Tuesday, April 1, 2014

National Poetry Month

Do you like poetry? The Academy of American Poets has set aside the entire month of April to help you appreciate it more. In theory, I like poetry. I like the way it can take a few words or phrases and evoke powerful images or feelings. Or I like the way it can tell a humorous story with a careful turn of a phrase.

My understanding of poetry has evolved throughout the years. When I was little, it was a rhyming, simple verse like a Mother Goose rhyme. Later, it told a story with many stanzas such as The Song of Hiawatha by Longfellow. And today, it is often free verse--which means no rhyming or meter required such as Litany by Collins.

But do I read it regularly? No. Like many other people, it takes an effort on my part to read poetry and appreciate it. So, I don't do it very often. A few years ago, in an effort to be better educated, Ward and I read 100 Famous Poems by Cook. We took turns reading them aloud to each other and we enjoyed  the process and the discussions we had about each one. However, that effort didn't start me on the path of being an avid poetry reader.

Even though I don't read poetry often, I am always impressed by those who write it. Most of my attempts in the past to write a poem have been simplistic examples on par with Mother Goose rhymes. My great ideas never seem to sound the same on paper as they do in my head. Theo is different. Throughout his years, his has written poems of many styles. Most of them were prompted by school assignments, but sometimes he would just write them for his own personal satisfaction. And being the typical mother, I thought they were pretty good. Better than mine anyway. (And who knows what they may have been like if he had ever taken the time to do some editing.)

Anyway, during the month of April, I'm going to be posting poems on most days. Many of them will be from Theo, some will be from published works, and watch out--some may even be from my own hand.

Here's the first entry from A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein. We've had a lot of windy weather the last few days which brought this poem to mind.

Strange Wind

What a strange wind it was today
Whistlin' and whirlin' and scurlin' away
Like a worried old woman with so much to say
What a strange wind it was today

What a strange wind it was today
Cool and clear from a sky so grey
And my hat stayed on but my head blew away
What a strange wind it was today

A Hat Tip to Marilyn at A Place to Reside for introducing me to Billy Collins.


  1. Replies
    1. Shel Silverstein always makes me smile.

  2. I had a book of poetry I enjoyed as a child but as an adult, it's an effort for me to read poems. When my son had to memorize and present a poem to his class last year, he used one of my childhood favorites, without prompting from me, so I guess we have a similar sense of humor--do you know Eletelephony?

    1. I was not familiar with Eletelephony. However, I looked up this very silly and fun poem. Here it is below if there is anyone else who's not familiar with it.

      by Laura Elizabeth Richards

      Once there was an elephant,
      Who tried to use the telephant—
      No! No! I mean an elephone
      Who tried to use the telephone—
      (Dear me! I am not certain quite
      That even now I've got it right.)
      Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
      Entangled in the telephunk;
      The more he tried to get it free,
      The louder buzzed the telephee—
      (I fear I'd better drop the song
      Of elephop and telephong!)

      - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22275#sthash.VfJ3Ngp2.dpuf

    2. This made me smile just to read it again! I thought it was the funniest thing ever when I was a kid.

  3. I love celebrating National Poetry Month! And I really like how you're celebrating it. :)

    1. I think it's a good thing for me. I really do like a lot of poetry I read. Hopefully, this will make me read more of it.


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