April 7 – #Verselove Death in a Poem

Death in a Poem with Denise Krebs, April 7, 2024

Today’s Poetry Friday roundup and progress on the Progressive Poem and a Fibonacci poem can be found at Margaret Simon’s Reflections on the Teche blog.


“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”

― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories

Today is Good Friday and Poetry Friday. Over at #Verselove today, I have shared a prompt about writing a poem that includes some aspect of death.

I wanted to share with you all the two powerful mentor poems I used:

Mary Oliver ties her “When Death Comes” poem to living life fully.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

Read Oliver’s full poem here.

Nikki Giovanni, in her poem “Rosa Parks,” ties the horrific death of Emmett Till with the Pullman Porters who helped him on his way to Mississippi and how, later that same year, Rosa Parks “sat back down.” Please take time to read this powerful poem. It begins:

This is for the Pullman Porters who organized when people said they couldn’t. And carried the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender to the Black Americans in the South so they would know they were not alone.

Read the rest of Giovanni’s poem here.

7 thoughts on “April 7 – #Verselove Death in a Poem

  1. Denise, I’m sorry I didn’t get to write to your prompt. I had all intentions to, but as the host of PF, I felt I needed to read and comment on each post. I want to write to this and will. Death is on my mind a lot these days, the death of my father, a close friend’s daughter, and the headmistress of the school in Nashville (her sister is an editor at our local newspaper). So much loss in the world. We poets need to share our hope and love.

  2. Such powerful mentor texts. Deaths can be devastating, but they are, like the Murakami quote states, a natural part of life. We only need to look to nature to see the power that death gives to life.

  3. Fabulous prompt with powerful poems!! Hadn’t read the Giovanni poem before; though sad, the ending with Rosa Parks offers such hope. And of course I love the Oliver poem, something I should reread more often. Thanks for the food for thought!

  4. A powerful prompt *and* poem for Good Friday. And all of the inspiration in the poems you share beforehand sets it up so well. Thank you.

  5. This is a powerful poem, Denise. Thank you for sharing it. I wrote about Emmett Till earlier this year and his death, as were countless others, was – as the poem says inexcusable. (“And was horribly, brutally, inexcusably, and unacceptably murdered”). Thankfully, Rosa Parks found a way to make her sit down, instead of standing up – which she was actually doing. What a loss! Thank you again!

  6. I left a poem in the comments on verselove
    Thanks for the prompt!

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