What is Your Favorite Line of Poetry?

National Poetry Month is quickly drawing to a close, so as a bittersweet farewell we asked the Élan staff for their favorite lines of poetry:

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)

it’s always ourselves we find in the sea”

–e.e. cummings. “maggie and milly and molly and may”.

(Emily Cramer. Editor-in-Chief.)

 

“Well what’s in the piñata they asked. I told them

God was and they ran into the desert, barefoot.”

–Natalie Diaz. “No More Cake Here”.

(Sarah Buckman. Editor-in-Chief.)

 

“You have my permission not to love me;

I am a cathedral of deadbolts

and I’d rather burn myself down

than change the locks.”

–Rachel McKibbens. “Letter from My Brain to My Heart”.

(Emily Leitch. Layout Editor.)

 

“Suddenly I realize

that if I step out of my body I would break

into blossom.”

–James Wright. “A Blessing”.

(Taylor Austell. Layout Editor.)

 

“Now you say this is home

so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust,

wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.”

–Philip Levine. “Our Valley”.

(Raegen Carpenter. Poetry Editor.)

 

“then I awoke and dug

that if I dreamed natural

dreams of being a natural

woman doing what a woman

does when she’s natural

I would have a revolution.”

–Nikki Giovanni. “Revolutionary Dreams”.

(Brittanie Demps. Poetry Editor.)

 

“we are for each: then

laugh, leaning back in my arms

for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis”

–e.e. cummings. “since feeling is first”

(Mariah Abshire. Poetry Editor.)

 

“I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.”

–Maya Angelou. “Still I Rise”.

(Kiera Nelson. Fiction Editor.)

 

“I had the new books—words, numbers

and operations with numbers I did not

comprehend—and crayons, unspoiled

by use, in a blue canvas satchel

with red leather straps.

Spruce, inadequate, and alien

I stood at the side of the road.

It was the only life I had.”

–Jane Kenyon. “Three Songs at the End of Summer”.

(Emily Jackson. Non-Fiction Editor.)

 

“I’m carrying my box of faces. If I want to change faces, I will.”

–Naomi Shihab Nye. “One Boy Told Me”.

(Shamiya Anderson. Non-Fiction Editor.)

 

“The names of women melt in their mouths like hot mints.”

–Yusef Komunyakaa. “Moonshine”.

(Haley Hitzing. Social Media Editor.)

 

“And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,

and wear the brave stockings of night-black lace

and strut down the streets with paint on my face.

–Gwendolyn Brooks. “a song in the front year.”

(Madison George. Social Media Editor.)

 

“So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.”

–Charles Baudelaire. “Be Drunk.”

(Makenzie Fields. Submissions Editor.)

 

“God comes to your window

all bright and black wings,

and you’re just too tired to open it.”

–Dorianne Laux. “Dust”.

(Stephanie Thompson. P.R. & Marketing Editor.)

 

“come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.”

–Lucille Clifton. “Eve Thinking”.

(Mrs. Melanson. Teacher Sponsor.)

 

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