National Poetry Month Day 1: “To Proceed, You Must First Understand” by Barbara Jane Reyes


Welcome to National Poetry Month 2015! For the last six years, we here at The Rumpus have run a new poem every day in April (and often into May) to celebrate this under-appreciated art form. We’ve tried to be diverse in our choices, both in terms of the poets whose work we’ve featured and in the styles (or schools, if you will) of poetry we pulled from.

Some of the people we’ve solicited work from this year have appeared before and others will be appearing for the first time in these virtual pages. I’m excited to say that we’re veering more into the realm of visual poetry this year, and featuring some translations as well. Check back here every day at 9:00 a.m. Pacific this month for a new poem, or follow Rumpus Poetry on Twitter or Facebook.

And now, on with National Poetry Month!


To Proceed, You Must First Understand



Barbara Jane Reyes is the author of Gravities of Center, Poeta en San Francisco, and Diwata. Her fourth book, To Love as Aswang, is forthcoming later this year. She is an adjunct professor in the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at University of San Francisco.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →