Did you know that poets wrote many beautiful words about this beautiful city we live in.
Here are just a few of our favorite words from a few of our favorite poets about our absolute favorite city — Miami. Send us your favorite poems, too.
- From the poem Miami
by Ted Greenwald
If we can expect anything
and a breeze or two
A quiet day
a little sun
Ted Greenwald was a poet from Brooklyn who lived in New York his whole life. He has authored more than 25 books of poetry, including one entitled “Common Sense” featuring this poem, “Miami,” which was published in 1975.
- From the poem The Miami Rail
by Wallace Stevens
In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
The young emerald, evening star.
Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
And ladies soon to be married.
Wallace Stevens was an American modernist poet from Pennsylvania who spent his life as an insurance executive in Connecticut. He’d often travel to Key West, but made a few trips to Miami as well. This poem was written in Miami and was in his first book of poetry. The poem was first published in 1919. (h/t to Nathaniel Sandler for calling this to our attention in his recent piece in The Miami Rail on Stevens’ writings about Miami, poetic and otherwise.)
- Another Beautiful Day in Miami
by Campbell McGrath
come back, Henry Flagler and Julia Tuttle and Carl Fisher,
come back all you builders and hucksters and immigrant believers.
come back to the intoxicatingly beautiful and complex metropolis you dreamed into being.
because tomorrow is sure to be another beautiful day in Miami.
Campbell McGrath is an American poet who was born in Chicago and has taught poetry at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Florida International University. He lives in Miami Beach and teaches creative writing at FIU.
- El Florida Room
by Richard Blanco
Not a sunroom, but where the sun
both rose and set, all day the shadows
of banana trees fan-dancing across
the floor, and if it rained, it rained
the loudest, like marbles plunking
across the roof under constant threat
of coconuts ready to fall from the sky.
Richard Blanco is a poet, public speaker, teacher, and civil engineer and an FIU alum, where he took a class with poet Campbell McGrath. He read his poem “One Day” at Barack Obama’s second inauguration, making him the fifth poet to read at a U.S. presidential inauguration. His family is Cuban, he was born in Madrid, and was raised in Miami.
- From the poem Florida
by Elizabeth Bishop
The state with the prettiest name,
the state that floats in brackish water,
held together by mangrave root
Elizabeth Bishop is an American poet characterized by her ability to precisely describe the physical world. She was raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and in Massachusetts. In 1938, she moved to Key West, where she lived until 1944. She went on to live in Brazil before teaching at Harvard University.
- From the poem Boat People
by Edwidge Danticat
We looked for jobs and freedom
And they piled us on again: Cargo—Direct to Miami
They start to call us boat people
We run from the rain at Fort Dimanche
But land in the river at the Krome Detention Center
It’s them who call us boat people
Miami heat eats away our hearts
Chicago cold explodes our stomach
Boat people boat people boat people
Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American novelist and poet. She was born in Haiti, moved to New York when she was 12 and later came to Miami to teach at the University of Miami. Danticat got a degree at Barnard College and an MFA at Brown University. She lives in Miami.
- From the poem Variations On a Text by Vallejo
by Donald Justice
I will die in Miami in the sun.
Donald Justice was born in Miami in 1925 and studied piano and music at UM before graduating with a degree in English literature. He attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He wrote poetry, occasional short prose memoirs, criticism, essays and an opera libretto. He also taught at University of Iowa, Syracuse University, Princeton University, and UF.