Ink Blots: 6 Poems For Children and Adults To Enjoy

by Kariza Montealegre Exposing children to poetry is important since it allows them to appreciate words better at an early age. From rhymes and sound emphasis to wordplay, reading poetry is not just a fun activity with kids; it could also be instrumental in forming a foundation for their reading. Wondering which poems are best for the little ones? There are definitely a ton of amazing ones available, but in celebration of National Children’s Book Day (#NCBD2016!) and, of course, Bookbed’s sixth birthday, allow me to share with you my top six poems for children (in no particular order). 1. “Maggie…

Ink Blots: ‘Shrinking Women’ by Lily Myers

by Kariza Montealegre Each day is a fight for women’s rights, and each day is a chance to honor women and their contributions to society, so today, I’ll be sharing a spoken word poem I stumbled upon years ago and has stuck with me since. As a woman, it is easy to feel inferior. You doubt your body. You doubt your opinions. You doubt yourself. Body image and self image issues are not exclusive to women, but it can be said that these are two of the many challenges most girls struggle with at a young age. It’s like your anatomy has…

Ink Blots: ‘Questions of Travel’ by Elizabeth Bishop

by Kariza Montealegre Welcome to the first Ink Blots post of 2016. I’m sure a lot of you have made a list of sights you want to see, adventures you want to embark in and places you want to discover. I can’t blame you if you have that burning desire to leave home (I am guilty of that, too), but have you ever thought of why? Why the itch? Today’s poem is “Questions of Travel” by Elizabeth Bishop. Written by the award-winning American poet after years of living in Brazil, the piece was first published in 1965 in a collection…

Ink Blots: ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah

by Kariza Montealegre It’s been a while since the last Ink Blots, but I hope you’re all good, making the most of the remaining days of the year. (Can you believe 2015 is almost over?) Whatever you may be up to these days, allow me to drizzle you with some inspiration today. Today’s piece is about the joy in accepting one’s true self and finding the beauty of life. First shared in 1994, The Invitation by Oriah was published in the book of the same title in 1999. Often shared through word of mouth, quoted in the web and recited in…

Ink Blots: ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ by Sylvia Plath

by Kariza Montealegre Last time, I wrote about a piece in line with Mental Health Day. Today, I’m sharing a poem on madness from a poet who suffered from bipolar disorder and depression and eventually committed suicide—Sylvia Plath. It’s also the birth anniversary of this literary genius this month, so it seems like the perfect time to revisit one of her works. Plath, who started writing poems at eight years old, was categorized as a confessional poet. Confessional poetry is the personal kind. Centered on the details of the writer’s psyche and experience, it touches on matters like mental illness and sexuality….

Ink Blots: ‘The Madness Vase’ by Andrea Gibson

by Kariza Montealegre Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, and various discussions on suicide prevention have been initiated. With 800,000 lives taken every year because of suicide, it is indeed important to raise awareness on the matter. And today, I would like to share a poem that touches on such subject. Today’s piece is from the award-winning poet and activist Andrea Gibson. Published in the book of the same title in 2011, The Madness Vase (aka The Nutritionist) is a beautiful response to people who have lost their faith, those who struggle just to get up in the morning and continue…

Ink Blots: ‘Remember How We Forgot’, ‘Here I Am’

by Kariza Montealegre Today’s poems—yes, I am sharing two poems today—are about the revelation of the future to our childhood selves. As they say, we can never predict what life may bring. What we may have dreamed as a child may not be what or where we are now—and yes, that could be frustrating. I have welcomed quarter-life with fear, like most people my age probably do (raise your hands if you feel me), but during those moments, these poems have given me hope (and the push I somehow needed). Shane Koyczan’s “Remember How We Forgot” and Anis Mojgani’s “Here Am I”…

Ink Blots: ‘Girlfriends’ by Charles Bukowski

by Kariza Montealegre Memories are stories we’ve kept in the tiny compartments of our heads. If we look into our minds, they’re probably libraries housing books about our past. One part of that library could be named Past Lovers (which could be in the Restricted Section for some *wink*). If given a chance, would you pick up a book from this section? Or, would you just leave it until it gathers dust? If you’re torn, you could probably get some advice from Charles Bukowski’s poem Girlfriends. (It happens to be the 95th birth anniversary of Charles Bukowski, so allow me to…

Ink Blots: ‘Today Means Amen’ by Sierra DeMulder

by Kariza Montealegre Previously, I shared with you Buddy Wakefield’s “apology letter” (“This is an apology letter to the both of us for how long it took me to let things go”), and today, I have another letter! But this time, it’s for you. We all have our struggles, but there are some who get trapped and sucked in by the monster that is depression. If you are in this dark alley of life (I hope you’re not), today’s poem is a light for you. Published in the newly released book We Slept Here, the piece “Today Means Amen“ by Sierra…

Ink Blots: ‘Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars’ by Buddy Wakefield

by Kariza Montealegre Welcome to Ink Blots, where I’ll be sharing with you poems—from classic to contemporary and from published to performed pieces—every other Sunday. As Joseph Roux puts it: “Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.” Perhaps, this is a good sign to make this a Sunday habit? You plus truth in its most raw form—sounds like a good combination to me! Now, we’re celebrating Bookbed‘s fifth birthday, and today’s featured poem doesn’t stray far from celebrations. Buddy Wakefield’s “Hurling Crowbirds at Mockingbars (Hope is Not a Course of Action)” may come as a heartbreak poem at first but it actually talks about letting…