Life Lines

If you’re like me, there are a few lines from poems that you carry around. Maybe they inspire you, or maybe they’re your mantra. Whatever the reason, you should check out Life Lines from the Academy of American Poets. Read about what inspires poets and readers alike, what bring a smile to their faces, and what helps them cope. If you’re inspired, submit your own favorites.

Two poems that carry favorite lines for me:

We all have reasons
for moving
I move
to keep things whole.

(Mark Strand, “Keeping Things Whole”)


I'll get back
to the poem. I'll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there’s a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it’s done.

(Tess Gallagher, “I Stop Writing the Poem”)

The Mark Strand poem usually gets me through a bad day at work, while the Tess Gallagher poem helps me during the rough spots at home when there’s not enough time in the day.


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