Columbia's Favorite Poetry - Today Featuring Tony Tallent

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In celebration of National Poetry Month the Jasper Project invited several artists, writers, and leaders in the Columbia arts community to share with us their favorite poems and most of them generously accepted.

We’ve put together this collection of our favorite poems and will be sharing them with you, poem by poem, day by day, over the month of April. Some of the poems are old and traditional, others are new and inventive. Some are whimsical, others are insightful. Some rhyme. Some don’t.

What they all have in common is that someone you know loves that poem – and this gives us such lovely insight into the soul of our community.

Thank you to everyone who shared their poetry with us.

And Happy National Poetry Month from Jasper.



Thanks to Tony Tallent for sharing a poem with us today.

One of my favorite poems is “Wild Birds” by Judy Goldman. To me, this poem conveys being in that place between anxiousness and hopefulness, ready to break free.




I like to think that anything

is possible. Look at me,

a breath holder,

a person well-armored in forms

and channels, caught in the short orbit

of an orderly world. Surely

I can escape


with serious practice, of course,


to a time when I will begin to sing

an accidental song,

peel a tangerine

the color of my hair,

take scissors to the straps

of the sweet-smelling gown I wear,


open my door suddenly to wild birds.


-Judy Goldman



Tony Tallent loves words and loves sharing them in many ways. He is the chief program and innovation officer for Richland Library.
Tony Tallent

Tony Tallent

And while we're on the topic of Tony, why not check out some of his original work at and give it your vote?