” Poetry is so important because it helps you to understand and appreciate the world around you.

Poetry’s strength lies in it’s ability to shed a ” sideways” light on the world, so the truth sneaks up on you. Poetry teaches you how to live. Reading poetry allows one to see into the soul of another.

I’ve said it once before that poetry is a bridge. An immediate path to becoming better people and being the change in the world. Helping us to realize that we’re not as different as we think.

And despite our differences, we are not alone in our grief, pain, joy or happiness.

Reading and Writing poetry is the greater good. Whose benefits are the rebuilding and forging a more connected and caring world.( Alice Osborn)

I’ve compiled top 5 best poems to read and change your mind.

Here we go:

1. Still I rise
( Maya Angelou- 1928 )

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil Wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I,m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave
I rise
I rise
I rise.

About Maya Angelou

She was born and brought up in the Southern USA, and the flavour of her black working-class marks her writing. She was sexually abused as child by a family friend, and experience that left her mute ( unable to speak) for years. One of the black American writers to identify herself with feminist concerns, she is best known for her autobiographical books. She remains a popular speaker and University professor.

2. Say No
( Gcina Mhlophe- 1958 )

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your jobless son
a Tsotsi
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call
Your husband at the age of 60
a boy
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they rape your daughter
in detention and call her
a whore
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your white sister
a madam
Say No

Say No, Black Woman
Say No
When they call your white brother
a baas
Say No

About Gcina Mhlophe

She’s one of South Africa’s most innovative and talented actresses and directors, Mhlophe also writes plays and poetry. She has worked to advance the art of story-telling, and tours the country to bring her performance to as many levels of society as possible.

3. If We Must Die
( Claude McKay-1890-1948)

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be she’d
In vain, then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honour us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common for!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

About Claude McKay

Born in Jamaica in the Caribbean, Claude McKay moved to the USA as a young man. A writer skilled in various fields, he wrote both poetry and novels. His Poems reflect his perceptions of life in Jamaica and New York, and his novels deals honestly with the experiences of black communities in the Caribbean, the USA, and Europe. He also produced a respected sociological work on life in Harlem ( a black residential area in New York City.)

If we must die, was written as a response to race riots that took place in Harlem in 1919. Later, it was to become a part of encouragement in times of war.

4. On His Blindness
( John Milton 1608-1674)

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide;
‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?’
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, ‘God doth need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.’

About John Milton

Milton was educated at Cambridge University, and studied further to prepare himself for a career either as a poet or a priest. He soon gained a reputation as a writer of vivid imagination and skill. He travelled in Europe, meeting intellectuals and scientists such as Galileo, before returning to find England in a state of civil war between supporters of the monarchy and Cromwell’s parliamentarians.

By 1655 at age of 48 Milton became blind his ability to write was threatened, as a result, his relationship with God became complicated. In on his , blindness Milton is struggling to understand at line 7, Milton wonders if God still expects him to keep writing without his sight.

5. Song
( Christina Rossetti 1830-1894)

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head
Nor shady Cypress tree:

Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember
And haply may forget.

About Christina Rossetti

Born into a gifted family, Rossetti spent much of her life burying her passionate personality in religion, charity work, and the care of her family. She was the younger sister of the flamboyant artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and their unspoken rivalry marked much of her life and work. She held an ambiguous position on the edges of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and idealistic group of young artists and writers headed by her brother. They promoted a return to standards of beauty uncorrupted by bourgeois, middle class standards, and a nostalgia for the idealized world seen in medieval and ancient myth, and these principles are reflected in Rossetti’s work. She had a clear sense of her poetic vocation, and refused marriage twice ( citing religious reasons) in order to focus on her writing. She was much admired by her contemporaries for the subtlety of her work and the originality of her religious poetry. Gerard Manley Hopkins and many other lesser poets were influenced by her. Rossetti died of breast cancer.

Thanks for reading this article and share it with friends and family to educate the Nation. Reading Nation is a leading Nation. Keep reading and practice writing everyday and learn from the best poets. Thanks so much!


By admin

Phillimon Sefake is a Creative writer and a Literary scholar

10 thoughts on “Top 5 Best Poems To Read And Change Your Mind”
  1. What’s up?

    I found this article very interesting…please read!

    Do you remember the blockbuster hit film The Matrix that was released in 1999? You may not know this, but it has deep spiritual implications concerning the times we are living in and Bible prophecy.

    It tells a story of how these “agents” are trying to turn us into machines. We are closer then ever before for this to become a reality when they cause us to receive an implantable microchip in our body during a time when physical money will be no more.

    You may have seen on NBC news concerning the implantable RFID microchip that some people are getting put in their hand to make purchases, but did you know this microchip matches perfectly with prophecy in the Bible?

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…

    You also may have heard of the legendary number “666” that people have been speculating for possibly thousands of years on what it actually means. This article shares something I haven’t seen before, and I don’t think there could be any better explanation for what it means to calculate 666. This is no hoax. Very fascinating stuff!

    …Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666″ (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV).

    To see all the details showing why the Bible foretold of all these things, check out this article!

    Article: https://biblewoke.com/rfid-mark-of-the-beast-666-revealed

    GOD is sending out His end time warning:

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    In the Islamic religion they have man called the Mahdi who is known as their messiah of whom they are waiting to take the stage. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist based off dreams they have received. I myself have had strange dreams about him like no other person. So much so that I decided to share this information.

    He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith…

    “In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. But there have been times where my faith has been questioned — by people who don’t know me — or they’ve said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing,” – Barack Obama

    …but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

    So what’s in the name? The meaning of someones name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface…

    “And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'” (Luke 10:18).

    In the Hebrew language we can uncover the meaning behind the name Barack Obama.

    Barack, also transliterated as Baraq, in Hebrew is: lightning

    baraq – Biblical definition:

    From Strongs H1299; lightning; by analogy a gleam; concretely a flashing sword: – bright, glitter (-ing, sword), lightning. (Strongs Hebrew word H1300 baraq baw-rawk’)

    Barak ‘O’bamah, The use of bamah is used to refer to the “heights” of Heaven.

    bamah – Biblical definition:

    From an unused root (meaning to be high); an elevation: – height, high place, wave. (Strongs Hebrew word H1116 bamah baw-maw’)

    The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama’s home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

    Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

    Seek Jesus while He may be found…repent, confess and forsake your sins and trust in the savior! Jesus says we must be born again by His Holy Spirit to enter the kingdom of God…God bless!

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