What’s Your Favorite Poem?

Poems, like people, come in all shades, shapes and sizes. My favorites are The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe and The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Both are pretty common favorites, I know.

Thinking about this led me to wonder what makes us love a particular poem so much we return to it year after year, just to hear the words play across our lips. Is it the visuals, the sounds or the meaning that resonate… or a combination of all the elements?

During my digging, I stumbled across the Favorite Poem Project, a collection of 50 short video documentaries showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. The videos have been regular features on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature.

During the one-year open call for submissions, 18,000 Americans wrote to the project volunteering to share their favorite poems — Americans from ages 5 to 97, from every state, representing a range of occupations, kinds of education, and backgrounds. You can see some of those videos here.

So my question is, what is YOUR favorite poem, and why?

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith's work is published in print and online publications, including “Horror Writers Association's Poetry Showcase” vols. 2-4 and “Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthology. Her novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® finalist. Her first collection of poetry, “In Favor of Pain,” was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. All her books are available on Amazon. Currently, she publishes Space and Time Magazine, a 52 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit SpaceandTimeMagazine.com.
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3 Responses to What’s Your Favorite Poem?

  1. Marge Simon says:

    I believe it’s impossible to pick just one, but here’s the one that first came to mind – here is the first verse. It is such a poignant, splendid ballad!

    Lasca by Frank Deprez

    I want free life and I want fresh air;
    And I long for the gallop after the cattle,
    In their frantic flight, like the roar of battle,
    The mêlée of horns, and hoofs, and heads
    That wars and wrangles and scatters and spreads —
    The green beneath and the blue above,
    And dash and danger, and life and love —
    And Lasca!

  2. Marge Simon says:

    Did you expect it would be dark? Poe, perhaps? or one more contemporary?
    no, it’s not. My father introduced me to reading and writing poetry at an early age. He always said he never understood my poetry, but he was okay with that.

    • The feeling of gallantry and danger in Lasca remind me very much of that element in The Highwayman, my other all time favorite. The first time I read that poem I fell in love with poetry, the rogue mentioned, and all rogues forever after.

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