November Praise

Open your mind to everyday wonders with poems that celebrate life’s small yet meaningful moments.

As editor James Crews writes in the introduction of his anthology, The Wonder of Small Things:

“[A] deep love for the world is present in every one of the poems gathered in this book. Wonder calls us back to the curiosity we are each born with, and it makes us want to move closer to what sparks our attention. Wonder opens our senses and helps us stay in touch with a humbling sense of our own human smallness in the face of unexpected beauty and the delicious mysteries of life on this planet. No matter how we name these sensations, we have all felt some version of awe as we were lifted out of the thinking mind, even if for an instant, and brought more fully back into our bodies. In this way, like mindfulness, wonder and awe root us in the moment, and when we create the space in our lives to feel them, the inevitable result is a deep sense of rest, renewal, and peace.

The poet and philosopher Mark Nepo has written: “Wonder is the rush of life saturating us with its aliveness, the way sudden rain makes us smile, the way sudden wind opens our face. And while wonder can surprise us, our daily work is to cultivate wonder in ourselves and in each other.” In other words, we don’t need to wait for amazement to find us, and we don’t have to search for it outside of ourselves either. Like the qualities of kindness and gratitude, which have been the subjects of my previous poetry anthologies, wonder and peace can be cultivated and practiced daily with the people, places, and things we encounter.”

We hope you enjoy this reflection on the small yet meaningful moments of this season.

November Praise

Joshua Michael Stewart

The smell of ferns and understory
after rain. The tick, tick of stove,

flame under kettle. Bing Crosby,
and not just the Christmas records.

Cooking meat slowly off the bone,
and every kind of soup and stew.

To come this close to nostalgia,
but go no further, leaving behind

the boy who wore loneliness
like boots too big for his feet.

That time of evening,
when everything turns blue

in moonlight, when darkness
has yet to consume all for itself.

Find more poems like this in The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace & Renewal.

Excerpted and adapted from The Wonder of Small Things, edited by James Crews.

James Crews

James Crews

About the Author

James Crews is the editor of several bestselling poetry anthologies, including The Wonder of Small Things, The Path to Kindness, and How to Love the World, which has over 100,000 copies in print, Healing the Divide, and is the author of is the author of the essay collection, Kindness Will Save the World. He has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, and in People Magazine, The Boston GlobeThe New York Times Magazine, The Sun Magazine, and The Washington Post. He is the author of four prize-winning books of poetry, and his poems have appeared in PloughsharesThe New Republic, and other journals. Crews lives with his husband in the woods of Southern Vermont.

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