My favorite poem. This is a tough one. I have sentimental favorites, specific author favorites, and other subcategories. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is my top choice. As a teenager, I read this one over and over again. Each time I read it I discovered new meaning. Lovely music in this poem, incredible images. I never tire of reading it. I also love "The Wasteland". "The Yellow Dot" by Robert Bly, a poem about the death of Jane Kenyon, is a close third. "Forgetful" by Billy Collins. Oh, I just can't pick just one! This is like asking a wine lover to choose one bottle when there are thousands. I love different poems for different reasons. It's like when you hear an old song on the radio and suddenly you're seventeen and in love for the first time and pulled back to the 1980's. That was your favorite song when you were seventeen, but at 40 or 45-- your choices change. It's probably easier to choose favorite poets.
From Robert Bly's book, Morning Poems:
The Yellow Dot
God does what she wants. She has very large
Tractors. She lives at night in the sewing room
Doing stitchery. Then chunks of land at mid-
Sea disappear. The husband knows that his wife
Is still breathing. God has arranged the open
Grave. The grave is not what we want,
But to God it's a tiny hole, and he has
The needle, draws thread through it, and soon
A nice pattern appears. The husband cries,
"Don't let her die!" But God says, "I
Need a yellow dot here, near the mailbox."
The husband is angry. But the turbulent ocean
Is like a chicken scratching for seeds. It doesn't
Mean anything, and the chicken's claws will tear
A Rembrandt drawing if you put it down.
Causes Maureen Sherbondy Supports
North Carolina Writers' Network, Temple Beth Or, North Carolina Poetry Society