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.