During a poetry module at the University of Kent I used to set an exercise to write a string of curses and/or a string of praises about something/someone. Most people preferred the curses because they found that their praising tended to sound too sickly, cliched, overstated, or even ironic. Perhaps it is harder to be genuinely and overtly kind than to pick a fight : )
However the following poet has no problem with praise.
Blessed is the beach, survivor of tides.
And blessed the litter of crown conchs and pen shells, the dead
blue crab in all its electric raiment.
Blessed the nunneries of skimmers,
scuttering and rising, wheeling and falling and settling, ruffling
their red and black-and-white habits.
And blessed be the pacemakers and the peacemakers,
the slow striders, the arthritic joggers, scarred and bent under
their histories, for they're here at last by the sunlit sea.
Blessed Peoria and Manhattan, Ottowa and Green Bay, Pittsburgh,
And blessed their children.
And blessed the lovers for they shall have one perfect day.
Blessed be the dolphin out beyond the furthest buoy,
slaughtering the bright leapers,
for they shall have full bellies.
Blessed, too, the cormorant and the osprey and the pelican
for they are the cherubim and seraphim and archangel.
And blessed be the gull, open throated, screeching, scolding
me to my face,
for he shall have his own place returned to him.
And the glossy lip of the long wave shall have the last kiss.
from The Other © Anhinga Press, 2008
I like how everything is blessed, what we might naturally find beautiful and inspiring (dolphins), what we might normally dismiss (the dead blue crab), and what might normally irritate us (a screeching gull). I like the place-names that anchor the poem to a real world.
Some readers might find the personnification in the last line a little too sweet (the wave kissing the beach) but I don't mind it here. Perhaps because of the language - glossy lip, which, for me, is a fresh and vivid image for a wave. And perhaps because the poem has engaged me so fully that I'm happy for the poet to take a risk with an edge of sentiment at the end.
Can you write a praise poem about a particular aspect of the world? You can use Robert Dana's structure of 'Blessed be...' if you like, or find your own.
Try to let the reader experience your 'world' - let them see and smell and touch and taste and hear it. Let them celebrate it with you.
A maximum of 30 lines please, and I'll comment on up to 2 poems.