“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most beautiful.”

“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most beautiful.” -Rita Dove

For much of the Élan staff, Poetry is more than just a reading genre; it is more than just a subject in school. It is expressing the inexpressible, finding the humanity and in humanity of things; it is the sharing of our most intimate parts and pieces.

April is National Poetry Month, and in the interest of getting right to the point: we couldn’t be more excited. To kick off the celebration, we as a staff have compiled a list of some of our favorite poems.

Click the title to read the rest of the piece.

By Gwendolyn Brooks

I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.
By Major Jackson
It doesn’t matter if you can’t see
Steve’s 1985 Corvette: Turquoise-colored,
Plush purple seats, gold-trimmed
Rims that make little stars in your eyes
By Jack Gilbert
Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work.
 By Jack Gilbert
The fox pushes softly, blindly through me at night,
between the liver and the stomach. Comes to the heart
and hesitates. Considers and then goes around it.
Trying to escape the mildness of our violent world.

I Remember You As You Were

I remember you as you were in the last autumn.
You were the grey beret and the still heart.
In your eyes the flames of the twilight fought on.
And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.
We don’t see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August
when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay
of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost
believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass,
something massive, irrational, and so powerful even
the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.
Praise the restless beds
Praise the beds that do not adjust
     that won’t lift the head to feed
     or lower for shots
     or blood
     or raise to watch the tinny TV
Last night I found my face below
the water in my cupped hands.
The mask made of copper and bone
criss-crossing to make a smirk,
 

Medusa

Off that landspit of stony mouth-plugs,
Eyes rolled by white sticks,
Ears cupping the sea’s incoherences,
You house your unnerving head—God-ball,
Lens of mercies,