It is said that for every poem you write you should read forty. Thinking about it I probably do, although the jewels amongst them can be far between (which is not to say that the rest aren't good, just that some are magnificent).
Here are some of the jewels I've come across lately.
This video is Inua Ellam sharing his poem, 'Candy Coated Unicorns And Converse All Stars.' It draws you in to a shared moment, bringing a magical spotlight to bear upon a grubby tale. It is captivating and troubling, and bears repeated exploration.
Next up is Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou, who is so often phenomenal. I adore the in-your-face awesome of this poem, which you'll find on Poem Hunter here (sorry about the really annoying adverts).
Gillian Clarke has served as the National Poet of Wales for eight years and is now stepping down. One of the poems she was commissioned to write was one commemorating the mine disaster at Six Bells. Her response is a woman's view of the moment of tragedy, which strikes straight at the heart. Find it here.
This poem, 'Let it be me,' is by James Conn, about whom I know nothing. It was a runner up in last year's Imprint poetry competition. I like the poem, but I love the interesting way it's been laid out, the use of capitals and rhythm to convey meaning. It's one of those poems that I keep coming back to.
And last up today is Helen Mort, a poet from Derbyshire who's just brought out a new collection on women climbers entitled, 'No Map Could Show Them.' The poem I'm sharing is the utterly marvellous 'Difficult,' which I first heard on Woman's Hour back in the summer (here's the clip of it), and you'll also find the written version in this edition of Now Then. It makes me proud to be a 'difficult' woman.
What have you come across lately? Anything fab?