7 Poems To Read By The Pool, Because Sunny Days Are Perfect For Poetry
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People have really strong opinions about swimming pools, and it's true: there are some gross realities of these big water boxes invented by humans. (Squeamish readers, maybe don't Google further.) I grew up at swimming pools, though, and even my inner germophobe won't be deterred by the icky facts. I tell myself that the germs can't leap out of the water, anyhow, since what I really like about pools is all the summer beach reading that happens next to them.

I like the feeling of being on a lawn chair, even a crumby one. I like ignoring things like skin cancer and pretending I am, for a moment, invincible. I even like it when fellow sunbathers do what I think of as number one annoying--playing music on their phones, no headphone. I like the tinny, tiny stupid sound of pop music when it bounces off the cement and the chlorinated water and floats around the pool.

But the best is bringing a book to the pool, especially on a sunny day, when you're almost guaranteed to be lulled into a sort of heat coma. (That's a good thing.) The words drift around on the page, and reading becomes this sort of drippy, languid activity. And these seven poems happen to be thematically perf.

"Don't Let Me Be Wistful" by Dana Ward

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"Tarantula on the Lifebuoy" by Thomas Lux

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"With Emma at the Ladies-Only Swimming Pond on Hampstead Heath" by Linda Gregerson

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"Swimming for Jeni" by John Ridland

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"Salt" by Melissa Broder

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"skinny-dippin' in the gene pool" by Thulani Davis

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"Wingfoot Lake" by Rita Dove

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