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Three Poems Everyone Should Know

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4:34 PM

A beautiful thing about our world is that we have poetry in it. The following three poems have changed me in some profound or visceral way. And maybe, it'll change you to. Regardless, everyone should know these three poems. I keep reading "The Lovers" to myself over and over. I never tire.

"The Lovers" by Timothy Liu

I was always afraid
of the next card

the psychic would turn
over for us—      
                           Forgive me
for not knowing
how we were

every card in the deck.

"Scheherazade" by Richard Siken

Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
                                                       and dress them in warm clothes again.
         How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
                   It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
         it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
                 how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
                                                                                       to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
         we’re inconsolable.
                               Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
                                                                Tell me we’ll never get used to it.

"Sleeping in the Forest" by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.