Widgets Magazine

Six poems for anyone who needs a fall quarter boost

(JULIE PLUMMER/The Stanford Daily)

Fall is a time of transition: Summer has somehow slipped through our sweaty fingers, everything is beginning anew on campus and our classes demand our time and energy again. When I arrived back at Stanford, even as a non-frosh, I felt sort of unsteady adjusting back to the life I’d put on hold since June. Because I’m somebody who gets a lot of comfort from words, I turned to some of the books of short poetry I’d brought with me to school.

Flipping through the pages of my sticky note-filled books, I felt an incredible sense of home in the words I read. From my experience, sometimes the most simple poetry can speak volumes in its brevity and grace, and rediscovering poems I’d read for the first time while living on campus last year made the transition back to college feel more like a return to home. So, for anybody feeling sort of overwhelmed by the start of fall quarter, here are some of the poems that brought me comfort as I started this year.

1. A time-relevant reminder that starting over can be a good thing:

          the leaves are going to change.

          the leaves are going to spiral to the ground.

          the leaves are going to return better than ever before.

          & darling, so are you.

          so are you.

          (Amanda Lovelace, “autumn certainties,” from “the princess saves herself in this one”)


2. Two lines that speak volumes about having faith that love never dies:

          There will be more love.

          There will be more love.

          (Yrsa Daley-Ward, untitled, from “bone”)


3. A beautiful way of describing the art of being patient with yourself as you navigate change:

          be easy.

          take your time.

          you are coming home.

          to yourself.

          (Nayyirah Waheed, “the becoming,” from “salt”)


4. On believing in the magic of tomorrow even if today sucks:

          Don’t give up now,

          chances are

          your best kiss

          your hardest laugh

          and your greatest day

          are still yet to come.

          (atticus, untitled, from “love her wild”)


5. A poem about accepting that it’s okay to break sometimes:

          in our own ways

          we all break.

          it is okay

          to hold your heart outside of your body





          at a time.

         (Nayyirah Waheed, “heal,” from “salt”)


6. And finally, a reminder of what’s important in life:

          most importantly love

          like it’s the only thing you know how

          at the end of the day all this

          means nothing

          this page

          where you’re sitting

          your degree

          your job

          the money

          nothing even matters

          except love and human connection

          who you loved

          and how deeply you loved them

          how you touched the people around you

          and how much you gave them

(Rupi Kaur, untitled, from “milk and honey”)



Contact Julie Plummer at jplummer ‘at’ stanford.edu.