I recently stumbled across a well-known poem I’d read many times before, and something compelled me to read it yet again.
There are only a few poems I know so well that they feel like well-worn clothing to me, and this poem happens to be one of them. I know at least half the lines by heart, even though I’ve never tried to memorize it. And now, as I read it again, I am yet still amazed by how powerful, chemical and magical these particular lines are, and how much concentrated truth they seem to hold, and how deeply important it seems to me that everybody in the world have the chance to hear the words of this one searingly beautiful, singularly perfect poem.
Even though I don’t put much stock behind the concept of “favorite”, I suppose I have to face the fact that this is my favorite poem in the universe, and has been so for a long time.
Just to build up some suspense, though, I’d rather not tell you the title of this work until next week. This week, I’d like to know if there is any one poem you feel this way about — any work of free or structured verse, long or short, modern or old, that you love and admire so much that you want to proclaim to everyone you know and anyone who is willing to hear that this is the one greatest poem in the world. If so, please tell us what it is.
I’m also happy to take guesses as to what poem I am speaking of as my favorite. I will give one hint, just to sweep away a couple of obvious guesses. The title has more than four letters.