For when you know you’re hurting, happy, confused, so in love and have so many things to say that poetry is the only way forward… Here’s some amazing poetry by Sarah Kay.

1. When Love Arrives

“Love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict. Maybe love is in New York City, already asleep; you are in California, Australia, wide awake. Maybe love is always in the wrong time zone. Maybe love is not ready for you. Maybe you are not ready for love. Maybe love just isn’t the marrying type. Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce, love is older now, but just as beautiful as you remembered. Maybe love is only there for a month. Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit. Maybe love stays- maybe love can’t. Maybe love shouldn’t.

Sarah Kay performing ‘When Love Arrives’ with Phil Kaye

Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to,
And love leaves exactly when love must.
When love arrives, say, “Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.”
If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet, whisper,
“Thank you for stopping by.”

Watch the full poem here.

2. The Type

“Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt
If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along
It is hard to stop loving the ocean
Even after it has left you gasping, salty
So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made
The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night

And know this:
Know that you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours
Let the statues crumble
You have always been the place
You are the kind of woman who can build it yourself
You were born to build”

Watch the full poem here.

3. Still Here

“They can give us all they got
But they won’t destroy us not as long as I’m still here
I’ve walked these shoes until they’re thin
I’ve wandered halfway round the world and wandered back again
The road is long the night is cold when I’m out there on my own
Your face lit by the hallway lamp is how I know I’m home
Still here, still here”

Watch the full poem here.

4. Scaffolding

“I learned things don’t happen and then disappear.
Once they happen, they still are here.
And you can move on and forget them but they still exist somewhere.
So no matter how far behind you leave them, they still wait for you there.
This is the house I grew up in, but it is not my home.
And without that scaffolding these walls are having a hard time standing on their own.”

Watch the full poem here.

5. Private Parts

“There was no secret I didn’t tell him, there was no moment I didn’t share.
We didn’t grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping,
moulding each other into perfect yins and yangs.
We kissed with mouths open, breathing his exhale into my inhale.
We could have survived underwater or outer space, breathing only the breathe we traded.

We spelled love, g-i-v-e, I never wanted to hide my body from him —
if I could have I would have given it all away with the rest of me.
I did not know it was possible to save some things for myself.”

Watch the full poem here.

6. Worst Poetry

“I refuse to let my words sink to such levels of atrocity,
refuse to submit to “Roses are red, violets are blue, my poetry sucks and it’s all thanks to you!” But you turn my brain to mush and it’s so hard not to let my thoughts run off
in moments of ridiculous romanticism and irrelevant metaphors like-
dipping my tongue and hands into the paint can of my mind,
I splatter gooey gobs of thought onto the wall,
then watching as the rest of the world tries to make sense of my lovesick babble,
they come with black sharpies and try to connect the dots,
forming man-made constellations from my nonsensical thoughts…”

Watch the full poem here.

7. Postcards

Source: Airplane Poetry Movement

“Is there a word for the moment you win tug of war,
when the weight gives and all that extra rope comes tumbling towards you?
How even though you’ve won, you still end up with muddy knees and scratches on your hands? Is there a word for that? I wish there was.
I would’ve said it, when we were finally alone together on your couch,
neither one of us with anything left to say.
Still now, I send letters into space,
hoping that some mailman somewhere will track you down,
and recognize you from the descriptions in my poems,
that he will place the stack of them in your hands and tell you,
“There is a girl who still writes you. She doesn’t know how not to.””

Watch the full poem here.

8. Dreaming Boy

“When I finally asked you if you might want to date boys, I held my breath while you thought about it for a long, quiet moment.
“I haven’t met one I’d like to date yet,” you said. “And right now, I’m pretty in love with you, if that’s okay.”
And just like that, I did not crave language I always thought I needed.
And just like that, a hand reached backwards into a faraway dream and said, “come on then, we’ve got a maiden to save.”
I guess what I am saying is you make me feel like a boy, like the boy I have always been.

At night, I climb trees and wear cargo shorts. I steal buildings and I build fires.
When I wake I am curled around your back, the happiest big spoon in my drawer.
You are naked and heavy breathing, the man I love.
I hold your body like the gift it is, and safely sink back into dreams.”

Watch the full poem here.

9. If I should have a daughter

Source: Airplane Poetry Movement

“She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you,
hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach.
But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.
There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry,
so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming,
I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself.
Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers,
your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal.
Believe me, I’ve tried.”

Watch the full poem here.

Know more about this queen of the world spoken word poetry –

Sarah Kay is a poet from New York City who has been performing her spoken word poetry since she was fourteen years old. She was a featured poet on HBO’s “Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam” in 2006, and that year she was also the youngest poet to compete in the National Poetry Slam. Since then, Sarah has shared her poetry in venues and classrooms around the world. She is perhaps best known for her talk at the 2011 TED conference, which garnered two standing ovations and has been seen over seven million times online. Sarah holds a Masters Degree in The Art of Teaching from Brown University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Grinnell College. Her first book, “B” was ranked #1 Poetry Book on Amazon. Her newest book, “No Matter the Wreckage,” is also an Amazon Bestseller in American Poetry. Other poems and articles have been published in CURA Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Thrush, Treehouse Magazine, Union Station Magazine, the Huffington Post, CNN.com, and many more. Sarah is a passionate educator who has lead professional development workshops and been a featured presenter at education conferences such as the IBO, NAIS, ECIS, and AISA.

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