Top Five Poems: 2019–2020

“Poetry lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears,” wrote Audre Lorde, and the poems below all speak to this vital enterprise. A young woman watches porn to please her lover, then finds the voice to say no more. A poet, writing in hindsight, advises his younger self to wait for his calling instead of engaging in teenage recklessness. A patient at an acupuncture clinic allows herself to name her true malady. In this time of turmoil and uncertainty, these Top Five Poems of the Week guide us toward healing, courage, and transformation, the gifts of all great poetry.

The Poem of the Week series for 2020–2021 starts on November 2. If you would like to send a poem for consideration as a Poem of the Week, please see our Guidelines. Each October the top five Poems of the Week are selected for special notice.

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