Feel good poems

October 10, 2011

Renata Edge and that marvellous quilt

It’s International Mental Health Day, and from 1-24 October it’s also the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival. We were thinking about happy poems this morning – there’s a nice task for a Monday morning – and asking for recommendations from Twitter friends to add to our own playlists.

Poems can simply add to your sense of wellbeing, and – just like a favourite song coming on the radio, or the smell of fresh waffles, or stomping along in new red boots (thank you Kit Wright), they can lift your mood.  What poems make you happy? What poems make you feel good?  Which ones make you laugh out loud? Or snicker furtively? Which poems reassure you if you’re having a wobbly day? Or even, what poem best describes happiness?

These are some of the suggestions that came in today on Twitter:


‘A Valediction Forbidding Mourning’

‘The Confirmation’ by Edwin Muir but also ‘The Sea’ by Pablo Neruda & ‘Tam O’Shanter’ is a hoot!

‘One Star in the West’, George McKay Brown: peace

‘Grace and Pride’, Manus Lunny

‘O Leave Novels’ by Burns (read here by Robert Carlyle)

Elaine Feinstein, Getting Older http://bit.ly/reopuu and Raymond Carver, Late Fragment http://bit.ly/aiFcse.

All Things Pass – http://poemof-theday.blogspot.com/2010/04/all-things-pass-lao-tzu.html

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, Still I Rise by Maya Angelou


Poem that makes me happy? Billy Collins’ “Litany,” esp when read by this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVu4Me_n91Y #poem #poetry #poemsaloud

it’s an odd one, but I find ‘For a Lamb’ by Richard Eberhart soothing. A reminder of the natural cycle of life & its beauty.

Hopkins, ‘heaven/haven’; Duffy ‘prayer’.

Enter a Cloud by W.S. Graham ‘And I am here as near / Happy as I will get / In the sailing afternoon.’

One of my all-time favorites is Bukowski’s “Nirvana,” read perfectly by Tom Waits on his Orphans record!

Today when we were looking for ‘happy poems’, Renata Edge brought in this wonderful quilt – an ongoing autobiography – and a poem she loves about quilting that is, indeed, happy: ‘The Patchwork Quilt’ by Elizabeth Fleming.

One Response to “Feel good poems”

  1. Renata Says:

    Hi Lilias,
    thanks for “hanging up” my quilt.
    I’ve set myself the task of completing a new poetry quilt….

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