Today I took delivery of The Emergency Poet, An Anti-Stress Poetry Anthology edited by Deborah Alma. I had been looking for another activity I could do during rest breaks and reading uplifting poetry seemed to be a good fit.

Deborah Alma is the Emergency Poet, who travels in her 1970s ambulance to schools, libraries, and festivals to offer poetic remedies to comfort those in need of a pick-me-up. She is the one responsible for editing this collection.

Reading poetry is a great way to relax and revive yourself both mentally and physically, so this book should fit into my daily resting plans easily. I am really looking forward to diving into it.

Right now though I want to share a couple of the poems that jumped out of the pages when I had a peek through the book this evening. These are two poems that really resonated with me immediately: Every day is a new day to cease and opening the door to the unknown, the frightening or maybe literally to the outside, being brave and taking that step because what’s the worst that could happen?

New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge

Every morning is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again

The Door by Miroslav Holub

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if
is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

Are you a poetry reader? Does reading poetry make you feel calmer and more relaxed? Could reading this book be the best new ‘rest’ activity I’ve found?