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Hello, dear reader.

Read A Little Poetry began as a passion project in 2005 and is now a thriving collection of hundreds of great poems. It is my commonplace book for works I have found, read, and loved through the years.

Each post is accompanied by marginalia—mostly ruminations on life and the world as it shifts beneath our feet, and almost always a conversation with the poem on the page. I endeavour to regularly share new work from books on my own shelves, those that I’ve found in the library, as well as online and print magazines and journals.

Each selected poem draws from experiences of gratitude and joy, grief and loss, and the deep well of being human. Sometimes questions arise: “Why am I here?” and “How can I keep going?” and “Is this all there is?”. Other times one can only utter “Thank you,” and “Please,” after each line break, as if poems are prayers we draw from memory, or perhaps another life.

If you have been longing for a companion in your poetry journey, you are welcome here. This is a soft and tender place for you to land, and wander awhile.

The heart of this place

Read A Little Poetry has evolved over almost two decades as a community of poetry lovers, readers, writers, educators, among others, whom I found are aligned with my vision for what I want to accomplish in this little corner of the world:

  • Hold poets to the light and promote their work and their books
  • Share moving poems that become our anchors through time, through the gamut of delight and sorrow, and everything else in between
  • Nourish the inner life and imagination of anyone looking to get started on reading and/or writing poetry
  • Pursue a deeper exploration of poetry, writing, literature, creativity, loving, and living
  • Discover more work by poets who come from both large or small presses

An enduring commitment

My poetry education as a young writer consisted of reading works from old, white, cisgender, heterosexual men and women. It was what was available to me at the time, apart from the literature in my country. Hence, I am devoting my efforts to reading more works from women, LGBTQ+ and people of colour, and most importantly, living poets.

I seek to expand my reach however best I can, highlighting poets that come not just from the U.S. but also all over the world. Nevertheless, this site is primarily offered in the English language, so that it will remain accessible to readers wherever they reside.

While Read A Little Poetry has been instrumental to many teachers in planning their syllabus, it is not affiliated with any academic or literary institution. Because the poems I share are my personal choices, I am able to sustain this project independent of any outside influence, and I intend to keep this format for as long as possible.

Ultimately, there is no entity behind this site other than myself, and it will always remain free to all.

Building an archive

To provide sources for the text wherever possible is a continuing endeavour. The poems posted in the past are from books in my personal collection, or jotted in notebooks, journals, scraps of paper years back when I was still studying and borrowing copies from friends or the school library. I am currently working through old posts to make sure that everything is properly credited—if not the book where the poem was published, then a link to a literary journal or magazine, or other sites.

My mission is to make this place a useful resource for everyone, hence I am in the process of building the following:

  • A comprehensive index of tags and topics
  • A list of all poets and their work
  • And other future features

A work in progress

I’ve always turned to Read A Little Poetry in times of incredible anguish or unbridled hope. You have witnessed me grow up, grow older, get lost, and find myself over and over since I was nineteen years old. I said then that this was an attempt to discover pieces of my life tucked away in poems, waiting to meet me again. I think I have lived through worlds, a hundred of them, narrated by poets who knew exactly what I was feeling and going through. This remains true.

Everything written here are my days blurring into one another. I wrote things for myself, but maybe I wrote it for you, too.

Yes, dear stranger: I am in love with poetry—have been for all these years. Poems have saved me in one way or another, and I hope the same for you.

As always, everything here is a work in progress.

Yours,
T.

Pleased to meet you

T. De Los Reyes is the author of the chapbook Woeman (Hawai’i Review, 2018). A finalist for the 2021 Sappho Prize by Palette Poetry, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Pleiades, Split Lip Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, The Philippine Free Press, and The Philippine Graphic, among others.

Her work is in conversation with womanhood, eros, and mapping the body—exploring geography vis-a-vis the question of identity as a person of colour. Past recognitions include: Notable Manuscript for the 2016 BOAAT Chapbook Prize, First Place in Filipino Poetry in the 2007 Maningning Miclat Poetry Awards, and Fellow for Filipino Poetry in the 2005 Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices, National Writers Workshop.

She is the designer of Nowruz Journal, a finalist for the 2022 CLMP Firecracker Award in Magazines/Best Debut, and runs Possibilities Studio, advising and working with writers and artists, as well as creative entrepreneurs and small businesses. She is also a community teaching assistant for ModPo (Modern and Contemporary American Poetry), offered by the University of Pennsylvania as a massive open online course for the past ten years.

She lives and writes in Manila, Philippines.

Comments (76)

  • Eugene

    Love your blog, photos and especially choice of poetry. There’s a melancholy consistency about them, and how damaging to the soul if one dwells on their implications too much. Have you been reading happier poetry?

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  • Thank you for your blog;
    I hope today finds you smiling

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  • pw

    where on the planet do you reside? just curious about geography in the large sense.
    thanks for posting the poems.

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  • MischiviousNeko

    I’m so glad I found this blog… thank you for posting all of these poems. ^^
    Take care, wherever you are.

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  • Maundy Thursday: What a blessing to stumble upon this blog.

    I love poetry, and found new favorites here. I think you’re from █████. Hello. Thank you for putting this up.

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  • Seven pieces by cummings, six by Cohen… quite pleasing to stumble onto appreciators of lyricism.

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  • Never really thought i would read a very random essays (if ou call this one) like this. But anyway, i found myself enjoying reading it. Hope to hear from you mr. author. 😀

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  • Thank you for your blog. Keeps me sane, even for a moment. Thank you.

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  • jim

    A wonderful set of poems. Thank you.

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  • Lily

    Hi. I stumbled in your blog today and I stayed for hours. I hope that’s fine. I love your blog. It’s mysterious and it just oozes comfort. I’ve always been interested in poetry but never really indulged myself in it. I think that your blog is a nice place to start to know more about it. I just want to thank you for making this site and for making me smile today.

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  • Verna

    Hey, Tony. Read “The Word” on The Writer’s Almanac and it has stayed with me for weeks, so I decided to research you. Here you are, hidden in a strange, wonderful little corner in cyberspace. You remind me of myself. Isn’t that what good writers do–connect with strangers? just wanted to tell you that your poem lifted me, pleased me, has become part of me. I am off to find more of you to read.

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    • craig

      hi verna this is not the blog of tony hoagland. his poem is just posted here by the author. just thought you should know.

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  • Adam

    There’s so much I want to say but I don’t know where to start. I’ve been following this blog for years but this is the only time I’m reaching out. I guess this is my love letter to you. I also want the rest of the world to know how lovely you are – I want to give them a glimpse of the person behind this site. I know for a fact that you have never replied publicly to anyone who left a comment, but here’s one thing casual readers don’t know: you write letters to most of us. (Well….not yet to me.) It might take months, but you indeed write.

    I know about it because you wrote to a friend of mine, and up to now he hasn’t found the courage to write back. (I have finally found mine.) He came here because of Gregory Orr. I found you because I was looking for works by Izumi Shikibu. I can’t speak for him, but as for me, that was 2005. I never left. I’ve always been here. (I’m sorry if that sounds creepy, but it’s true.) The way you write has affected me so much. I don’t know why it took me six years to leave a comment, but here I am.

    I hope you don’t mind, but my friend and I have talked about you a lot of times. He said that you are someone famous but trying to live a hermetic life. My guess is that you’re a poet but seem to have an aversion to publishing or at least the public life of being a writer. He also said that you are a librarian who spends all day in the company of books. We could both be wrong. Who knows, you are probably a man. (I am trying to be funny.)

    I wish those who came here looking for O’Hara will leave having read more than one poem they came to seek out. (I keep hoping that the most read poem, Having a Coke With You, won’t be there forever.) I wish they would know Walcott, Snyder, Gilbert, McDaniel and Yevtushenko. These are only some of the poets that I discovered through you.

    I hate that some of poems that appeared here are suddenly all over Tumblr, the same day or a few days after you’ve posted them, without credit to your blog. I know that they come here because your choices are pretty awesome. It’s like you have created a soundtrack for all our lives, only with poetry. And then they come here, just looking for material. They don’t give you credit, they don’t even thank you.This blog is so much more than just an archive for poetry. For me you have created a place where art can touch my life and I need not feel guilty nor elitist about it, like there’s something beautiful at work here that I can’t find a name for. (Does anyone reading this feel the same way I do?)

    When you’re going through rough times, I want so badly to talk to you and say you’re not alone. You’re beautiful when you’re sad. What more when you’re happy?

    I know you’re reading all of our comments. That you may not reply, but the fact that it gets approved means it’s your way of communicating and of saying hello back. So I will be waiting day after day until I see this letter on this page. Then I’ll know you have read it, and it will be enough for me. At least for now. (I am saying everything I want to say as fast as I can say it, because like my friend I don’t know if I’ll ever have the courage again.)

    I don’t want to take another six years before I can say thank you for doing this. Thank you for existing. Thank you for your beautiful life. Thank you for bringing my friend and I closer. (Although I think we are both in love with you.) Thank you for not getting creeped out. Thank you for finding all these poems. Thank you for not leaving, even if you came close to doing so a lot of times. Thank you for sharing so much about yourself even when saying very little.

    I want to end this letter by asking if you have read The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras. There is a line there that reminds me of you:

    “That she had so completely recovered her sanity was a source of sadness to her. One should never be cured of one’s passion.”

    I hope you never stop being yourself. You don’t know how much it means to all of us.

    Sincerely,
    Adam

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    • Lizz S

      The sincerity of this post/comment nearly brought me to tears. If I’m honest, I would say that there is surely one lingering in the corner of my eye. Fear and courage can be tricky, sticky little emotions- both quite subjective in nature, yet disguised as generic. As if two people can really be courageous or fearful in the same way. I’m glad you did find the courage to say the words above. They are beautifully woven, punctiliously chosen words coming together to form a shroud of expressed comfort that even I, a newcomer here, can feel and take solace in. Wonderful job, Adam.

      -Lizz

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  • T-L

    Thank you for your words and your poems..it resonates through the pulse of me, it includes me in this evanescent world and makes me feel less of a fool somehow.

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  • I just made my way across the net and onto this blog and I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit! I am so excited for the innovative way you structure your posts – a bit of commentary that relates to your life preceding the poem. I started my own lit blog this past summer, and the way I discuss literature has evolved into trying to discuss a work through the lens of my life, my context (well at least that is one thing I’ve tried to do with the blog). Isn’t that why art matters to us, because it somehow reaches out and connects with our lives? Anyway, I am not sure how successful I’ve been yet but I think what you are doing here is beautiful and I can’t wait to read more. Thank you for creating this fantastic archive!

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  • foronceinmylife

    its the story about that day i was searching “The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski, i entered here n ‘m really pleased after that i visit often whenever e-mail notifier inform me that, there is a new poem arrived.

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  • Dan

    I really enjoy your blog. I especially like finding work by poets I don’t know. It’s very beautifully done. Thanks.

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  • Alexandria Dashing

    The poems posted on this site are beautiful.

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  • what a beautiful place you have created here!

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  • Katyusha

    Had it not been for this site and these poems, I would not have survived 2011.

    Thank you.

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  • Adam, thank you for saying what I have wanted to say for so long but never found words good enough to say. I feel the same way about not giving him credit for his beautifully chosen poetry.

    And dear blogger, what Adam said.
    Thank you for being Robinhood and throwing out to us those treasures which we so pine for. Funnily enough, I too had come looking for ” Having a Coke with you when I read your other posts and then this, your blog description. I got hooked.
    “I love you more than I can say, if I could tell you, I’d let you know.” ( Auden, my favorite)

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