Happiness: the mid-point, perhaps, between contentment and joy. We all hope for it, but we all also have times when it seems far away. Sometimes, we even fail to notice when it’s there.
These poems don’t celebrate rapture or feverish delight. Mostly they capture moments of what Emily Dickinson calls “casual simplicity” – giggling irreverently during a yoga class or seeing a dragonfly land on a lake. Happiness, they seem to say, is far less complicated than we sometimes imagine:
“It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.”
from ‘Happiness’ by Jane Kenyon
Deborah Alma is a poet and poetry tutor, also known as the Emergency Poet offering the world’s first mobile poetry first aid service. Her delightful and thoughtful selection is sure to lift the spirits and gladden the heart.
Poems by Deborah Alma, Meg Cox, Emily Dickinson, Jonathan Davidson, Tony Hoagland, Jane Kenyon, Bryony Littlefair, Naomi Shihab Nye, RS Thomas and James Wright.
Cover illustration by Victoria McGrane.