Whether or not you identify yourself as a religious person, this collection offers daily nudges to focus on the positive.
“Inward” by Yung Pueblo
Often, the outside world consumes so much of our energy that we forget to check in with ourselves. “Inward” challenges readers to focus their attention on what’s going on with their own life. The poems within the collection are short and read like your inner dialogue. Anyone can find some truth about themselves housed within these poems. Read this if you have been feeling disconnected from yourself lately.
“You Don’t Have to Be Everything” by Diana Whitney;
Diana Whitney edited this collection specifically for young women. For her, poetry is healing. This anthology is aimed to help young girls grapple with the difficulties that come with growing up: loneliness, shame, love. Poems in this collection include works from voices LGBTQ+ community and women who explore the spectrum of emotions that come with the growing pains of getting older. Try this book if you want to expose yourself to many contemporary female poets!
Poetry may not heal all the hurt caused by the difficulties you’re facing today, this week or this year. What it can do is allow you to connect with other people who have experienced some of the same struggles.
Try one of these poetry collections and let us know your favorite poem @VALLEYmag on Twitter.