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Poetry of Presence

There are some books that once you start reading them, you know you will keep them forever. Poetry of Presence is one of those books for me. Filled with the artistry of mindfully crafted words by many poets, this collection of over 150 poems contains good medicine for the soul.

Instead of searching my books or the internet for a poem to start my yoga and mindfulness classes, I have finally found the perfect resource. The well selected poetry from Poetry of Presence evokes a sense of rich and compassionate presence. In reading and listening to the poets who have "sought love and happiness, suffered hardships, and grieved losses"; we are invited on many journeys. The world opens wider in our discoveries.

Readers say:

“I’ll keep this by my side to read one poem a day to return to a state of mindfulness, breathing language through the heart."

Grace Cavalieri, Host and Producer, “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”

A reader from S. Dakota described it this way:

"I am slowly enjoying the book—sort of like choosing a delicious chocolate each night before sleeping."

The kind editors, poetry lovers, are offering this book at a deep discount in response to the pandemic. Click here if you are interested.

The Anthology begins with a thoughts of choosing a poem in the selection below. It reminds us -

"You’ll only know it’s ripe if you taste."


On How to Pick and Eat Poems

Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Come down from the attic. Grab a bucket or a basket and head for light. That’s where the best poems grow, and in the dappled dark.

Go slow. Watch out for thorns and bears. When you find a good bush, bow to it, or take off your shoes.

Pluck. This poem. That poem. Any poem. It should come off the stem easy, just a little tickle. No need to sniff first, judge the color, test the firmness. You’ll only know it’s ripe if you taste.

So put a poem upon your lips. Chew its pulp. Let its juice spill over your tongue. Let your reading of it teach you what sort of creature you are and the nature of the ground you walk upon. Bring your whole life out loud to this one poem. Eating one poem can save you, if you’re hungry enough.

Take companions poem-picking when you can. Visit wild and lovely and forgotten places, broken and hidden and walled up spaces. Reach into bramble, stain your skin, mash words against your teeth, for love. And always leave some poems within easy reach for the next picker, in kinship with the unknown.

If you ever carry away more than you need, go on home to your kitchen, and make good jam. Don’t be in a rush, they’re sure to keep. Some will even taste better with age, a rich batch of preserves.

Store up jars and jars of jam. Plenty for friends. Plenty for the long, howling winter. Plenty for strangers. Plenty for all the bread in this broken world.

by Phyllis Cole-Dai

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