The ever-evolving COVID-19 situation has disrupted our daily lives, forcing us to adapt to new realities of quarantine and social distancing. As plans and routines are put aside, many of us find ourselves with unusually large amounts of free time. Rather than be paralyzed by boredom, the Hart Leadership Program invites you to use this newfound time as an opportunity for reflection. Critical reflection is critical for leadership development and is something we emphasize in our courses. Reflection helps us make sense of the world and our role in it.

We also know that poets and poetry have a long track record of expanding our capacity for seeing and understanding complexity, and for discovering insight, empathy, and a capacity to act in the face of unmoving obstacles.

To that end, we are featuring a new resource at Hart: a poem of the day, which can be found and read here, as well as on our Facebook page. We are fortunate to have the wisdom and leadership of Hart Professor and creative writing teacher Faulkner Fox to lead us in this project. Each morning, we will post a new a poem, while previous poems will continue to be accessible on our website for as long as social distancing is our watch-word. We strongly encourage you to share any reactions to the poems to info@hart.sanford.duke.edu. Please also pass along poems that have brought you comfort, insight, and strength. Send them to thalia.halloran@duke.edu. Looking to read more comforting poems? Check out the Shelter in Poems initiative.


Thursday, May 28th – “Black Matters” by Keith Wilson

Wednesday, May 27th – “no preponderance” by Hiwot Adilow

Monday, May 25th and Tuesday, May 26th – “Unusual Tightrope” by A.H. Jerriod Avant

Sunday, May 24th – “Petition” by Dilruba Ahmed

Saturday, May 23rd – “When I Am Asked” by Lisel Mueller

Friday, May 22nd – “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand

Thursday, May 21st – “Peanut Butter” by Eileen Myles

Wednesday, May 20th – “I Have News For You” by Tony Hoagland

Tuesday, May 19th – “Blackberrying” by Sylvia Plath

Monday, May 18th – “Last Body” by Mai Der Vang

Sunday, May 17th – “You Mean You Don’t Weep at the Nail Salon?” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Saturday, May 16th – “Self Portrait with Profanity” by Safia Elhillo

Friday, May 15th – “Thanks” by W.S. Merwin

Thursday, May 14th – “Requiem for a Nest” by Wanda Coleman

Wednesday, May 13th – “The Definition of Gardening” by James Tate

Tuesday, May 12th – Bottom speaking in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare

Monday, May 11th – “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda

Sunday, May 10th – “the mother” by Gwendolyn Brown

Saturday, May 9th – “Shaking the Grass” by Janice N. Harrington

Friday, May 8th – “Bullet Points” by Jericho Brown

Thursday, May 7th – “Like You” by Roque Dalton

Wednesday, May 6th – “Continue” by Maya Angelou

Tuesday, May 5th – “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth

Monday, May 4th – “When Giving Is All We Have” by Alberto Ríos

Sunday, May 3rd – “Poetic Subjects” by Rebecca Lindenberg

Saturday, May 2nd – “What to Eat, What to Drink, and What to Leave for Poison” by Camille T. Dungy

Friday, May 1st – “This Be The Verse” by Philip Larkin

Thursday, April 30th – “Quarantine” by Eavan Boland

Wednesday, April 29th – “You Can Have It” by Philip Levine

Tuesday, April 28th – “Small Kindnesses” by Danusha Laméris

Monday, April 27th – “Furious Cooking” by Maureen Seaton

Sunday, April 26th – “Poet Dances with Inanimate Object” by Cornelius Eady

Saturday, April 25th – “Choices” by Tess Gallagher

Friday, April 24th – “Her Kind” by Anne Sexton

Thursday, April 23rd – “Hotel” by Guillaume Apollinaire

Wednesday, April 22nd – “The Voice of God” by Crystal Williams

Tuesday, April 21st – “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop

Monday, April 20th – “Rite of Passage” by Sharon Olds

Sunday, April 19th – “Any and All” by Joseph Lawrence

Saturday, April 18th – “Some Rules” by Wendy Cope

Friday, April 17th – “High Treason” by José Emilio Pacheco

Thursday, April 16th – “Tomorrow, At Dawn” by Victor Hugo

Wednesday, April 15th – “Alone for a Week” by Jane Kenyon

Tuesday, April 14th – “Dawn Revisited” by Rita Dove

Monday, April 13th – “What the Living Do” by Marie Howe

Sunday, April 12th – “anna speaks of the childhood of mary her daughter” by Lucille Clifton

Saturday, April 11th – “The Place Where We Are Right” by Yehuda Amichai

Friday, April 10th – “If I Didn’t Live” by Gioconda Belli

Thursday, April 9th – “Grace” by Craig Arnold

Wednesday, April 8th – “I’m Learning Nothing This Night” by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Tuesday, April 7th – “Broom” by Deborah Digges

Monday, April 6th – “Strictly Speaking” by David Rivard

Sunday, April 5th – “Once by the Pacific” by Robert Frost

Saturday, April 4th – “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper” by Martín Espada

Friday, April 3rd – “Mercy (After Nikki Giovanni)” by Rudy Francisco

Thursday, April 2nd – “The Attic” by Cynthia Huntington

Wednesday, April 1st – “Lake Echo, Dear” by C. D. Wright

Tuesday, March 31st – “Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limón

Monday, March 30th – “Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo

Sunday, March 29th – “An Old Story” by Tracy K. Smith

Saturday, March 28th – “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott

Friday, March 27th – “Danse Russe” by William Carlos Williams

Thursday, March 26th – “I Am Offering This Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Wednesday, March 25th – “Ars Poetica #100: I Believe” by Elizabeth Alexander

Tuesday, March 24th – “North American Time” by Adrienne Rich

Monday, March 23rd – “Trying to Name What Doesn’t Change” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Sunday, March 22nd – “Concerning That Prayer I Cannot Make” by Jane Mead

Saturday, March 21st – “This Room and Everything in It” by Li-Young Lee

Friday, March 20th – “blessing the boats” by Lucille Clifton