Are you ready to take poetry to bed?
Today is Poem on Your Pillow Day, sponsored by Tweetspeak Poetry and Meadowbrook Press, and it’s a chance to do just that.
Never mind dire predictions about poetry’s sleepy demise and the call for poets to write it back to wakefulness. Poem on Your Pillow Day is a fun, simple way to bring poetry home or to your “home away from home” (hotels being invited to the celebration too).
Not sure which poem to slip onto someone’s pillow?
You can download a beautiful printable photo poem, featuring gorgeous professional photography. Or choose one of these 10 tempting poems to cozy up to—and maybe get someone to cozy up to you in return.
Since this year’s celebration coincides with Cinco de Mayo, a few poems in the mix will do dual duty.
10 Tempting Poems to Celebrate Poem on Your Pillow Day
Our backs break in loving—
and then the rest of us.
Your cave nose, my lily ankle.
Our bed gets lost inside our bodies
like a small boat dinking around the Pacific.
Mattress and box springs shudder
into the size of a baby’s wrist,
the once-safe haven of sleep
inside our mouths.
—Dave Malone, from O: Love Poems from the Ozarks
Neruda soup together.
You bring the poems,
I’ll bring the red poppies
and the black seeds.
the soup together.
You bring an open mouth,
I’ll bring a full spoon.
Comma, comma, comma, comma
come a, come a, come a, come a,
cum a, cum a, cum a, cum a
cama, cama, cama, cama.
—L.L. Barkat, from Love, Etc.
The cartographer married the exile,
tantalized by the taste of road
when he took her into his mouth,
wanted her, with that wander eye,
as if the last veil
was composed of miles
between them—the revelation
of contour, of gully and incline
in delicate copper, ochre, viridian blue.
She murmurs a litany between
the pillow hours—
Cebolleta—names he cannot find
on any map,
suspects are old lovers.
It is his delight
to name the constellations crossing
in his own language,
to watch weather
shape them back again
to what she knew,
to what he guesses
her landscape was.
—Anne M. Doe Overstreet, from Delicate Machinery Suspended
Oh, Mariachi Me
All my life I have wanted nothing so much
as the love of women. For them I have fashioned
the myth of myself, the singing troubadour
with the flashing eyes. Always for them
my black sombrero with its winging tassels,
this vest embroidered with hearts, these trousers
with silver studs down the seams. Oh, I am
Mariachi me, as I had intended. I am success
and the price of success, now old and dusty
at the edge of the dance floor, still smiling,
heavy with hope, clutching my dead guitar.
—Ted Kooser, from Valentines
on a gentle tide
and the frightening things float away
don’t be worried
there are dreams all over the place
for the hauling up and stacking out
just let it go
the wind will do the hardest work
—Sarah Elwell, from The Wind Children
O You Whom
O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you,
As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me.
Wild Nights, Wild Nights! (269)
Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Futile – the winds –
To a heart in port –
Done with the compass –
Done with the chart!
Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the sea!
Might I moor – Tonight –
He has come, he is here,
My love has come home,
The minutes are lighter
Than flying foam,
The hours are like dancers
On gold-slippered feet,
The days are young runners
Naked and fleet—
For my love has returned,
He is home, he is here,
In the whole world no other
Is dear as my dear!
—Sara Teasdale, from Flame and Shadow
Come quickly—as soon as
these blossoms open,
This world exists
as a sheen of dew on flowers.
—Izumi Shikibu, from Love Poems
Photo by Kelly Sauer. Used with permission.
Read about the amusing history of the pillow
Download pillow poems
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Maureen Doallas says
Love Kelly Sauer photo! And wonderful selections.
Deny Desire Nothing
Slip your hand below
silk and lace. Lie close—
that you might dare
deny desire nothing
before another morning
threads the hour.
L. L. Barkat says
Mmm. Nice and spicy, for Cinco de Mayo! 😉
Laurie Klein says
Fine gathering, especially love the Overstreet, Kooser, and Shikiibu. Thanks!