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Poetry Is Magic

Poems make your day better. Here’s proof.

Poetry in app form abounds. In honor of National Poetry Month, former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera waxes lyrical about three works from three great poetry apps.

The poem: “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda

The app: Poemhunter

The laureate’s take:
“Here, the fiery, romantic poet appears sometimes melancholy and revolutionary at the same time. Pablo Neruda—the one whose lyrics of struggle and freedom the dark cave miners of Chile knew by heart, the one whose books the Republican army of Spain mashed their battle-worn shirts and coats into in thanks for his verse and commitment to the people. Notice this poem’s unwinding and reweaving of space, body, memory, time, and boundless love.”

As its name suggests, Poemhunter lets you hunt through 1.4 million works to find a new favorite—or have a poem of the day delivered right to your iPhone.

    Poemhunter

    Best Poems by Best Poets

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The poem: “Cuddly in Camo” by Nathan Spoon

The app: Poetry Magazine

The laureate’s take: “It is quite tough to write a solid poem on humanity with a teaspoon of satire, a ‘pair of PJs,’ and a kind of rain that lasts ‘long enough/ to tickle me.’ In this bubbly bluish three-line layout of 10 neat stanzas, there are glaciers, sunsets, pews, and, of all things, ‘aristocrats.’ You gotta have that word if you want your poem to pop some swag.”

Poetry Magazine, the official app of the venerable monthly publication, is brimming with verse, podcasts, and playlists.

    Poetry Magazine App

    Magazines & Newspapers

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The poem: “Going, Going” by Philip Larkin, read by Freddie Fox

The app: The Poetry Hour

The laureate’s take: “In this app, you’ll find seasoned actors reading the work of major poets. In Philip Larkin’s cinematic piece, we go and go through England and by the ‘village louts,’ where ‘bleak high-risers come’ and ‘things are tougher than we are.’ We sense the rumble of change, decay, and, perhaps, a new time. Yet we also know there is the ‘takeover’ and ‘profit,’ and indescribable things that ‘linger on.’ The atmosphere of the poem and the voicing of Mr. Fox is delicate, poignant, and moving.”

There’s more than just verse in The Poetry Hour. Enjoy video and audio of actors like Eddie Redmayne and Charlotte Rampling reading the works.