‘What does poetry do? What is its purpose? To me, poetry is essential because poems have literally changed the way in which I look at and listen to the world. There are poems that, when I read them more than once, have slowly and with time revealed to me places of my own personal experience. There are poems that I have read over and over again, knowing that they contained some secret knowledge that I had yet to discover, but refused to give up on. Poetry is important because it makes us think; it inspires us to meditate on our lives and to reconcile ourselves with a world that we take too much for granted. Moreover, poetry renews and deepens the gift that most surely makes us human: the imagination. This is crucial because the more imaginative that we are, the more humane we become – and that, without a doubt, is the highest virtue of all.

In this issue, Beyond magazine celebrates poetry through twelve selected poems.’
Pascale Choueiri Saad

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickinson


From the beginning of my life

I have been looking for your face

but today I have seen it

Today I have seen

the charm, the beauty,

the unfathomable grace

of the face

that I was looking for

Today I have found you

and those who laughed

and scorned me yesterday

are sorry that they were not looking

as I did

I am bewildered by the magnificence

of your beauty

and wish to see you

with a hundred eyes

My heart has burned with passion

and has searched forever

for this wondrous beauty

that I now behold

The Love Poem of Rumi

A place like this

It is an early morning

I need an island in the sea,

Away from you away from me,

Beyond the waves beyond the wind,

Beyond the world that we live in,

Under skies of shining stars,

Away from lights and noisy cars,

Above the egos and the stress,

Beyond the world we made a mess.

A place for me a place for you,

An earth that’s green a sky that’s blue,

A place for you a place for me,

An open sky and light blue sea,

With dreams as solid as the ground,

A place like this I think I’ve found.

A happy thought no one can take it,

A place like this is where we make it.

I need a mountain in the sky,

Just beneath where angels fly,

Where snowflakes falling on the ground,

Is the most disruptive sound,

Above the waves above the wind,

Above the world that we live in,

Above my life above the stress,

Where I can lay it all to rest,

Under skies of falling snow,

Just above the world below,

Just above the trees and birds,

A place I can’t describe in words.

An empty place that’s so appealing,

How’d I get this stupid feeling?

Bad ideas come and go,

But none as potent as the snow,

I need no island in the sea,

Just the things that make me me.

I need no mountain in the sky,

Just to laugh try not to cry,

Forget these far off fantasies,

And manifest as realities,

Reach out and grab it in good time,

Seize the moment make it mine,

Catch the moment make it last.

Just be grateful when it’s past.

Sensations as real as the wind,

Try not to be sad when it ends.

A happy thought no one can take it,

A time like this is when we make it.

I need an island in the sea,

And all of that which makes me me.”

by Milo Shumpert

A dark wood

Midway upon the journey of our life

I found myself within a forest dark,

For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say

What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,

Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;

But of the good to treat, which there I found,

Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,

So full was I of slumber at the moment

In which I had abandoned the true way.

(Inferno, Canto I) By Dante Alighieri, 1265 – 1321


I want to tell you

about the sunflower I found

on the sidewalk yesterday.

It is wilting and curled and gorgeous

and knows it.

I want to age like that,

never forgetting my own beauty,

never forgetting how to say bloom.

Anna Voelker

I carry your heart with me

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in

my heart) I am never without it (anywhere

I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

I fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

EE Cummings

A bowl of roses

It was a bowl of roses:

There in the light they lay,

Languishing, glorying, glowing

Their life away.

And the soul of them rose like a presence,

Into me crept and grew,

And filled me with something — someone —

O, was it you?

William Ernest Henley


OUT of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance        

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,  

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903

A girl

The tree has entered my hands,

The sap has ascended my arms,

The tree has grown in my breast –


The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,

Moss you are,

You are violets with wind above them.

A child – so high – you are,

And all this is folly to the world.

Ezra Pound


IF you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

My Earlier Life

I’ve been home a long time among the vast porticos,

Which the mariner sun has tinged with a million fires,

Whose grandest pillars, upright, majestic and cold

Render them the same, this evening, as caves with basalt spires.

The swells’ overwhelming accords of rich music,

Heaving images of heaven to the skies,

Mingle in a way solemn and mystic

With the colors of the horizon reflected by my eyes.

It was here I was true to the voluptuous calm,

The milieu of azure, the waves, the splendors,

And the nude slaves, all impregnated with odors,

Who refreshed my brow with waving palms

My only care to bring to meaning from anguish

The sad secret in which I languish.

Charles Baudelaire

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