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20 Collections of Excellent Poetry to Get You Through Your Workday

Below we’ve listed awe-inspiring, brilliant collections of poems to bring wonder into your world. From works by Mary Oliver to Terrance Hayes, discover the poems that will make you think and give you hope in your day to day.
  1. 1
    Days & Days Book Cover Picture
    Days & Days Book Cover Picture

    Days & Days

    by Michael Dickman

    Michael Dickman’s intuitive, agile verse captures us in its unusual pulse. Image-driven and shape-driven, the poems of Days & Days touch on parenthood, childhood, local natural habitats, graffiti culture, roses, and romantic love.
    Days & Days Book Cover Picture
    Days & Days Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2
    The Octopus Museum Book Cover Picture
    The Octopus Museum Book Cover Picture

    The Octopus Museum

    by Brenda Shaughnessy

    This collection of bold and scathingly beautiful feminist poems imagines what comes after our current age of environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics.
    The Octopus Museum Book Cover Picture
    The Octopus Museum Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3
    Poems of Paris Book Cover Picture
    Poems of Paris Book Cover Picture

    Poems of Paris

    by

    Poems of Paris covers a wide range of time, from the Renaissance to the present, and includes not only the pantheon of classic French poets, from Ronsard to Baudelaire to Mallarmé, but also tributes by visitors to the city and famous expatriates from all over the world, including Pablo Neruda, Samuel Beckett, Rainer Maria Rilke, Vladimir Nabokov, and many more.
    Poems of Paris Book Cover Picture
    Poems of Paris Book Cover Picture

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  4. 4
    How to Love a Country Book Cover Picture
    How to Love a Country Book Cover Picture

    How to Love a Country

    by Richard Blanco

    This new collection from the renowned inaugural poet Richard Blanco explores immigration, gun violence, racism, LGBTQ issues, and more, in accessible and emotive verses.
    How to Love a Country Book Cover Picture
    How to Love a Country Book Cover Picture

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  5. 5
    Drolleries Book Cover Picture
    Drolleries Book Cover Picture

    Drolleries

    by Cassidy McFadzean

    Invoking human-animal hybrids in various stages of metamorphosis, Drolleries veers between the beasts of the forest and the opulence of the art gallery.
    Drolleries Book Cover Picture
    Drolleries Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6
    If They Come for Us Book Cover Picture
    If They Come for Us Book Cover Picture

    If They Come for Us

    by Fatimah Asghar

    From a co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls comes an imaginative, soulful debut poetry that collection captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America.
    If They Come for Us Book Cover Picture
    If They Come for Us Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7
    Orbit Book Cover Picture
    Orbit Book Cover Picture

    Orbit

    by Cynthia Zarin

    In this, her fifth collection, Cynthia Zarin turns her lyric lens on the worlds within worlds we inhabit and how we navigate our shared predicament—the tables of our lives on which the news of the day is strewn: the president speaking to parishioners in Charleston, the ricochet of violence, near and far.
    Orbit Book Cover Picture
    Orbit Book Cover Picture

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  8. 8
    The Rain in Portugal Book Cover Picture
    The Rain in Portugal Book Cover Picture

    The Rain in Portugal

    by Billy Collins

    From former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins comes a twelfth collection of poetry offering over fifty poems that showcase the generosity, wit, and imaginative play that prompted The Wall Street Journal to call him “America’s favorite poet.”
    The Rain in Portugal Book Cover Picture
    The Rain in Portugal Book Cover Picture

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  9. 9
    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin Book Cover Picture
    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin Book Cover Picture

    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

    by Terrance Hayes

    A powerful, timely, dazzling collection of sonnets from one of America’s most acclaimed poets, Terrance Hayes, the National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead.
    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin Book Cover Picture
    American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands Book Cover Picture
    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands Book Cover Picture

    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands

    by Paige Ackerson-Kiely

    The poems in Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s third collection are set primarily in the rural northeast of America, and explore rural poverty, entrapment, captivity, violence, and a longing to vanish.
    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands Book Cover Picture
    Dolefully, A Rampart Stands Book Cover Picture

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  11. 11
    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals Book Cover Picture
    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals Book Cover Picture

    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals

    by Patricia Lockwood

    Bizarre, hilarious, wild, and lewd, Patricia Lockwood’s writing will leave you breathless. Set in nature but bursting at the seams, Lockwood’s poems are manic and tell-everyone amazing.
    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals Book Cover Picture
    Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals Book Cover Picture

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  12. 12
    It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful Book Cover Picture
    It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful Book Cover Picture

    It Shouldn’t Have Been Beautiful

    by Lia Purpura

    Purpura’s short, punchy poems draw on proverbs and riddles to ask the big questions about time, impermanence, and being.
    It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful Book Cover Picture
    It Shouldn't Have Been Beautiful Book Cover Picture

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  13. 13
    Blue Horses Book Cover Picture
    Blue Horses Book Cover Picture

    Blue Horses

    by Mary Oliver

    Beloved bestselling poet, Mary Oliver, delivers a meditative collection on the beauty, nature, and the small moments of clarity in everyday life.
    Blue Horses Book Cover Picture
    Blue Horses Book Cover Picture

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  14. 14
    The Long Take Book Cover Picture
    The Long Take Book Cover Picture

    The Long Take

    by Robin Robertson

    From the award-winning British author—a poet’s noir narrative that tells the story of a D-Day veteran in postwar America: a good man, brutalized by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it, yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.
    The Long Take Book Cover Picture
    The Long Take Book Cover Picture

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  15. 15
    Blizzard of One Book Cover Picture
    Blizzard of One Book Cover Picture

    Blizzard of One

    by Mark Strand

    The poems are filled with “the weather of leavetaking,” but they are also unexpectedly funny. The erasure of self and the depredations of time are seen as sources of sorrow, but also as grounds for celebration. This is one of the difficult truths these poems dramatize with stoicism and wit.
    Blizzard of One Book Cover Picture
    Blizzard of One Book Cover Picture

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  16. 16
    Voyage of the Sable Venus Book Cover Picture
    Voyage of the Sable Venus Book Cover Picture

    Voyage of the Sable Venus

    by Robin Coste Lewis

    Winner of the National Book Award, this electrifying poetry debut is a tender and shocking study of stereotype.
    Voyage of the Sable Venus Book Cover Picture
    Voyage of the Sable Venus Book Cover Picture

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  17. 17
    Eat This Poem Book Cover Picture
    Eat This Poem Book Cover Picture

    Eat This Poem

    by Nicole Gulotta

    The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book—from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Glück, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield—are accompanied by seventy-five recipes that bring the richness of words to life in our kitchen, on our plate, and through our palate.
    Eat This Poem Book Cover Picture
    Eat This Poem Book Cover Picture

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  18. 18
    Love Poems for Married People Book Cover Picture
    Love Poems for Married People Book Cover Picture

    Love Poems for Married People

    by John Kenney

    Full of brilliant wit, dynamic energy, and a heavy dose of reality, Love Poems for Married People takes the poetic form, turns it upside down and leaves it in the dishwasher to dry. Inspired by one of the most shared New Yorker pieces of all time, this collection captures the reality of life once the spark of a relationship has settled–and hilariously so.
    Love Poems for Married People Book Cover Picture
    Love Poems for Married People Book Cover Picture

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  19. 19
    bone Book Cover Picture
    bone Book Cover Picture

    bone

    by Yrsa Daley-Ward

    From the celebrated poet Yrsa Daley-Ward comes a poignant collection of poems about the heart, life, and the inner self. The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.
    bone Book Cover Picture
    bone Book Cover Picture

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  20. 20
    Chasers of the Light Book Cover Picture
    Chasers of the Light Book Cover Picture

    Chasers of the Light

    by Tyler Knott Gregson

    Chasers of the Light features some of Tyler Knott Gregson’s most insightful and beautifully worded pieces of work—poems that illuminate grand gestures and small glimpses, poems that celebrate the beauty of a life spent chasing the light.
    Chasers of the Light Book Cover Picture
    Chasers of the Light Book Cover Picture

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