Like art, writing’s been one of the liferafts we’ve climbed aboard to keep ourselves afloat during quarantine. For its brevity, poetry is especially equipped to calm—we’re hard-pressed to pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes at the moment. (Raise your hand if that resonates.) A poem offers concentration and concision, clarity and elasticity, relief and reinforcement, and it doesn’t require hours of uninterrupted reading. It’s a low-commitment luxury as undemanding as looking at a piece of art. Plus, there’s so much magnificent poetry out there you’ll have plenty of fodder for 5-min post-Zoom brain breaks. And wouldn’t ya know? It’s National Poetry Month!
To celebrate, we’re reviving our long-running tradition of pairing poems + art. (You might have seen last year’s matchmaking.) Every poem we picked is sourced from poets.org—one of our favorite resources for a little literary respite—paired with 20x200 art, and presented as a couple without comment. If we’ve learned anything from Good Writing 101, it’s show, don’t tell. So we’re letting these pairs speak for themselves.
Read/see all our poetry + art power duos below. Then we recommend you take a stab at some pairings yourself—the process is weirdly satisfying and strangely addictive. Quite frankly, it’s fun as hell.
With art for everyone,
Paired: Matthew Hoffman + Robert Creeley
Paired: Jorge Colombo + Georgia Douglas Johnson
Paired: Michelle Arcila + Robert Frost
Paired: Yen Ha + Ada Limón
Paired: William Wegman + Joe Brainard
Paired: Hilma af Klint + Herman Melville
Paired: Paper Jam Press + W.S. Merwin
Paired: A 20x200 Vintage Edition + William Carlos Williams
Paired: Amy Casey + Maya Angelou