Do you remember the old commercial where the siblings try coaching their younger brother, Mikey, into trying this new cereal? Mickey looks hesitant and they cajole him with, "Try it. You'll like it." One bite is all it took. He was hooked.
Many people, like Mikey, have never tasted the delight of poetry. The only memory that comes up is the agony of a boring English class (heh, I was even an English teacher, I know).
I have a challenge for you today.
Try it again, you might find a few that you like. Don't believe me? Just turn on your radio or streaming music and listen. Music lyrics contain some of the most beautiful poetry you'll find anywhere.
Did you know that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016? Before joining the Beetles, John Lennon published two books of poetry in 1964 and 1965. You'll find both song lyrics and poetry in Paul McCartney's Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics 1965-1999.
Then there is Jim Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, and Leonard Cohen. And we can't forget Willie Nelson or Kris Kristofferson. A few modern artists include Halsey and Alicia Keys—and many more.
So, when people tell me they don't like poetry, I must, of course, beg to differ. Before written language, poetry was passed on orally through the spoken word and songs. Poetry fills our cars and bedrooms mesmerizing us through earphones and surround-sound.
In addition to song lyrics, I have many favorite poets who have followed me like welcome shadows through my life. Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Carl Sandberg, Emily Dickenson, William Carlos Williams, and the list goes on.
Do you have an inspirational favorite? And remember, it really doesn't matter if the poem is spoken or sung. Venture out into the world of poetry.
If you dare, I'll be behind you whispering, "Try it. You'll like it."
Inspiration worth sharing . . .
Inspiring words . . .
- I wrote about why you shouldn't fear poetry in this post.
- Mary Oliver's poem, "The Summer Day," reminds me every day to live this one life I have. Listen to it here.
- This video will give you a taste of cowboy poetry and three iconic songwriters, who have written some amazing poetry. Ghost Riders includes the lyrics. And guess what? It looks a lot like a poem :)
When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.
When power narrows the area of man's concern,
poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence.
When power leads man toward arrogance,
poetry reminds him of his limitations ...
— John F. Kennedy
(Ceremony honoring Robert Frost, 1963)
Be and become #yourbest today and every day.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to forward this newsletter to someone who would enjoy a bit of inspiration.
If you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can subscribe here