As 2016 comes to a close, you're probably getting ready to start celebrating the new year. Let's face it: even though the calendar can feel somewhat artificial, there's something totally refreshing about being able to turn a page and hope for the best. Yes, that's right: the new year is the perfect time to be optimistic — and contemplative. No matter what happened in the last twelve months, now you've got the opportunity to change. Personally, I love resolutions, all their tidy hopefulness. And what better way to explore the feelings associated with progression and ambition than... poems?
By ringing in the new year with poetry, you're setting yourself up for a truly reflective 2017. At this time, it's important to look not only forward but backward. These poems will encourage you to consider all that's behind you and enable you to face the future with a wiser and better-reasoned frame of mind. They'll also let you celebrate this moment, which is pretty much like a big, fat birthday for all of us.
Whether you read them while you prep for a NYE to remember or as you nurse the first hangover of 2017, these 7 poems will help you kick the year off right.
'December 31st' by Richard Hoffmann
All my undone actions wander
naked across the calendar,
a band of skinny hunter-gatherers,
blown snow scattered here and there,
stumbling toward a future
'Burning the Old Year' by Naomi Shihab Nye
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
'A Pumpkin At New Year's' by Sandra McPherson
It was time too to leave you uncut and full-featured,
Like the grandpa of twenty-five pumpkins in my past,
Khrushchev-cheeked and dwelling on yourself,
Great knee of my childhood.
'To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year' by Philip Appelman
My vestiges of muscle stir
uneasily in their percale cocoon:
what moves those men out there, what
drives them running to the next house and the next?
'Year's End' by Richard Wilbur
These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.
'Grayed In' by Martha Collins
I close a door, another door.
'January Drought' by Conor O'Callaghan
I have reservoirs of want enough
to freeze many nights over.