In Honor of National Poetry Month

It’s National Poetry Month, as I’m sure you’ve heard, so I am posting these quotes, links, questions and favorite poems to share and help you share the celebration.

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.

– -Audre Lorde (as quoted in The Shine Journal)

Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement . . . says heaven and earth in one word . . . speaks of himself and his predicament as though for the first time.

–Christopher Fry 

Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.

 –Adrian Mitchell 

Do you agree with that statement? Are we ignoring contemporary poetry in the K-12 classrooms? Have most poets set themselves above the public? Does supply exceed demand– publication problems, suspect reviews and contests? Can children learn to dislike poetry?

For Children:

 Crayola offers fun pages, rhymes and other links.
 Jack Pelutsky
 Shel Silverstein

 Mary Ann Hoberman
 Poem Farm

Please post your own favorite lines, (observe copyrights) poem titles and/or poets!  Here are a few of my favorite poems:

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

by William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
from Ode Imitations of Immortality
X

by William Wordsworth

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

from In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae (1915)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

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4 thoughts on “In Honor of National Poetry Month

  1. here a seattle based poem for you:

    Señor Heron

    Still still
    There on two stilts
    Reed thin in the reeds
    He stands

    Posing for Mr. Audubon’s
    Fine line pen
    His light blue grey eminence
    Nearly indiscernible
    Within
    Grey blue
    Water green
    Sleek reeds
    His magic cap.

    Thinking
    “You can’t see me, Senor Darwin,
    as little as you can see cousin Robin,
    I have adapted beyond all recognition
    I am part sky part water.”

    Then he flies off, creaking in the wind,
    Scrapes his way hoarsely across the sky…
    grey… elegant metal file…
    turning into just one disappearing line.

    A niche bird,
    [A specialist
    Nay, a super-specialist]
    A solitary aristocrat
    Or pair
    With beaks to be picky with
    To probe into the slimmest of cavities
    [in the nichiest places…]

    The finest meshed nets
    Nearly a foot in length
    The thinnest of funnels

    Zap
    And another baby salmon
    Zap
    Another frog
    Wriggles down his elongated gullet

    Everything about him is elongated…
    But when he start to fly and slowly begins to spread,
    and slowly starts, to wave his heavy-seeming, mournful wings,
    like rain curtains in the wind, oh what a leaden rhythm that is of his waving of
    astonishingly wide, substantial width of wings… wide enough it seems
    to lift much heavier loads than his spindly being…

    No fluttering ever…
    Occasionally he glides…
    Just above the water
    The perfect submarine hunter
    A glider…

    There, he perches on top of the huge spruce tree…

    There, he lowers his substantial spread, cushioning,
    Segueing into Mr. Audobon’s preferred profile,
    On the crown of the huge spread of the weeping willow and cries his heart out…

  2. Beautiful, thank you! I like “rain curtains in the wind.’ This reminds me of the Darwin movie, “Creation,” with all the birds and Darwin’s struggle between science and God, his work and his wife’s wishes.

  3. Wow!! Wynne, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Yeats poem.. I can totally relate to that one. Thank you very much for sharing it. 🙂

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