Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April is National Poetry Month, How are You Celebrating?

April is National Poetry Month

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is held every April. Do you read poetry? I find it to be relaxing. Like having dessert without the obligation of dinner...

Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky said, "Poetry connects us with our deep roots, our evolution as an animal that evolved rhythmic language as a means of transmitting vital information across the generations. We need the comfort and stimulation that this vital part of us gets from the ancient art."

Some of the masterpieces of poetry include Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson, North of Boston by Robert Frost, Ariel by Sylvia Plath, and The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks. More contemporary poets of note include Maya Angelou, Marie Howe, Shel Silverstein, and Billy Collins, one of my favorite contemporary poets whose tongue-in cheek poetry can always make me smile and who just published a new collection of poems called Ballistics. There are so many wonderful poets I can't even attempt to list them all here! Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Langston Hughes, E.E. Cummings and Garrison Keillor... Poetry can be serious, breathtaking, lighthearted, funny... You can pick one apart line by line, or just enjoy the images the words create...

Would you like to explore a bit of poetry? This month Knopf is sponsoring Dailylit's Poem-a-Day Collection! Read poetry from distinguished poets such as John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, and Sapphire (she wrote Push which is what the movie Precious is based on). If you sign up at Dailylit.com you will receive a poem a day in your email all through the month of April for FREE! Other places to explore for poetry are The Poetry Foundation and The Academy of Poets' site Poets.org.

Who are your favorite poets? What are your favorite poems? To celebrate National Poetry Month, here's one of my favorite poems written by Maya Angelou...

I know why the caged bird sings
by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back
Of the wind and floats downstream
Till the current ends and dips his wing
In the orange suns rays
And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage
Can seldom see through his bars of rage
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
Of things unknown but longed for still
And his tune is heard on the distant hill for
The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through
The sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams
His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
His wings are clipped and his feet are tied
So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with
A fearful trill of things unknown
But longed for still and his
Tune is heard on the distant hill
For the caged bird sings of freedom.

1 comment:

Book pusher said...

So many favourites it is hard to pick one but TS Eliot never seems to be far from the bedside table, The Four Quartets is a definate favourite.

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