I added a new morning ritual by chance this year. While sitting on the roof New Year’s Day, drinking a cup of mint tea, watching the sky lighten. I had taken a couple of books and my journal with me, as I often do. And I read aloud to myself the first poem in Lorna Goodison’s collection “Heartease” – “I Shall Light A Candle To Understanding In Thine Heart Which Shall Not Be Put Out” – a longtime favourite.
I enjoyed it so much that later in the day I decided to read a poem out loud to myself each morning. In January it was poems by Jamaican poets; this month it’s poems by African American poets. And I am having fun thinking of what my focus for future months might be: more Jamaican poets; Caribbean, African, Commonwealth poets; poems by women; poems translated into English; poems I first read in school; poems about love. The possibilities aren’t actually endless, though, as I am including only poems from books I own.
And just for fun, I tweet the title of the poem each day at #APoemADay and tweet a few lines from the poem @suezeecue. 140 characters from a poem can sometimes be hard to choose!
At the end of the year, I’ll see where #APoemADay has taken me….
By the illumination of that candle
exit, death and fear and doubt
here love and possibility
within a lit heart, shining out.
– Lorna Goodison, “Heartease”