People enjoy poetry for a multitude of reasons. For some of us, poetry serves as a means of sharing emotions and experiences, while others enjoy it for admiring the craftiness of poets’ and observing their ability to manipulate words and phrases. Still others find poetry to be of significant source of inspiration in times of trial and challenges.
As a former school teacher, I often encouraged my students to persevere in whatever activity for which they found an interest or passion. I routinely displayed inspirational poems around the classroom; sometimes we would discuss them, while other times I just allowed their ‘presence’ to work its own magic in the lives of the students. Although I would sometimes post the better known works of Wordsworth and the like, I often preferred the lesser known and the contemporary.
For instance, The Victor, written by C. W. Longenecker, was very well received by my students. Although the poem itself was inspirational, the discussion about who actually wrote the piece was quite entertaining. In the modern world with internet search engines that can scan through immeasurable amounts of information, it was interesting to see how many different stories there were. In addition to Longenecker, the poem was ascribed to Walter D. Winkle, Dale Carnegie, and Percy Whitting. In fact, there is some debate as to whether Longenecker was even a real person.
A more contemporary poet is Charles Ghigna, who has had his works published in numerous books, journals, magazines, and even in college placement tests. He has been featured on a variety of television programs, and has been the editor of English Journal for the National Council of Teachers of English. The first piece I have selected from his staggering list of over five thousand poems is entitled Finish Lines. In just four simple lines, Ghigna is able to define success in words that both young and old can appreciate.
Another of Ghigna’s wonderfully powerful poems is The Art of Start. In this piece, Ghigna hits upon an idea that is the theme of many contemporary business designers, motivational speakers and coaches. In fact, Jon Acuff, who was recently found on the New York Times Bestseller list for his book, Quitter, is in the process of launching a new title for those who desire to chase after their dream goals — the book is simple called Start! Acuff and Ghigna would both agree that the place one finds their inspiration is not in the concept of a task, but in the actual performance of it.
The Art of Start
Of the thousands of poems written by Ghigna, many of them deal with similar thoughts of chasing after the things we desire most in life. This last piece is called Dreams Allowed. Here, Ghigna suggests that the readers put voice to their dreams, that somehow, that very act of vocalizing the particulars of a dream will manage to make it a reality.
I hope you have enjoyed this sampling of inspirational poems. There are so many to choose from that the task is quite a challenge. But as Ghigna suggests, by just diving in and starting the process, the inspiration for this article was quickly found.
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