Two months and a bit into it, the #todayspoem inspiration is still going strong. Check the hashtag any day of the week – and at any time of the day, for that matter – and you’ll see that a core of regular contributors from around the world are starting, ending or pausing in their days to savour and contemplate a good poem, and then share it with others. There are more than 70 contributors sharing their #todayspoem selections daily or periodically – I’ve captured them in a Twitter list.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m amazed every day at what #todayspoem contributors are reading and sharing. I faithfully bookmark/favourite the #todayspoem tweets and go back at every opportunity to explore the links, videos, pictures of pages taken straight from volumes, knowing that I’m going to be dazzled, amused and moved anew. I have this lovely feeling, too, that for every person sending out a thoughtful #todayspoem tweet every day or every week, there are even more people quietly reading, enjoying and reflecting on the poems we’re sending out into the ether.
I’m still experimenting with ways of archiving and showcasing all the #todayspoem selections, with links to texts and more information about the poets, poetry collections and publishers. Once I’ve got that figured out for my own selections, I’d also love to be able to find a way to aggregate all contributions in one place, if possible. Anyhow, this month, I started gathering and “pinning” my poems on Pinterest. What do you think?
How bunches of us bookish sorts on Twitter decided to start our day with some poetic inspiration – and share it with each other – is described here. You can always quickly tap into what we’re most recently sharing and discussing by simply checking out the #todayspoem hashtag on Twitter. You can check the hashtag and see new contributions at just about any moment of the day or night, as contributors are posting an astonishingly diverse and eclectic range of poetry selections around the clock and from around the world.
I’m amazed every day at what #todayspoem contributors share. I don’t have time to read them all on the spot, but I faithfully bookmark/favourite them in Twitter, and go back at every opportunity, knowing that I’m going to learn something new, be entertained, be moved, be surprised … and it’s all those great moments that keep the day rolling along, truth be told.
I’ve kept track of my own #todayspoem selections so far and just wanted to share them, just for fun and perhaps for enticement to more of you to follow and maybe join in. At very least, stop by, read and enjoy. If you’re tempted to pull a book of poetry off the shelf (even a virtual shelf, such as the great poetry resources online at sites such as The Scottish Poetry Library, The Academy of American Poets and the Griffin Poetry Prize, amongst others) and inspired to share what you’ve found, just add the #todayspoem tag to your tweet and a network of poetry lovers will get to enjoy it.
My #todayspoem selections so far …
December 25, 2011 Lorne Daniel (@LorneDaniel) Dog on Ice, from Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump Weedmark Publishing
December 26, 2011 Robert Graves The Cottage
Excerpt: “Now somehow it’s come to me To light the fire and hold the key”
December 27, 2011 Roo Borson The Garden, from Short Journey Upriver Toward Oishida McClelland and Stewart (@McClellandBooks)
Excerpt: “Eye of the lake half-closed with ice. Ducks at one end, sleeping.”
December 28, 2011 Charles Wright Little Landscape, from Scar Tissue Farrar Straus and Giroux (@FSG_Books)
Excerpt: “To lighten the language up, or to dark it back down Becomes the blade edge we totter on.”
December 29, 2011 Derek Mahon Homage to Gaia, from Life on Earth Gallery Press (@TheGalleryPress)
Excerpt: “Coleridge kept an Aeolian harp like a harmonica lodged in an open window to catch the slightest flicker”
Excerpt: “Just for today, if I were to pass myself in the street I wouldn’t even raise my hat, or say hello.”
January 20, 2012 Valerie Rouzeau (translated by Susan Wicks) Cold Spring in Winter Arc Publications (@ArcPoetry)
Excerpt: Mirror just let me see is this my head? But aren’t I grimacing, a new line too a bar across my forehead?
Miroir dis-moi voir c’est ma tête? N’ai je pas une grimace, une nouvelle ligne aussi à me barrer le front ? Valérie Rouzeau
One daunting, harried morning, Heathcock paused to randomly draw a book of poetry from a shelf, and to just as randomly select and read a poem. Mary Oliver’s “Egrets” momentarily took him away from not enough sleep, from kids needing to get to school, from deadlines demanding to be met … and after that brief respite …
I closed the book, transformed, bolstered from the inside out.
From that day forward, each morning I read a poem.
A bunch of us book friends on Twitter – including Harvey Freedenberg, Jeanne Duperreault and Elizabeth Bastos – starting discussing the power of randomly selected and surprisingly resonant poetry to lift one’s spirits and put a new spin on the day. From that conversation, we agreed that we could all quite happily manage the New Year’s resolution of starting our day with a poem. We’d swiftly grab it from a bookshelf or online, as suited, and we would take the time to read, savour and contemplate, like a brief morning meditation. And then we’d share our choices with each other, using the #todayspoem Twitter hashtag.
Even before January 1st, several of us jumped in enthusiastically. The selections are diverse, whimsical, touching, haunting, prescient, eye-opening. Let me share a few of the tweets that have help to draw those of us who know about it (so far) into this exquisite shared experience:
As you can see, everyone is sharing their #todayspoem experience a little differently, with an image, a link, an excerpt, whatever fits in a tweet. Each tweet is enough to spur a moment of delight or recognition or, handily favorited in Twitter, is a lovely bookmark for future poetry explorations.
The #todayspoem experience is a dual delight. You treat yourself to an energizing moment of reflection in the morning, and then you have others’ shared #todayspoem gifts to enjoy just by going to the hashtag at any time. Care to join us?