By Lelo Boyana / 18 of February 2021
There is something about reading poetry that makes me feel like I am being let in on a private moment. It’s almost as if I am seeing something I am not meant to see, or hearing thoughts I am not meant to hear. I guess, in its nature, poetry shows us the poet’s heart and soul. And when their words resonate with what is happening in our lives, it can be moving, meaningful and give you pause for thought.
I only read poetry when I am going through phases of self-doubt and I need something to remind me of the Queen that I am. Fortunately, social media has made poetry a lot more accessible and widely-spread. It’s also made it far less daunting because modern-day poets use the same words we use every day but in ways that have much more depth.
These days, people are experiencing more and more anxiety and self-doubt. That’s where the wise words of poets can help. To quote popular self-love guru, Brené Brown, ‘talk to yourself like you would someone you love.’
In celebration of World Poetry Day on 21 March, I have put together this list of poetry that has stuck with me, and makes for the perfect quick-fix reading when you are feeling low. I hope they will be just as helpful to you as they are to me, and serve as a constant reminder that we should never regret letting go of energy that drains us.
1. An Excerpt from Soft Magic by Upile Chisala
All the lovely women living in your blood are trying to teach you their soft magic,
please pay attention to them.
2. You Are Magic with a Thousand Generations of Women by Mich Atagana
I have lived with my insecurities all my life,
every part of my body.
My mind and speech have been part of
who I am for years.
You cannot use that to bring me down.
3. Self- Love by Melody Godfred
Expectation closed my eyes. Gratitude opened them.
Fear closed my eyes. Trust opened them.
Complaining closed my eyes. Appreciation opened them.
Perfection closed my eyes. Authenticity opened them.
Guilt closed my eyes. Self-love opened them.
4. You Call Yourself Ugly by Alex Durog
You call yourself ugly but you’ve only seen yourself when you look at the mirror.
You don’t see yourself when your face lights up at the sight of a baby,
ice cream, or your favourite restaurant.
You don’t see yourself when you’re so focused on the things you love doing.
5. Tell Yourself by Courtney Peppernell
When you cannot breathe and the walls are crashing down around you,
sit quietly, talk slow and soft.
Tell yourself the things you would tell someone you love.
6. The End of the World by Nayyirah Waheed
If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world.
But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.
7. Dress Up by Clairel Estevez
Dress up your mind with positivity
and the universe shall accessorise you with wonders.