The best poetry books for understanding the world around you

Zachary Austin Behlok Author Of Perspectives
By Zachary Austin Behlok

Who am I?

For as long as I can remember, it has been of the utmost importance to find meaning in life—both for myself and for everyone else. I have spent much of my time in the past few years pushing for continued discourse in the fields of philosophy and psychology. I have studied at various educational institutions in these fields, and have thus used that knowledge to discuss topics relating to such on my podcast, Think More, which can be found on Spotify. I founded an online journal titled Modern Rebellion in the hopes of assisting contemporary artists and intellectuals with getting their work out there into the public eye.

I wrote...


By Zachary Austin Behlok,

Book cover of Perspectives

What is my book about?

This text seeks to give my own poetic take on various philosophical and psychological topics ranging from rebellion to depression, and so much more, while doing so in a way that is easy to grasp. I find that it can be very difficult for us, as individuals, to fully realize and understand that the world we reside within is not necessarily perfect—I seek to tackle that by means of relaying my own perspectives regarding such in a way that is unbiased yet emotional. Perception of the world around us differs vastly per the individual, and by learning of another’s perspective, maybe it will become easier to understand your own. This book hopes to assist in self-realization and understanding in ways previously deemed impossible.

The books I picked & why

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You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense

By Charles Bukowski,

Book cover of You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense

Why this book?

Bukowski had a unique perspective on the world, and anyone who has read his work would most definitely agree. This book, which is a collection of some of Bukowski’s greatest pieces in my opinion, has a way of resonating with you on a personal level. Whether it be gaining a newfound perspective on the animals that scurry around our yards, or of a gambler wasting away in a casino on a Monday afternoon, Bukowski has a knack for bringing up the world’s problems in a way that is both depressing and humorous at the same time, while also giving peeks at his wit and charm as well.


By Aristotle, Joe Sachs (translator),

Book cover of Poetics

Why this book?

Aristotle is but one of the greatest thinkers to ever have lived within our realms of existence—having defined basically everything natural that we run into on a daily basis thousands of years prior to our lives, he definitely made sure to such in regard to poetry. Among scientific and political discoveries, as well as many others, Aristotle also chose to give his perspective and input regarding literature, specifically poetry and prose, in this text, which proves to be a pivotal key to any reader and/or writer.

The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings

By Edgar Allan Poe,

Book cover of The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings

Why this book?

Edgar Allen Poe was, and still proves to be, one of the most influential American writers of all time, having influenced many writers throughout history ranging from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Stephen King, among others. The main poem of this text, The Tell-Tale Heart, may be but one of Poe’s most famous works, next to The Raven, and my personal favorite, Alone. This piece accurately describes the feelings and emotions that one may experience when knowingly in the wrong, which can have a direct effect on both how we act and how we treat those around us.

The Prophet

By Kahlil Gibran,

Book cover of The Prophet

Why this book?

As an Lebanese-American individual myself, the writings of Gibran, a Lebanese writer, seemed to naturally resonate with me. Although born and raised in America, I felt a pull towards Gibran’s work, and in a sense, an emotional connection— a sense of understanding. The Prophet, which may be but one of the most influential and popular works of poetic literature ever to exist, consists of numerous differing poems all mashed together to portray human life, and the varying aspects that both relate and contribute to it, including the good aspects and the bad. 

Dante's Inferno

By Dante Alighieri, Charles Eliot Norton (translator),

Book cover of Dante's Inferno

Why this book?

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, by many accounts, is the most accurate and true portrayal of Hell. It has been long speculated whether or not Dante, by means of dreaming or some other metaphysical affair, was truly able to visit Hell—the ways in which he describes the deadly sins of human life proves to be both very emotional and very comprehendible, in a way that can push one to both care more for the way that they choose to live, care more for the ways that they treat others, as well as understand the burdens of life and thus realize that it could, in some way, be worse off than it presently seems. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in poetry, metaphysics, and aesthetics?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about poetry, metaphysics, and aesthetics.

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