top of page

List of Mindful Poems and Poetry

 

 

I first heard the poem "She Let Go" by Safire Rose at a meditation retreat in Colorado back in 2019.  Since then, I have read it several times with a meditation group.  I haven't yet used it in an MBSR class, but it seems appropriate.  It is so direct, down to earth and true.  You'll find it at the author's website:  Safire Rose

Edna St. Vincent Millay and e. e. cummings both wrote poems that celebrate the world in ecstatic terms.  If you've experienced the world's beauty, these two poems might speak to you.

God's World

BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!

   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!

   Thy mists, that roll and rise!

Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag

And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag

To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff!

World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

 

Long have I known a glory in it all,

         But never knew I this;

         Here such a passion is

As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear

Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;

My soul is all but out of me,—let fall

No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

                   Source: Renascence and Other Poems (Harper & Brothers, 1917)

e. e. cummings wrote the following gorgeous poem: 

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is another poem that gracefully credits the natural world for its restorative powers.  Find it here:  "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

Mary Oliver's poetry lends itself beautifully to Mindful meetings and meditation groups.  I recommend her book Devotions: The Selected Poetry of Mary Oliver (2017), as selected by the author herself.  Here is one of her most famous, lovely poems:

Wild Geese    by Mary Oliver
 

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

What a gracious, true poem.  We can sometimes forget that, no matter how solitary we are, even if we have lost loved ones and feel alone, that we have our rightful place "in the family of things."

More Mindful poems to come.  Check back later. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bottom of page