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New series, five things, on Fridays.

Here’s a story. Back when I was in college, I had this professor. He was a wild-haired writer, a child of another era. He wore tweed blazers and drove a little sports car. He was the first person to teach me about poetry, really teach me I mean.

On our first day of class, he asked us to go around the room and name our favorite writers. We were a bunch of insecure teenagers, straight out of high school, and each of us stumbled to spit out the name of an author that we could remember. He said one day you will rattle off the names off all of your favorite writers as if you’re reciting a prayer. He was right.

Here are five of my favorite poets. Sylvia Plath belongs on this list, too, after all she was the first writer that I ever loved. But everyone knows Sylvia, so I thought I would share some that you might not know. I’ve also included two of my favorite poems by each writer, good places to start.

1. Mary Oliver — Start with these two: The Summer Day, In Blackwater Woods

2. Adrienne Rich — Start with these two: For the Dead, Burning Oneself In.

3. Charles Bukowski — Start with these two: The Laughing Heart, Regardless

4. Sharon OldsThe Promise, Known To Be Left.

5. Pablo Neruda — Start with these two: If You Forget Me, Birth.


Happy weekend, friends. Gigantic things are happening in my life right now. Hopefully I will be brave enough to write about them soon.

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