The best books of poems about love, nature, and God

Jennifer Read Hawthorne Author Of Life As a Prayer: Poems
By Jennifer Read Hawthorne

The Books I Picked & Why

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West

By Daniel Ladinsky

Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West

Why this book?

In my favorite book of poems, Daniel Ladinsky has compiled three hundred poems from twelve of the great mystical poets across time: Rumi, Hafiz, St. Francis of Assisi, Kabir, Mira, St. John of the Cross, Tukaram, Rabia, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Teresa of Avila Meister Eckhart, and Thomas Aquinas. While the voices are different, every one of them reveals the true nature of the Divine. Filled with humor and ecstasy, these poems never fail to uplift and inspire me.


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Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems

By Billy Collins

Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems

Why this book?

There’s a reason Billy Collins served two terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States. His work is known to be both serious and playful, and he is able to take everyday moments and turn them into lessons for living. I always love what he calls “the turn” in his poem—the surprise direction a poem suddenly takes, seemingly departing from its original subject and taking your breath away or leaving you in complete surprise. Aimless Love is a beautiful compilation of fifty new poems and some of the best of four previous books.


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Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

By Mary Oliver

Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

Why this book?

I would own this book for Mary Oliver’s poem “How I Go to the Woods” alone! Oliver’s love of nature, the way she notices the details of her surroundings, and the language she uses to describe her experiences are breathtaking. It’s easy to see why Mary Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.


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Tao Te Ching (Translated By Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng, Jane English, Toinette Lippe

Tao Te Ching (Translated By Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Why this book?

This is a beautiful book that combines the esoteric with the practical. Lao Tsu, an older contemporary of Confucius, was the great teacher of Taoism, a major Chinese philosophy that deals with a spiritual way of being. The Tao Te Ching is a compilation of his teachings, which tries to capture the essence of Truth and illustrates how to live like the sage. The translation of the title: Simply be. This book tells us how.


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