Seven Poetry Collections To Read In Your 20s

Seven Poetry Collections To Read In Your 20s

Because words remind us that we're not alone.
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In our 20s, we're so busy with school, work, and our personal lives that books often go unnoticed in favor of other releases. When we forget how powerful the written word is, we're missing out on an amazing opportunity to find ourselves within the pages; in books, we can see our own experiences through that of another. Poetry, in particular, allows the writer to release their innermost feelings in the most beautiful way possible; as Wordsworth once said, poetry is the "spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion." Therefore, poetry becomes crucial to truly understand and get through the roller coaster that is your 20s.

1. "Crush" by Richard Siken.

"Crush" is a collection of poems concerned with everyday subtleties of young love; the scent of your lover’s jacket, the living room you decorated together, late-night car rides. Yet, there’s nothing subtle about his fiercely erotic language regarding how when we’re in our 20S, love is driven by obsession. Read this when you’re in love and you’ll see yourself in the pages

2. "Milk And Honey" by Rupi Kaur.

Rupi Kaur splits "Milk and Honey" into four chapters, dealing with the raw pain of femininity, loss, violence, and abuse. Yet her language is never difficult to read and each poem is relatively short. It contains an uncomplicated sweetness that only a young person has the ability to write. Illustrations accompany each poem, adding to the simple beauty of the work. Read it in bed after a long day.

3. "Wild Iris" by Louise Gluck.

Louise Gluck is known as one of the most celebrated poets today. Her poetry is absolutely gorgeous, and despite her immense acclaim, it's simple to understand. Her poems don’t often have a difficult story to follow, so it’s easy to enjoy the loveliness of her language. Read it when you want some beautiful words as a distraction from your thick textbooks.

4. "The Gold Cell" by Sharon Olds.

Sharon Olds explores themes of erotic love, capturing perfectly the obsessive nature of young people in the way that they feel about their sexuality with themselves and others. I love how Sharon Olds incorporates the topic of “firsts” in the most interesting way possible; she talks about first loves, first sexual experiences, so that we can see ourselves in them. This makes her a fascinating poet for young people. Read it after you unearth your ancient journal in which you described your own “firsts.”

5. "No Matter the Wreckage" by Sarah Kay.

Known mostly for her spoken word poetry, "No Matter The Wreckage" is Sarah Kay’s first collection of written poems. What’s special about Kay is that many of her poems were written as a young adult. This voice shines through her discussions on parenthood, love, and the pains of being young. Her poetry is mostly interested in describing the every day. Read it when you feel like you can’t talk to anyone else about your problems -- Sarah Kay has probably written about it.

6. "Burning in Water Drowning in Flame" by Charles Bukowski.

Perhaps the most well known of all the poets listed here, Bukowski is famous for his candid language and challenging subject matter. "Burning in Water Drowning in Flame" contains edgy discussions on a range of topics from drinking to failure, to obsessive lust. The language here is relatively straightforward, yet the stories Bukowski creates in his poems do not fail to captivate his audience. Read it on a hungover morning.

7. "My Feelings" by Nick Flynn.

As the title suggests, "My Feelings" contains an intimate meditation on the range of emotions we experience. However, it is not the melodramatic feeling that you might imagine would come with such a title, rather it is a more devastating kind that comes from significant life events. I will warn you that there is some difficult content here, so keep that in mind before perusing. For those willing, read it while you’re the one experiencing a difficult time and will thus bring these difficult feelings.
Cover Image Credit: James S Jaffe Rare Book

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Christian Boys Vs. Godly Men

It is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.
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Ladies, there is a huge difference between a Christian boy and a Godly man; therefore, it is time to stop settling for the lesser of the two.

So many times I hear girls saying:

“Well, he’s a Christian.”

“He goes to church with me.”

“He listens to Christian music.”

“He went to church camp.”

“He has a favorite bible verse.”

SEE ALSO: What An Attractive Man Looks Like

Well, all of those things are just peachy and there is nothing wrong with doing those things. I mean, they’re all good things to do. But how is his personal relationship with God? How is his prayer life? Does he talk about his relationship with God, with you? Is he truly a follower of the one true God in all aspects of his life? These are some of the characteristics you should be looking for that makes a Godly man.

Ladies, a man will love you great when he loves God greater.

A Godly man will pursue an honest relationship with you. He will be clear of his intentions. A Godly man will worship, pray and passionately praise God with you. Whereas, a Christian boy might open the door for you, a Godly man will open his bible and explore God’s word with you so that you both may grow spiritually, together. While a Christian boy may put on an outward show, a Godly man will live out the love of Jesus daily.

So ladies, are you catching on to this ongoing trend? A Godly man does more because you deserve more.

A Godly man will be a leader. Trust me, I know that in today’s society Godly men are few and far between while Christian boys come in plenty. But you deserve a man who is after God’s heart not just a boy who goes to church. And I know that this Christian boy may seem great and have some really stellar qualities at the time but money and looks fade, whereas, an ongoing love for our savior will not.

The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is to lead her closer to God than himself. (Yes, yes, yes).

SEE ALSO: As Christians, Life Isn't Supposed To Be Hard

So I beg of you, do not settle. Do not settle just because you’re tired of being single, it’s convenient or because you want the relationship your friend has. Single does not equal available and a relationship status does not define you. God uses your season of singleness to prepare you for what is to come. And if you’re dating a Christian boy, he needs to step it up or you need to move on. Wait for a Godly man who is ready to lead you. God’s timing is always better, always. No matter the circumstance. So, do not rush God. (I mean, He is, after all, pretty good at His job). Therefore, turn your full focus to Him and He will direct your path.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Cover Image Credit: Christina Sharp

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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