Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 232–234 | Cite as

Poetry Resources

  • Geri Giebel Chavis


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  1. Allen, Adele. (1977). “Colors.” Images: Women in Transition. Janice Grana. (Ed.) Winona, MN: St. Mary’s College Press. (Expressing new-found assertiveness and self-assurance.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, Adele. “Primitive Eve.” Images: Women in Transition. (Waiting for the next stage after shedding pretense and illusions.)Google Scholar
  3. Angelou, Maya. (1978). “Call Letters: Mrs. V. B.” And Still I Rise. New York: Random. (An affirming, sprightly poem on taking chances and living life fully.)Google Scholar
  4. Angelou, Maya. (1975). “On Reaching Forty.” Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well. New York: Random House. (A playful poem about reaching middle age.)Google Scholar
  5. Bishop, Morris. (1974). “The Perforated Spirit.” Search the Silence; Poems of Self-Discov-ery. Ed. Betsy Ryan. NY: Scholastic Book Service. (A satirical poem on dehumanization and loss of individuality in the computer/machine age.)Google Scholar
  6. Bowers, Neal. (1983). “Endings.” The Golf Ball Diver. Minneapolis, MN: New Rivers Press. (On the importance of endings. A good poem with which to end a therapy group.)Google Scholar
  7. Bowers, Neal. “Forty.” The Golf Ball Diver. (On mid-life crisis.)Google Scholar
  8. Brown, Charles R. “We are Not Hen’s Eggs.” Search the Silence. (On uniqueness of individuals-a poem with colorful images.Google Scholar
  9. Clifton, Lucille. (1980). “the light that came to lucille clifton.” Two-Headed Woman. Amherst, MA: University of Mass. Press. (Highlights a time of illumination that follows personal loss and sorrow.)Google Scholar
  10. Currie, John. “Reality Is.” Search the Silence. (Affirming a belief in God as a part of one’s identity.)Google Scholar
  11. Dickey, William. (1972). “Alone I care For Myself.” Search the Silence. (A thought- provoking poem on vulnerability, survival, self-reliance and the meaning of life.)Google Scholar
  12. Eberhart, Richard. (1976). “The Human Being Is a Lonely Creature..” Collected Poems 1930–1976. NY: Oxford University Press. (About how loneliness and the looming presence of time are inherent in the human condition.)Google Scholar
  13. Feinstein, Elaine. (1977). “The Only Good Life is Lived Without Miracles.” Some Unease and Angles: Selected Poems. University Center, Michigan: Green River Press. (On mid-life crisis).Google Scholar
  14. Frost, Robert. (1919, 1964). “Acceptance.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. (Accepting life’s cycles and ignorance of one’s future.)Google Scholar
  15. Frost, Robert. “Carpe Diem.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost. (On time’s passage and an exploration of whether we live in the past, present or future.)Google Scholar
  16. Frost, Robert. “The Armful.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost (A wonderful poem for the overly busy person who tries to juggle too many tasks at once and needs to set priorities.)Google Scholar
  17. Frost, Robert. “The Lockless Door.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost. (A provocative, mysterious poem about choice and avoidance in life.)Google Scholar
  18. Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost (A classic in the poetry therapy field, this thought provoking poem is appropriate for all ages from ten to one hundred. Life choices and how we make decisions; satisfaction vs. regret.)Google Scholar
  19. Gardner, Lewis. “When I was Fourteen.” Search the Silence. (On vulnerability and self-reliance.)Google Scholar
  20. Geiser, Joni. “What Now?” Search the Silence. (Celebrating a slowly-evolving and a freer new self.)Google Scholar
  21. Gioia, Dana. (1986). “Insomnia.” Daily Horoscope: Poems by Dana Gioia. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press. (A sombre, vivid poem that captures the reflective, sad mood and the plight of the insomniac.)Google Scholar
  22. Giovanni, Nikki. (1979). “Ego Tripping.” Woman: An Affirmation. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath. (Affirming self through the joy of connection to one’s ethnic roots.)Google Scholar
  23. Giovanni, Nikki. (1975). “The December of My Spring.” The Women and the Men: Poems. NY: William Morrow & Co., Inc. (An aging person focuses on love relationships, independence and self-acceptance.)Google Scholar
  24. Henley, William E. (1965). “Invictus.” The Poetry of the Victorian Period. Third Edition. Eds. J.H. Buckley & G.B. Woods. Chicago: Scott Foresman & Co. (Celebrates the unconquerable spirit that keeps one forging ahead in the face of adversity.)Google Scholar
  25. Henze, Jurgen. “I Sometimes Meet Myself.” Search the Silence. (About one’s two selves — the intensive, compulsive and the laid-back, fun-loving self.)Google Scholar
  26. Hochman, Sandra. (1973). “Postscript.” No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women. Eds. F. Howe and E. Bass. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press. (On the meaning of life, the passage of time, and learning how to live.)Google Scholar
  27. Holmberg, Fred Benton. “I.” Search the Silence. (An affirming poem about identity — formation, conformity and self-assertion.)Google Scholar
  28. Hughes, Langston. “Dream Variation.” Search the Silence (A lively, upbeat poem on the joys of freedom.)Google Scholar
  29. Ignatow, David. (1970). “Dilemma..” Poems 1934–1969. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press. (Minor and major choices and their consequences.)Google Scholar
  30. Jong, Erica. (1979). “Inner Dialogue.” At The Edge of the Body. NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. (On the human condition, despair and hope.)Google Scholar
  31. Kavanaugh, James. (1986). ”I Cannot Answer.” From Loneliness to Love. San Francisco: Harper & Row. (On freedom of action vs. conformity to other’s standards and routines.)Google Scholar
  32. Kavanaugh, James. “Marcia.” From Loneliness to Love. (Portrait of a woman who gains financial/career success but loses freedom, love and meaning along the way.)Google Scholar
  33. Kavanaugh, James. “Undecided Man.” From Loneliness to Love. (About existential anxiety and the need to make decisions without the dreams of others getting in the way.)Google Scholar
  34. Kavanaugh, James. (1979). “Walk Easy On The Earth.” Walk Easy On The Earth. NY: E.P. Dutton. (The poet advises us to relinquish our drive for perfectionism and to find our own rhythms with humor, patience and quiet ease.)Google Scholar
  35. Larkin, Philip. (1964). “Home is So Sad.” The Whitsun Weddings. NY: Random House. (A brief, evocative poem about memories of home, disillusionment and one’s identity.)Google Scholar
  36. McGinley, Phyllis. (1932, 1960). “Portrait of Girl with Comic Book.” Times Three: Selected Verse From Three Decades. NY: Viking Press. (Captures the essence of adolescence, the “no-man’s land” between childhood and adulthood, with vivid images.)Google Scholar
  37. McKuen, Rod. “All of Me Is Mine.” Search the Silence. (On independence and self- assertion.)Google Scholar
  38. Merwin, W.S. “A Contemporary.” Search the Silence. (Exploring identity and simplifying one’s life.)Google Scholar
  39. Mitchell, Felicia. (1985). “Late Bloomer.” The Poet’s Job: To Go Too Far. Ed. Margaret Honton. Columbus, Ohio: Sophia Books. (Going through adolescent identity/rela-tionship crises at age twenty-eight.)Google Scholar
  40. Ostriker, Alicia. (1982). “The Pure Unknown.” A Woman Under the Surface: Poems and Prose Poems. NJ: Princeton University Press. (A sensuous reflection on the unknowable future and its mysteries.)Google Scholar
  41. Pastan, Linda. (1981). “Excursion.” Waiting for My Life. NY: Norton. (Facing your lack of authenticity, being a “tourist” in your “own life.”)Google Scholar
  42. Pastan, Linda. (1978). “Self Portrait at 44.” The Five Stages of Grief. NY: Norton. (On befriending your failures-a poem about acceptance.)Google Scholar
  43. Pastan, Linda. “25th High School Reunion.” The Five Stages of Grief. (How we become more like ourselves as we age.)Google Scholar
  44. Pastan, Linda. (1981). “Waiting for My Life.” Waiting for My Life. (On living without direction; passive vs. proactive approach to life.)Google Scholar
  45. Piercy, Marge. (1983). “A Key To Common Lethal Fungi.” Stone, Paper, Knife. NY: Knopf. (On how we consume our time ignoring the wonder of small and large miracles —a poem packed with vivid imagery.)Google Scholar
  46. Pollitt, Kathy. “Turning Thirty.” Book Digest Magazine, Jan. 1982, p. 70. (A single woman, turning 30, faces the loss of youth and loses her sense of unlimited possi-bilities.)Google Scholar
  47. Roethke, Theodore. (1932, 1958). “The Waking.” Words For The Wind: The Collected Verse of Theodore Roethke. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. (A gentle, rhythmical poem on learning patience and spontaneity in relation to self-growth and life’s journey.)Google Scholar
  48. Snodgrass, W.D. “Looking.” Search The Silence. (About existential searching, goals and the passage of time.)Google Scholar
  49. Strand, Mark. (1980). “Elegy 1969.” Selected Poems. Saddlebrook, NJ: American Book/Stratford Press. (Struggling to find meaning in life’s routines and the wasting of time.)Google Scholar
  50. Todd, Gail. (1977). “Old and Fat.” Contemporary Women Poets. Eds. J. McDowell and M. Loventhal. San Jose, CA: Merlin Press. (Looking at an old photo and confronting one’s aging process.)Google Scholar
  51. Viorst, Judith. (1976). “Self-Improvement.” How Did I Get To Be Forty … & Other Atrocities. NY: Simon & Schuster. (A humorous treatment of the craze for perfection and well-roundedness.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geri Giebel Chavis

There are no affiliations available

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