Some of us skip breakfast protesting that it’s too early to eat.
But it can never be too early for a poem, and this enticing mini-anthology of poems selected and introduced by Ana Sampson offers delights that anyone would wish to be awake for – including three new poems that were winners in our breakfast poem competition.
Billy Collins buzzing around his house after several espressos and Lani O’Hanlon walking barefoot to the hen-house to collect eggs both relish the quiet solitude of being up early and contemplating the day ahead. For others, the first hours of the day are to be shared with loved ones; slices of toast flying from the toaster provide a vivid childhood memory:
“…I ate six slices
one weekend, enthralled
with how happiness
was the colour of butter,
best eaten hot.”
from ‘Toaster’ by Olga Dermott-Bond
Even if you’re not a morning person, these tender and beguiling poems will remind you that there’s something very precious about the start of a new day.
Ana Sampson is a leading anthologist and editor.
Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Daryush, Olga Dermott-Bond, Catherine Edmunds, Phil Houghton, Ted Kooser, Lani O’Hanlon, Charles Simic and Mary Stewart Hammond.
Cover illustration by Jane Walker.