" Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion collected in tranquility."
~ William Wordsworth

 April is National Poetry Month, a celebration very close to my heart. I've been writing poetry since the age of ten when my mother gave me a Kahlil Gibran journal to help me cope with my grandmother's suicide. Since then, I've believed that poetry is the true voice of the soul. The best poems are inspired by deep emotion and begin with an image or a feeling.

Most of us would agree that these are challenging and unusual times. I never thought we'd live through a pandemic. I thought it was something we'd only read about in history books, but here we are! The beauty of reading and writing poetry is one way to bring us all together, while at the same time giving us a creative outlet. Poetry is for everyone, everywhere. There are so many wonderful poems that are good for challenging times that I thought I'd share some of my favorites. Here they are:

"The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry
"The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski
"Won’t You Celebrate With Me" by Lucille Clifton
"Perhaps the World Ends Here" by Joy Harjo
"The Layers" by Stanley Kunitz
"Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye
"I Worried" by Mary Oliver
"Election Years" by Donald Revell

Do you have any favorite poems to add to this list?
Please write me: diana at diana raab dot com
Creatively Yours,
  • Write a poem addressed to a loved one.
  • Write a poem inspired by a color.
  • Write down your feelings about the quarantine.
  • Write a poem about a new or old hobby.
“My Life's Blessings” (poem). The Edge.  March 2020.

"Coping with the Fear of COVID-19" (blog). Psychology Today. March 9, 2020.

"The Secret to Rituals: A Sequence to Ground Yourself" (article). The Good Men Project. March 20, 2020.

“The Secret to Rituals: The Sequence to Ground Yourself" (article). The Good Men Project. March 20, 2020.

“Reflective Writing: A New Hobby” (blog). Psychology Today. March 21, 2020.

"Writing for Transformation + Empowerment"

Liberate Hollywood
Saturday, April 25, 2020
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
6365 Selma Ave.
Los Angeles, CA
To register: Click here


“Memoir Writing”

Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Sunday, June 14, 2020, to Friday, June 19, 2020
Santa Barbara, CA
Details to follow
To register: Click here

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo (memoir)

This is a powerful memoir about the current and first Native American Poet Laureate, whom I had the pleasure of spending some time with during her January visit to Santa Barbara. It was great hearing her read and tell stories about her life and Native American traditions. This memoir is clearly written from Harjo’s heart. It’s not only beautiful to hear about being a Native American in America and learning about her culture’s traditions, but it’s also fascinating to learn about her connection to poetry. Harjo confesses that it was the spirit of poetry that reached out and found her at a time when she stood at the doorway between panic and love. She describes it as “a kind of resurrection light; it is the tall ancestor spirit who has been with me since the beginning, or a bear or a hummingbird….It is more than everything” (p. 164).
Ledger by Jane Hirshfield (poetry)

Hirshfield's poetry always informs and inspires, and it's no different in her ninth collection. Her keen observational skills and love for humanity permeate every poem in this book. Hirshfield reminds us of the beauty in nature, something that rings even more true during these times. This book also teaches us about the importance of self-reflection, as shown in her poem "Advice to Myself," where she says, "The computer file/of which/I have no recollections is labeled "advice to myself"/I click it open/look/scroll further down/ the screen/ says backlit and empty/thus I meet myself again/hopeful and useless/a mystery/precisely as I must/have done/on August 19, 2010, 11:08 a.m."

Hirshfield's poems are meant to be read over and over again, each time bringing another new discovery or surprise.
Check out my exclusive DailyOM course:

Write. Heal. Transform:
A Magical Memoir-Writing Course

Also find me on these sites: