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11 stunning poetry books that foster self-acceptance

9. Leaves of Grass

by Walt Whitman

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American visionary Whitman’s reflections on life and on himself are both bodily and revelatory. Excerpt from the collection:

“…Do I contradict myself?

Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes…”

10. The Subject Tonight Is Love

by Hafiz

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Hafiz is known as an ecstatic Sufi master. Whether or not the concept of God resonates with you, I think this excerpt from “This Place Where You Are Right Now” has a certain power:

“This place where you are right now

God circled on a map for you.

Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move

Against the earth and the sky,

The Beloved has bowed there – 

Our Beloved has bowed there knowing

You were coming…”

11. And Still I Rise

by Maya Angelou

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Angelou’s poem below is an anthem for personal self-validation and also narrates the triumph of African Americans over adversity; it is an inspiration. Excerpt from “Still I Rise”:

“…Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise…”

And here’s a bonus: Listen to Nicki Minaj reciting Still I Rise or Ben Harper’s musical version.

I hope these books are as beneficial to others as they have been to me.

More: 11 books to help you create a happier, more optimistic life

Julia Travers

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