Archives For *Poetry*



For those of you who already enjoy poetry, we hope you’ll appreciate this selection of classic pieces being read aloud.

For those of you who don’t love poetry, we’ve compiled a list of 10 singers and actors reading in hopes that they’ll help convince you to.


Compiled by Sarah Lyons


Meryl Streep

Actress, known for a variety of movies including The Devil Wears Prada and most recently Into the Woods


Reading Emily Dickinson’s “In Vain”


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Sarojini_Naidu_in_Bombay_1946Sarojini Naidu (born as Sarojini Chattopadhyay), also known as The Nightingale of India, was an Indian independence activist and poet. Naidu served as the first governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh from 1947 to 1949; the first woman to become the governor of an Indian state. She was the second woman to become the president of the Indian National Congress in 1925 and the first Indian woman to do so.
(via Wikipedia)


Download Naidu’s collection of poems
The Golden Threshold

as a FREE ebook from Project Gutenberg.


The Coromandel Fishers
Sarojini Naidu

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Pope Francis


Yesterday saw the release of the English translation of Pope Francis’s Encyclical:

Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home.

We encourage you to download the PDF of this encyclical and read it yourself.


Here are two lovely prayers that were included in the encyclical…
Perhaps you can find ways to use these prayers in the life of your church.


A prayer for our earth
Pope Francis

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Poetry is often much better heard than read off the page.

Here are seven of our favorite poetry collections that are available for FREE download from Librivox.

Included here are sample poems from each collection for your listening pleasure…


Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

*** FREE Audiobook Download ****

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Today is the birthday of James Weldon Johnson, born 1871.

James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938) was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920 he was the first black to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer, and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture. (via Wikipedia)

 In honor of his birthday, we offer this poem…

To America
James Weldon Johnson

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Today is the birthday of the Italian poet, Giovanni Boccaccio, born 1313.

GIOVANNI BOCCACCIO (Giovanni di Boccaccio da Chellino), born at Paris, the son of a Florentine merchant. He came to Florence at an early age, studied commerce in Naples, but soon abandoned this for literature. About 1334 or 1338 he fell in love with Maria d’ Aquino, a natural daughter of King Robert of Naples, who, as “Fiammetta,” inspired a number of his works. In 1349, on his father’s death, he returned to Florence, where he entertained Petrarch, with whom he formed a close friendship. About 1362 he was so influenced by a priest called Gioacchino Ciani as completely to change his moral views and mode of life. In 1373 he read and commented in public on the Divina Commedia.


Giovanni Boccaccio

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The Scottish poet Thomas Campbell died on this date in 1844.

In honor of the occasion, we offer this poem by him…


The River of Life
Thomas Campbell

THE MORE we live, more brief appear
Our life’s succeeding stages:
A day to childhood seems a year,
And years like passing ages.
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NPG x11853; Robert Williams Buchanan

Robert Williams Buchanan was a Scottish poet who died on this date in 1901.

Robert Williams Buchanan


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StephenCrane1899Stephen Crane, poet and novelist (author of The Red Badge of Courage) died on this day in 1900.

Stephen Crane (November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900) was an American author. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism. He is recognized by modern critics as one of the most innovative writers of his generation.

The eighth surviving child of Methodist parents, Crane began writing at the age of four and had published several articles by the age of 16. Having little interest in university studies, he left college in 1891 to work as a reporter and writer. Crane’s first novel was the 1893 Bowery tale Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, generally considered by critics to be the first work of American literary Naturalism. He won international acclaim in 1895 for his Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage, which he wrote without having any battle experience. (via Wikipedia)


Here’s a favorite poem of his…

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Today is the birthday of G.K. Chesterton, born 1874…

In honor of the occasion, here are three of our favorite poems of his.

If you are a fan of Chesterton’s work,
we recommend this $1.99 bargain Kindle ebook:
The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books]

G.K. Chesterton

When Adam went from Paradise
He saw the Sword and ran;
The dreadful shape, the new device,
The pointed end of Paradise,
And saw what Peril is and Price,
And knew he was a man.

When Adam went from Paradise,
He turned him back and cried
For a little flower from Paradise;
There came no flower from Paradise;
The woods were dark in Paradise,
And not a bird replied.

For only comfort or contempt,
For jest or great reward,
Over the walls of Paradise,
The flameless gates of Paradise,
The dumb shut doors of Paradise,
God flung the flaming sword.

It burns the hand that holds it
More than the skull it scores;
It doubles like a snake and stings,
Yet he in whose hand it swings
He is the most masterful of things,
A scorner of the stars.


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