10 Poems To Celebrate National Poetry Month

10 Poems To Celebrate National Poetry Month

An homage to some of my favorite poets.

Poetry is one of my favorite forms of art besides painting. As it happens, April is National Poetry Month. I fondly recall my memories from elementary school when my homeroom teacher would make us carry a poem in our pocket every day until the end of April and that practice led to my love for poetry. So I thought I'd share some lines from my favorite poets.

1. "Hope" by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all.

This one is probably one of Dickinson's most renowned poems. For someone who spent a majority of her adult life as a recluse, it's insane that she still had the capability to write something so positive.

2. "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

This was, in fact, the first poem that I ever fell in love with in my elementary school years and then one I carried to every "A-Poem-In-My-Pocket" event. I guess there's just something about realizing that every journey happens for a reason and shapes you into the person you are. It does indeed make all the difference.

3. "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

I have this one pinned above my desk. I don't know what it is about those words that just make me more productive.

4. Unnamed Poem by Rumi

Out beyond ideas

of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field.

I'll meet you there.

There's literally one piece of advice that I usually follow when I find myself in an argument: trailing beyond ideas and practicality and viewing the situation from a common ground can definitely help you understand the other side of the story. That's basically what Rumi encourages. Heck if everyone followed this we would achieve world peace but alas the world is not that simple.

5. "Come, Come Whoever You Are" by Rumi

Come, Come whoever you are,

Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving,

It doesn’t matter.

Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times.

Come, yet again, come, come.

The message of this poem is rather simple too: everyone is welcome despite their mistakes and differences. This leads to a better chance for humanity to prosper. A chance at oneness is always something that resonates in Rumi's words, which is why I love him so much.

6. "I Am From There" by Mahmoud Darwish

I am from there. I am from here. I am not

there and I am not here. I have two names,

which meet and part, and I have two

languages. I forget which of them I dream in.

If you're bilingual you've probably been asked this question: "What language do you think in?" I seriously don't know the answer to that, but apparently, neither does Darwish.

7. "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early

and put his clothes on in the blueback cold,

then with cracked hands that ached

from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I love this one because it definitely speaks volumes as to what our fathers (or even mothers who play the roles of a father) do for us. Despite that, for some reason, our generation feels like they are obligated to be served like that. No. You are not.

Be thankful for your family kiddos.

8. Unnamed Poem by Mirza Ghalib

It is difficult to complete every goal easily.

For a man too, to be human is no easy feat.

This one is actually a translation of an Urdu poem by Ghalib. Just as not every task is easily accomplished, it isn't easy for a man to be "human." This is also a perfect example of the current state of the world with the savagery we treat people with.

9. "Awaking in New York" by Maya Angelou

The city

drags itself awake on

subway straps; and

I, an alarm, awake as a

rumor of war,

lie stretching into dawn,

unasked and unheeded.

A perfect picture of a morning in the bustling NYC. Your alarm probably jerks you awake in urgency, forcing you to take part in the city that never sleeps.

10. "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

There you go. The last one is for you. Yes you, reading this from wherever you are. You are your biggest champion. Even then, since humans are made of the same particles, we are equals. Thus, instead of negativity, we should lift each other up with positive vibes only.

Cover Image Credit: andreas160578/ Pixabay

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

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Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

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Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

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7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

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Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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