Alan Heathcock published a great little column on NPR last week: “A Poem A Day: Portable, Peaceful and Perfect”.
I hadn’t slept well, had to get my three kids to three different schools in three different cities, had deadlines piled on deadlines. I leaned my head against my bookcases and there, at eye-level, was a book of poetry by Mary Oliver.
I randomly opened to the poem “Egrets.” Like magic, I was pushing through catbrier to the edge of a pond, where I watched “a spindle of bleached reeds” become egrets and “unruffled, sure, by the laws of their faith not logic, they opened their wings softly and stepped over every dark thing.”
I closed the book, transformed, bolstered from the inside out.
I love poetry. I even write a little now and then. But I frequently find myself having neglected it for long stretches of time. When I have freetime to read, prose almost always takes precedence–even when I only have a few minutes and a short poem would fit much more nicely in that slot of time. But I think if I commit to Heathcock’s ideal, reading at least a poem a day, I’ll be doing great.