Students share their favorite poems for National Poetry Month

Jessica Garcia, Life and Arts reporter

Every April, National Poetry Month offers a time to celebrate poetry and encourage readers to explore their creativity through the literary form. To participate in the celebration, The Daily Texan asked students about their favorite poems and why those works resonate with them.

 

“I Have a Time Machine” by Brenda Shaughnessy

Public relations senior Kaitlyn Zaldana said she recently came across her favorite poem, “I Have a Time Machine,” on TikTok. With her college graduation looming closer every day, Zaldana said she related to the poem’s messages about time moving quickly and reflecting on past memories.

Brenda Shaughnessy’s poem describes the narrator’s experiences traveling to the future in a time machine while looking at the past through a window. 

Zaldana said she holds the last line of the poem, “the past is so horribly fast,” dear to her heart because it sums up her feelings about embracing her last month of college and life moving so quickly. 

“You have to live in the moment, is what it’s trying to get at,” Zaldana said. “Because all of those little moments are what make you.”

 

“Only If” by Anokhi Shah

Discovering a love for poetry in middle school, Anokhi Shah said she writes to relieve stress and put her thoughts down on paper. The neuroscience junior said her favorite work is, “Only If,” a self-written poem about empowering young women.

Shah said the poem describes a girl reflecting on how her Indian culture can help inspire others going through similar experiences. Drawing on her personal life, Shah said she wanted to write a poem from a feminine perspective.

“​​It’s about how women struggled to find their purpose before,” Shah said. “Now, with the support they have and a lot of self-confidence, they’re striving to become more than just a piece of property.”

As of right now, Shah said she only shares her poetry with friends and family but wants to expand her audience in the future.

 

“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in” by E.E. Cummings

After singing an adaptation of the poem in her high school choir, Alice Nguyen, an accounting and business honors sophomore, said she developed a love for E.E. Cumming’s “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in.”

The poem revolves around true love and carrying a piece, specifically the heart, of a loved one. Nguyen said Cummings does a good job of conveying the power of love through natural imagery, such as “a tree called life” featured in the second to last stanza.

As a fan of romantic poetry, Nguyen said she enjoys reading the literary form because, though there are many different takes on it, poets always pour their emotions into their writing, creating passionate and intimate work.

“Poetry is very interesting,” Nguyen said. “(It’s) a really great way for people to express their feelings.”