For National Poetry Month, Oprah Daily has invited several of our favorite poets to read a few lines from their latest collections. Kicking off the series is Ada Limón, a Guggenheim recipient whose last book, The Carrying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 2019. She reads from the poem “A Good Story” from her new work, titled The Hurting Kind (Milkweed), which will be released on May 10th. How did she arrive at the title? She writes: “I have always been too sensitive, a weeper/from a long line of weepers. What does it mean to be the hurting kind? To be sensitive not only to the world’s pains and joys, but to the meanings that bend in the scrim between the natural world and the human world? To divine the relationships between us all?”

In other words, Limón here honors nature’s abundance, the kindness extended to a child in pain, the beauty of horses and kingfishers, and the enigmatic behavior of our pets. And her stepfather’s kindness. But she doesn’t avoid darkness. Her words help us express our own sorrow, articulate our own losses.

The Hurting Kind
The Hurting Kind
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Limón’s intention in gathering these poems was to create “a book of offerings,” she tells Oprah Daily. “Life is so full of suffering that we forget sometimes how hard it is for anyone to live, let alone flourish,” she says. “I want to honor all those people in my life who made room for me to live, who allowed me to be porous and tender to the world, who allowed me to be an artist. This particular poem I’m reading from is about how it’s sometimes easier to admire someone’s toughness, their survival skills, when in fact we should also praise kindness, generosity, and gentleness. I wanted this book to carve out a place for kindness.”

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