Most of us have a favorite poem. It’s probably not the most perfect poem, or the most famous. My favorite poem isn’t even meant for adults! But it gave me chills the first time I read it and I’m pretty sure it changed the way I think. Whatever the reason for your favorite poem, it’s stuck with you, and I think that counts for a lot.
In 1997, Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, which collects videos and letters from Americans of all ages and backgrounds sharing their favorite poems. On the Favorite Poem Project website, there are 50 short documentary videos of people reading and talking about their favorite poems — including students, doctors, politicians, and poets. The project has also compiled multiple anthologies and inspired favorite poem readings across the country.
I love hearing people read poetry, and I’ve really enjoyed checking out the videos on the Favorite Poem Project. I hope you poke around a bit. Just to give you a taste, here’s a video of a student from Boston reading Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool,” which is possibly the coolest reading of this poem I’ve ever heard:
What’s your favorite poem? Feel free to leave it in comments.