“‘What do you hate, / and who do you love?'”: Taha Muhammad Ali’s “Meeting at an Airport”

Since it’s National Poetry Month, I’ll once again recommend The Poetry Foundation’s app (conveniently called Poetry) if you’re looking for a little more poetry in your life (and who isn’t?). It’s perfect for a little pick-me-up when you’re feeling stressed, or when you’re waiting for the bus and realize you’ve forgotten your book (horror!), or when you’re a book blogger looking for a poem to recommend.

Speaking of which . . .

I just read “Meeting at an Aiport,” by the late Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali. It’s just lovely, joyous and sad all at once, and a perfect example of what a gifted poet can do with simple repetition.

So, which new poets and poems have you discovered lately?

“the light blue sea / Of your acquaintance”: Kenneth Koch’s “In Love with You”

I confess that I am not particularly well versed (poetry joke!) in the New York School poets. I’ve read a bit of Ashberry and a bit more Frank O’Hara, but never much Kenneth Koch. It hasn’t been a conscious omission; I simply found other poets first who claimed my attention.

Last week Kenneth Koch’s “In Love with You” popped up in my inbox as the Poetry Foundation’s poem of the day, and I was hooked by its exuberance, its vitality; it features non-ironic exclamation points!

While I admire many love poems, most of them are so intimate, so particular to a person or time or place that I find myself distanced from them. Like Whitman’s poems (at least for me), however, “In Love with You”‘s specificity crescendoes into a feeling of overwhelming universality. And I love a love poem that makes me grin.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a book of Kenneth Koch’s poetry.

Do you have a favorite grin-worthy love poem?