8 Poetry Books You MUST Read


Someone once told me; you can’t analyze poetry, let the words wash over you and make you feel. That's it.

There was a time when poetry seemed pretentious, boring and exhausting. I stuck my head in between the words trying to make sense of them, thinking I had to grasp the exact meaning of every poem to claim I had truly understood it– otherwise I had failed. Like a little poetry policewoman. Probably a product of school teaching us to dissect and read into every aspect of a piece of writing, flipping it over and around until you've dried it out and killed it.

Then someone told me a few years back; you can’t analyze poetry, let the words wash over you and make you feel. And it really changed my poetry game. Suddenly I was consuming poetry raw, and leaving my head out of it. And it's become something of a therapeutic/spiritual practice I'd recommend to anyone. Here are some of my favorite books.

— Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen (2006) Leonard Cohen is a sensual lyrical genius. His writing and music melts in your ears. He is hands down one of my favorite artists of all time. Published in 2006, the Book of Longing is a compilation of poems and illustrations written in a Zen monastery in California (where Cohen lived for five years) and India where he traveled frequently.

In 2007 Phillip Glass premiered Book of Longing. Song Cycle Based on the Poetry and Artwork of Leonard Cohen, in which he set 23 of the book's poems to music. Some songs include Leonard's signature spoken word.


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