Reading Poetry Before the Sun Rises
For months now, I have been firmly planted in the #5amwritersclub camp. Actually, I usually start to stir around 3:30. By the time I’ve gotten dressed, washed my face, and found my way to the coffee pot, it is more like #4amwritersclub. I sit at the kitchen table with my brew, my journal, my daily planner, and a book of poetry.
For a long time, I have struggled with finding time to read. I used to listen to audiobooks on the way to daycare, but then the pandemic hit, and that daily trek was no longer a thing. By evening, I am far too tired. Sometimes I read in the bathtub, but I have to be in the right frame of mind.
However, I am often inspired by the words of others and wanted to make sure that I was reading every day. I found the time before the sun comes up, before I have started my own writing for the day.
Poetry seemed like a natural fit for my early morning routine. I could embrace poetry in bite-sized portions, committing to reading 15 poems per day. I could read, set it aside, not have to worry that I was leaving off in the middle of a good chapter or exciting scene of a novel.
I started with Lisel Mueller’s “Alive Together: New and Selected Poems.” I let the words flow over me in the morning. Sometimes, I would even read aloud to myself, though under my breath so that I didn’t risk waking other members of the household. After finishing “Alive Together” I have started Lucille Clifton’s “Blessing the Boats.”
It has been an easy, joyous part of my morning routine. I write in my journal. I plan out my day. And I read 15 poems.