We first heard from poet David Tucker, and then the next day we heard from Susan Jefts.
Today I offer a collection of poets who offer poems for the new year.
These are poems of optimism and hope. And that’s the best way to ring in the new year – to be full of optimism and hope.
First up is poet Kim Addonizio with her poem “New Year’s Day,” in which she finds a blessing where few would think to look for it:
I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold
blessing of the rain,
and lift my face to it.
Next up is poet Margaret Avison with her deftly written “New Year’s Poem,” in which she finds a new appreciation for home and her own space:
Gentle and just pleasure
It is, being human, to have won from space
This unchill, habitable interior
Which mirrors quietly the light
Of the snow, and the new year.
Next we have poet Philip Appleman, who finds beauty in an unlikely event in “To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year”:
O garbage men,
the New Year greets you like the Old;
after this first run you too may rest
in beds like great warm aproned laps
and know that people everywhere have faith:
putting from them all things of this world,
they confidently bide your second coming.
And last, we have poet Susan Elizabeth Howe’s poem about New Year’s optimism undeterred by some bad news from a fortune cookie. Here’s an excerpt from “Your Luck Is About to Change”:
Ominous inscrutable Chinese news
to get just before Christmas,
considering my reasonable health,
marriage spicy as moo-goo-gai-pan,
career running like a not-too-old Chevrolet.
Not bad, considering what can go wrong:
the bony finger of Uncle Sam
might point out my husband,
my own national guard,
and set him in Afghanistan;
my boss could take a personal interest;
the pain in my left knee could spread to my right.
Still, as the old year tips into the new,
I insist on the infant hope, gooing and kicking
his legs in the air. I won’t give in…