5 ways to read more poetry when you just don’t have the time.

1. Subscribe to a poem-a-day email service

It’s hard to ignore when it’s in your face, plus who doesn’t love convenient?

Here are a couple of tried-and-true organizations offering poetry in your inbox:

Don’t want more email? Try #4 below (don’t cheat and skip #2 and #3, though, I totally worked hard on those).

2. Read poetry to your children (dogs, neighbors, whatever)

A research study showed this is one of the ways modern, older (aka middle-aged farts like me) poetry-lovers who don’t read so much poetry anymore actually take the time to incorporate poetry into their lives. That same research also showed that children who were exposed to poetry at an early age are more likely to grow up to love poetry as adults! So get movin’.

Below is is a completely random and definitely incomplete list of poets whose work may be incorporated into your kids’ bedtime routine (or let’s face it, your own). Some pages include links to poems, scroll down if you don’t see them after you click through!

3. Listen to audio poetry while adulting.

Multi-tasking is every modern person’s best friend, right? Or at least us busy types. I’m not one of those people who can listen to music or podcasts while doing any kind of thought-engagement (like work or homework — unlike my son, who enjoyed listening to Skrillex while doing Calculus homework???). But if I’m just doing housework or running errands, that is time just begging to be filled with some spoken word poetry.

4. “Like” an active poetry Page on your favorite social media channel!

Let’s face it, you’re probably on Facebook almost every day like much of humanity and Cambridge Analytica. Why not make use of that time to get notifications about poetry?


Here are a few Pages that popped up in a search I just did. Simply “Like” one or more (or find your own) and you’re on your way to more poetry every day!

Note, I vetted these to be sure actual poems or videos of spoken word were included and easily located on the Page. No just-memes for you, I love you too much for that.

Second note, I speak English, so these are English-speaking Pages, but you can do a Pages search on Facebook and find many more on different types of poetry, different themes, in different languages, etc.

If you’re not a fan of Facebook, try following your favorite poets on Twitter or Instagram instead!

5. Put your fave poetry books in the bathroom.

I’m not even kidding. You know what to do, and when.



“Song to a Mirror” (2011)

The Furnace Review is now defunct, but before that, they published this (no archive available):

Song to a mirror
First appeared in The Furnace Review (2011)

5/2 was the day you got good at “Whatever,”
that game of leaving-first without leaving.
You’d had the scent of happiness
over that last hill this morning,
but now it’s lost,
dispersed into untraceable atoms
across the neighborhood—

the same neighborhood where things have changed,
and M_____ and R____ stand in the yard screaming
for two hours in the morning.
“You promised me something!”
I don’t deserve you!
and you didn’t know what that meant, either,
not really.

Bending without breaking
is easier than it seems,
and more dangerous.
It leads to standing in yards at 7am
and hurling decibels at your love
who volleys them back,
well-placed arcs that shred the neighborhood
with their fictions we believe.

Nearly 40,
on loan to the planet,
you believed in “special” until this morning
when you lost the scent of that, too,
in the untraceable atmosphere.
It must be fluttering among the dogwood blooms
and Confederate jasmine—
40 feet up the pine, out of sight
among the unremarkable tree limbs:
you’re just like everyone else
and you’ve lost so many poems that way,
you can’t possibly be bitter—
maybe now you can get some sleep.