post

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

The Academy of American Poets created National Poetry Month in 1996 to build awareness of the rich heritage of classic and contemporary poets and poems and their impact on our culture. Celebrated by bookstores, libraries, schools, and bloggers, the hope is that more of us will become aware of the joys of poetry.  Celebrated Poet, Billy Collins, wrote this somewhat humorous piece about our desires to understand poetry.

“Introduction to Poetry”

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with a rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

~Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States 2001-2003

Billy Collins writes, teaches, and inspires all of us with his gifts of poetry. From Shakespeare to Milton to Dr. Seuss, we have a long and diverse heritage in the art form
of poetry.

So, what can you do to honor and participate in National Poetry Month? How about carrying a poem in your pocket? You could either write a piece yourself and share it with others, or you can find a poem from one of your favorite classics and sit with it, enjoy its mood and intention, and write it in a card to give a friend.

Look for poems on themes that make you happy. Poems exist on every subject imaginable. Find a good poem on love, or marriage or raising children and then write it down in your journal or on a note card and post it on the refrigerator.

Look for poetry books at local bookstores or visit websites. Encourage people in your family to try their hand at writing a poem, perhaps about a favorite pet or cooking dinner together. Any topic that brings a new light on the everyday moments can be fun to share.

Be more intentional about reading poetry newsletters, writing reviews, or letting publishers know that you appreciate the genre of poetry and want to see more books on the subject. Let a poem walk through your mind, do a little dance, and give you some new insights today.

 

NATIONAL POETRY MONTHNATIONAL POETRY MONTHNATIONAL POETRY MONTHNATIONAL POETRY MONTHNATIONAL POETRY MONTHNATIONAL POETRY MONTH

post

Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!

Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said ‘It is just as I feared! –
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’

There once was a poet named Edward…

The English poet who popularized the limerick was born May 12, 1812, to Ann and Jeremiah Lear in thevillageofHolloway,England, nearLondon.  Born the twenty-first child, Edward was raised by his eldest sister, also named Ann, both of whom made their way together after the family suffered financial travesty.  Lear suffered many health problems in life as well, including epilepsy, asthma, depression, and partial blindness. 

As an author, Lear published A Book of Nonsense in 1846, turning limericks into a poetic mainstay.  However, Lear’s limericks distinguished themselves from what are common today in at least two respects: he wrote in multiple formats (anywhere from two to five lines), and in his four and five-line limericks, would frequently end the first and last lines with the same word or phrase, as opposed to today’s more whimsical rhyming technique. 

The limerick, believed to have derived its name from the third largest city in Ireland, is composed of the following characteristics: 1) it contains five lines, 2) follows either an anapestic (two short syllables and one long syllable) or amphibrach (one stressed syllable flanked by two unstressed syllables) meter, and 3) typically has nine syllables on the first, second, and fifth lines, all of which end in rhyme, with five syllables in the third and fourth lines, ending in their own rhyme scheme.  Some variation may occur to accommodate an extra syllable in a word choice. 

 The following limerick below was created especially for you.    Enjoy!

Friendship by Heart

The best of friends show that they care,
The bond shared between them is rare,
         Heart-to-heart’s on the phone,
         So they’re never alone,
There’s comfort they’ll always be there.

Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!Happy Birthday to Limerick Poet, Edward Lear!

post

Look Beyond the Clouds

Look Beyond the Cloudsby George Davis

In life, trials and tribulations are as inevitable as the rain. And much like the rain or any other unfavorable weather condition, the obstacles in life can be just as uncontrollable. Clouds form in the sky and a big smile begins to shrink. Thunder crashes and that smaller smile gets even smaller. Lightning flashes and any evidence of happiness that existed washes away with the first drop of rain.

Regardless of preparation – the size of the umbrella, the durability of the rain coat, the water resistance of the boots – some people choose to solely focus on the rain. And while they may remain dry, they allow themselves to drown in despair and depression. The one thing they tend to forget is that regardless of the visible, seemingly miserable conditions that they’re standing in, the sun is still shining.

The clouds, like most emotions, trials, and/or tribulations, are temporary. Whether they’re visible only in passing or they stay around for a few days casting dark shadows over us, they don’t possess the power to outlast the sun. The sun will always shine. Rain, sleet, hail, or snow, the sun will shine. It is as permanent as love.

When obstacles arrive (and they WILL arrive), know that they have an expiration date. Like the rain and the clouds, they pass. In the midst of the storm, look beyond the clouds. Find peace and comfort knowing that the sun is still shining.

Look Beyond the CloudsLook Beyond the CloudsLook Beyond the CloudsLook Beyond the CloudsLook Beyond the CloudsLook Beyond the Clouds

post

Sudoku Memories Poem

Sudoku Memories Poemby Brian MacDougall

I.
A nearly blank canvas of mostly forgotten memories

II.
Images slowly surface,
assembling in places that make sense.

III.
Gaps take on critical importance.
Their significance remains dormant,
wisely awaiting interpretive guidance.

IV.
Momentum grinds the tumblers of
lucid definition as dream architecture begins to unfold.
Influenced by all that came before,
bottlenecked into inevitability.
V.
Craftsmanship pours forth
like automatic writing.
The rich, intricate lineage
of uniquely altered sequences
interlocking and firm.

VI.
Rapid-eye movement threading
into the broad tapestry
proceed intuitively for their
fair share contribution.
Evolution of a recollection
rounding the bend.

VII.
Momentary frustration
as once obvious positions of
impressions, now second-guessed.
Rewriting one’s history pauses to acknowledge
it all might have been chance opportunity.
Destiny, perhaps a pipe dream,
toward fulfilling expectation.

VIII.
Rank and file vignettes
switch back and forth
sifting through eleventh hour possibilities.
Blank spots unravel
and give in to the resolve
of problem solving.
The panorama ironed out
by the sheerest of wills.

IX.
Hypnotism dissolves into awe
and the veil lifts,
a landscape of extreme organization.
Retrospection plays midwife
to smiles of recognition.
Once dead end efforts
now prize monuments and keystones.
All fall into place a scrapbook
of answers and life having lived.

Sudoku Memories PoemSudoku Memories PoemSudoku Memories PoemSudoku Memories PoemSudoku Memories PoemSudoku Memories Poem