EDITOR’S NOTE: This invitation is closed. To read the twelve odes which were selected for publication, you can download “Odes to Ordinary Things: A collection of poems celebrating everyday wonders” as a PDF, or read in your favorite eBook reader. Thanks!

Some years ago a neighbor gave me a gift — a collection of “odes to common things” by Pablo Neruda. What I didn’t immediately realize was that she had given me, not just the gift of a book, but the gift of seeing “common things” with fresh and celebratory eyes. Neruda writes playfully and lovingly of lemons, salt, socks, a box of tea! And in doing so, he heightens our attention and appreciation for the everyday wonders which fill our days and lives. Odes (themselves miraculous) bring life, depth and wonder to all manner of things.

April is National Poetry Month here in the U.S. and, in appreciating poetry (and grateful living) as we do, we would love to read and share poetic reflections from you, our gratefulness community.

Here is our invitation…

We know there are poets among you. And we imagine there are aspiring and fledgling poets ready to take flight when given the right challenge. We hope this is it.

YOU, yes you — reading this — are invited to write and submit to us, an ode to ordinary things. Because odes center around your love and celebration of something, they offer a good starting place for tentative writers. Think of the doorknob that grants you entry to your home each evening; the box of tissues patiently waiting to comfort and absorb; the light bulb… Heavens, the light bulb!

How it works:

  1. Pick your ordinary “muse”
  2. Write an ode
  3. Submit your ode to us at [email protected] by Wednesday, May 10, 2017
  4. Invite a friend to write an ode or two also
  5. Our Grateful Ode Appreciation Team (GOAT) will select 12 – 20 odes to be published on Gratefulness.org in the coming months. Perhaps we’ll even make a little eBook!

To whet your appetite with some delicious poetry before you begin, please browse our collection of poems.

And, if you feel further inspired, you might consider adding some images and voice as in Emma Wood’s delightful illustration of Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Socks below…

We wish you all good things as you undertake this challenge and look forward to reading about the everyday objects that brighten your life very soon!

And, because we couldn’t resist…here is one of our favorite poems: David Whyte’s Everything is Waiting for You

“…Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.”

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