Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Poems, Poets and National Poetry Month...

 Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week bloggers from all over the internet get together virtually in a large gathering place called The Sunday Salon and talk books!  And at The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news!

There is a fresh layer of snow this morning in Connecticut. Why it should surprise me to have snow in April, I don't know except for the fact that it was almost 80 degrees the other day. And there is more snow coming! And high winds! And so... let's get comfy inside, grab a cup of joe and let's talk books! In particular, let's talk about poetry books. April is National Poetry Month and we are enjoying poetry here, at Chick with Books, all month! Poetry is something I enjoy, and have continued to expand my enjoyment of. There have been wonderful poets through out the ages; poets such as Yeats or Browning (both Elizabeth and Robert), Lord Byron (She Walks in Beauty), Millay, but there are some wonderful contemporary poets to appreiate too... Jane Hirshfield, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins to name just a few. But people have always had that love hate relationship with poetry. Why read poetry? How to read poetry? When to read poetry?... Read poetry to the person you love. Enjoy the stillness around you as you read a poem. Enjoy the words, the irony, the humor, the feelings a poem shares with you. Just do it... Here are some ways to do it...

She Walks in Beauty by Caroline Kennedy... In She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy has once again marshaled the gifts of our greatest poets to pay a very personal tribute to the human experience, this time to the complex and fascinating subject of womanhood. Inspired by her own reflections on more than fifty years of life as a young girl, a woman, a wife, and a mother, She Walks in Beauty draws on poetry's eloquent wisdom to ponder the many joys and challenges of being a woman. Kennedy has divided the collection into sections that signify to her the most notable milestones, passages, and universal experiences in a woman's life, and she begins each of these sections with an introduction in which she explores and celebrates the most important elements of life's journey. The collection includes works by Elizabeth Bishop, Sharon Olds, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, W. H. Auden, Adrienne Rich, Sandra Cisneros, Anne Sexton, W. S. Merwin, Dorothy Parker, Queen Elizabeth I, Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shahib Nye, and W. B. Yeats. Whether it's falling in love, breaking up, friendship, marriage, motherhood, or growing old, She Walks in Beauty is a priceless resource for anyone, male or female, who wants a deeper understanding and appreciation of what it means to be a woman.

This is a wonderful collection of poetry that reflects growing up female. If you are looking for a gift for a sister, mother, daughter or girlfriend, this would make a wonderful one. I have this book and enjoy opening it and randomly reading poems. But there are other ways to enjoy these poems - you can inscribe these poems in cards, books, letters to the women in your lives as special moments happen.. a bride to be, a first child, being a mother. Just a thought.
The Kingdom of Ordinary Time by Marie Howe... Hurrying through errands, attending a dying mother, helping her own child down the playground slide, the speaker in these poems wonders: what is the difference between the self and the soul? The secular and the sacred? Where is the kingdom of heaven? And how does one live in Ordinary Time—during those periods that are not apparently miraculous?

Marie Howe's poetry is thought provoking and accessible. Straight forward and funny. As soon as I read this book of her poetry, she became one of my favorite poets. They are simple and yet beautiful.


The Captain's Verses by Pablo Neruda... First published anonymously in 1952, some years before Neruda married Matilde Urrutia - the one with "the fire / of an unchained meteor" - to whom he had addressed these poems of love, ecstasy, devotion, and fury. The bilingual edition is seen by many as the most intimate and passionate volume of Neruda's love poetry, capturing all the erotic energy of a new love. 

This is such beautiful poetry. Pablo Neruda wrote these poems to his lover Matilde before they were married and they are filled with such passion and tenderness. All of the copies of this book I've seen are bilingual, with the poem in Spanish on one page and the English translation on the facing page. As a crazy spanish student in the 70's, I loved reading these in Spanish, but even if you can't read Spanish, they sound so beautiful in Spanish that you should make sure you buy a bilingual version and try your hand at some Spanish.


Good Poems by Garrison Keillor (editor)...  Every day people tune in to The Writer's Almanac on public radio and hear Garrison Keillor read them a poem. And here, for the first time, is an anthology of poems from the show, chosen by Keillor for their wit, their frankness, their passion, their "utter clarity in the face of everything else a person has to deal with at 7 a.m." 

If you are familiar with Garrison Keillor, than you know these are great poems. If you are not familiar with him, you need to watch a few episodes of A Prarie Home Companion! These are not actually his poems, but poems he had picked out for all the wonder and imagination that makes a great poem. I have always enjoyed opening this collection of poems and reading them. They are about lifes moments.


Hope Is The Thing With Feathers 

'Hope' is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.
                                   Emily Dickinson 
Weekly Wrap up... 
*Friday was the start of April, and National Poetry Month. Learn about what it's all about by following THIS LINK.

*Friday we also posted our first poem to start the month off right. Follow THIS LINK to read Matthew Yeager's Poem to First Love.

*Saturday we posted Billy Collins reading one of my favorite poems. Follow THIS LINK to hear his poem (via video) "To my favourite 17 year old High-school girl" (It's always nice to hear the actual poet read his/her work).

Question... Do you read poetry?

I hope I've inspired you to read some poetry! You can find poetry in many places online too... The Poetry Foundation, Poem Hunter,, Poets. org. You can also sign up to receive a poem a day in your inbox through Read some poetry, write some poetry!, and come back throughout the month to discover more poems, poets and all things poetry! 

Happy Reading.. Suzanne

P.S. Have a favorite poem or poet? Share it here! I'd love to hear!


Molly said...

I am ashamed to say I never developed a love of poetry - I think because I am in such a rush all the time and poetry begs me to slow down and digest the words.

I did read Caroline Kennedy's collection though, and enjoyed many of the poems in that anthology. Perhaps I should investigate Marie Howe in honor of National Poetry month.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Lovely post! I don't read enough poetry, but the Caroline Kennedy collection looks good. Thanks for sharing....and for visiting my blog.

Suzanne Yester said...

I know what you mean, Molly. One really needs to sit quietly when reading poetry and with our busy lives, who has time for that!? But every once in a while, I do sit down and enjoy poetry. And "National Poetry Month", gives me an excuse to do so and to find and share poems that I enjoy.

I think you'd enjoy Marie Howe!

Thanks for stopping by!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Laurel!
The Caroline Kennedy collection is a wonderful book! There are so many wonderful poems and the way she has them grouped by "stages of life" is nice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Greg said...

It snowed here too, and with the wind it was blowing all over and looked like a blizzard! It didn't last though, the sun came out and melted it mostly, and today finished the job! Still not warm enough though...

I appreciate poetry more now, when I was in high school I was not much of a fan but now I see the value of it. And a good poem can really get you thinking.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Greg,
Yes, I think poetry is something we slowly come to like as we get older. Maybe because we become more reflective.

Thanks for stopping by!

Joy Weese Moll said...

We've had high winds for a couple of days, so I'm not surprised they're headed your way. Hoping we're done with the snow, though.

I don't read many poems, but these seem like ones that might not intimidate me.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Joy,
I can't say enough about the book of poetry that Caroline Kennedy has put together. If I only could have one book of poetry, I think that would be it. Especially because I am a woman and because the poems are so timeless. And definitely not intimidating!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Thanks for highlighting some poetry books. I have a fondness for Frost. No, no to snow..I hope it melts soon as Spring arrives at your door!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Kimba!
Yes, when thinking of poetry, I always forget how much I do like Frost and tend to go for more contemporary poets. Thanks for the reminder! (and the mini poem!)

And it has finally stopped snowing here... for a little while. it was snowing so hard this afternoon I thought we were going to be snow bound! Yuk!

thecuecard said...

Emily Dickinson is so great. Thanks for her poem you transcribe; reminds me how wonderful her poems are. Did you really have snow?! wow. We're drying as a bone in western Canada. Near 80 on Friday. hmm.

Serena said...

I am so happy to be catching up on your poetry month posts. Feel free to put all your poetry month links in the Mr. Linky.

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