The Poetry Brigade

A poem meets you in your heart.

Our lives are often interrupted. Some welcome interruptions are beauty, laughter, music, scent and even silence.

Other interruptions are unwelcome. They force us to change for a season, maybe for a lifetime. This site is for those wrestling in-between the “now” and “not yet” of life.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
– Mary Oliver, Wild Geese


Source: “Mary Oliver Reads Wild Geese,” Brain Pickings Photo: Crepe myrtle grove, Chapel Hill, NC, 2020. www.poetrybrigade.org

Old pirates, yes, they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit

But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs

– Bob Marley, Redemption Song


Source: Genius.com Photo: Intercoastal Water Way, Wilmington, NC, 2019. Marley wrote the song after he learned about the cancer that would take his life. www.poetrybrigade.org

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

-Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats


Source: The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Poetry Foundation Photo: The Wild Atlantic Way, Dunmanus Bay, Ireland, 2019. www.poetrybrigade.org

Lectio Divina – the words that speak to your spirit

Let’s not be like famed poet Billy Collins’ students who waterboarded their poems to force the meaning out of them! If something speaks to you, then it speaks to you. If not, give it a decade. The poems will be here.

All photos on this site by Allegra Jordan unless otherwise noted.