Selections for 2021

Below is a collection of poetry chosen by poets associated with Poetry Matters – poems that have resonated for them over this last year of pandemic. Many thanks to Stephanie Bolster, M.W. Jaeggle, Avleen Mokha, and Shane Neilson. In honour of National Poetry Month 2021, we offer a selection of voices who speak both to experiences of the current moment and efforts towards reemergence

To read a fuller account Poetry Matter’s 2020-21 theme “Poetry and Reemergence,” please visit this page.


Stephanie Bolster

Margaret Atwood's "Blackberries"

The hands reaching in
among the leaves and spines
were once my mother’s.
I’ve passed them on.
Decades ahead, you’ll study your own
temporary hands, and you’ll remember.
Don’t cry, this is what happens.

Claudia Rankine's "Weather"

contracts keep us social compel us now
to disorder the disorder. Peace. We’re out
to repair the future. There’s an umbrella
by the door, not for yesterday but for the weather
that’s here.


M. W. Jaeggle

Ada Limòn's "The End of Poetry

enough of can you see me, can you hear me, enough
I am human, enough I am alone and I am desperate,
enough of the animal saving me, enough of the high
water, enough sorrow, enough of the air and its ease,
I am asking you to touch me.

Tess Liem's "A Request

...Suppose that was all I wanted to say.
If I could decide for you too—where are you right now
I wonder—say continue. We must.


Avleen Mokha

Maggie Smith's "Good Bones"

...for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Walt Whitman's "Miracles"

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.


Shane Neilson

Philip Larkin's "Home is so Sad"

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide...

Jim Johnstone's "Future Ghost" 

Kevin Heslop's "i cavalloni"

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