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National Poetry Month: April 2019 
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Post National Poetry Month: April 2019
Now that we are getting to the end of March I am getting ready for Poetry Month. Here is something to get in the mood, Marianne Moore, 1887 - 1972.

Poetry

I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers that there is in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful; when they become so derivative as to become
unintelligible, the
same thing may be said for all of us—that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand. The bat,
holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
wolf under
a tree, the immovable critic twinkling his skin like a horse
that feels a flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician—case after case
could be cited did
one wish it; nor is it valid
to discriminate against “business documents and

school-books”; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets,
the result is not poetry,
nor till the autocrats among us can be
“literalists of
the imagination”—above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them,
shall we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, in defiance of their opinion—
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness, and
that which is on the other hand,
genuine, then you are interested in poetry.


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As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:01 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
2 more days until National Poetry Month! I am warming up to post a poem a day.

The Rider
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
—Naomi Shihab Nye


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In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:36 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
Happy 1st day of National Poetry Month! I hope that anyone reading along will contribute to this thread. I invite you to post a favorite poem or one that has stayed with you and why.

A friend just posted this one on another site and I loved it immediately.

Sifter – Naomi Shihab Nye

When our English teacher gave
our first writing invitation of the year,
Become a kitchen implement
in 2 descriptive paragraphs, I did not think
butcher knife or frying pan,
I thought immediately
of soft flour showering through the little holes
of the sifter and the sifter’s pleasing circular
swishing sound, and wrote it down.
Rhoda became a teaspoon,
Roberto a funnel,
Jim a muffin tin.
and Forrest a soup pot.
We read our paragraphs out loud.
Abby was a blender. Everyone laughed
and acted but the more we thought about it,
we were all everything in the whole kitchen,
drawers and drainers,
singing teapot and grapefruit spoon
with serrated edges, we were all the
empty cup, the tray.
This, said our teacher, is the beauty of metaphor.
It opens doors.
What I could not know then
was how being a sifter
would help me all year long.
When bad days came
I would close my eyes and feel them passing
through the tiny holes.
When good days came
I would try to contain them gently
the way flour remains
in the sifter until you turn the handle.
Time, time. I was a sweet sifter in time
and no one ever knew.

The poem grabbed me because I have tried several times to write about being dyslexic using the image of a colander or sieve to describe trying to spell. Some of the letters/sounds fall through and some make it onto the paper.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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DWill, Harry Marks
Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:28 pm
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
The trees are beginning to bloom! The added color to the landscape will we be very welcomed. For the second day of Poetry Month here is one of my all-time favorite poems.

From Blossoms
BY LI-YOUNG LEE

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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DWill, Robert Tulip
Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:50 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
My apologies, Poetry Fans, for my 2-day laps. I worked a 12-hour shift on the 3rd and have no excuse for the 4th. Please accept today,s contribution to this annual celebration of poetry. We could not talk poetry without posting something from Emily Dickinson. I am going to have a difficult time restraining myself from posting a Dickinson poem every day! In this poem, Dickinson identifies one of the primary jobs of a poet: to record the world informed by that "certain slant of light" and point us to the internal meanings.

There’s a certain Slant of light (258)
Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ‘tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:13 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
I goofed! I was hurrying yesterday in posting an Emily Dickinson poem. My comments did not match the poem. I was thinking of a different poem, one that captures the special attention to mundane details of life to illuminate the grandness and awe of being alive - even in difficult and painful moments. I will now have to go find the poem that was in my mind.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:50 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
That's okay! Her no. 258 is extraordinary, so thanks for posting it.



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Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:39 pm
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
I wanted to post a poem that is new to me, otherwise, I will just post my favorites and learn nothing new. My problem was how to select one. I tried Poem-a-day on both Academy of American Poets and Poets.org sites but did not like either of today's poems. So, I just kinda stumbled into this one by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It will do.

Spring
BY EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:09 pm
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
This is the poem of the day on Poets.org. As I stated a few posts back, I am trying not to just post my favs, which are already posted on one of the other threads on A Passion for Poetry. So, one with Robin Beth Schaer and Holdfast.

Holdfast
Robin Beth Schaer

The dead are for morticians & butchers
to touch. Only a gloved hand. Even my son
will leave a grounded wren or bat alone
like a hot stove. When he spots a monarch
in the driveway he stares. It’s dead,
I say, you can touch it. The opposite rule:
butterflies are too fragile to hold
alive, just the brush of skin could rip
a wing. He skims the orange & black whorls
with only two fingers, the way he learned
to feel the backs of starfish & horseshoe crabs
at the zoo, the way he thinks we touch
all strangers. I was sad to be born, he tells me,
because it means I will die. I once loved someone
I never touched. We played records & drank
coffee from chipped bowls, but didn’t speak
of the days pierced by radiation. A friend
said: Let her pretend. She needs one person
who doesn’t know. If I held her, I would
have left bruises, if I undressed her, I would
have seen scars, so we never touched
& she never had to say she was dying.
We should hold each other more
while we are still alive, even if it hurts.
People really die of loneliness, skin hunger
the doctors call it. In a study on love,
baby monkeys were given a choice
between a wire mother with milk
& a wool mother with none. Like them,
I would choose to starve & hold the soft body.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:54 pm
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
Food & books, what could be better?

Don’t Go Into the Library
Alberto Ríos, 1952

The library is dangerous—
Don’t go in. If you do

You know what will happen.
It’s like a pet store or a bakery—

Every single time you’ll come out of there
Holding something in your arms.

Those novels with their big eyes.
And those no-nonsense, all muscle

Greyhounds and Dobermans,
All non-fiction and business,

Cuddly when they’re young,
But then the first page is turned.

The doughnut scent of it all, knowledge,
The aroma of coffee being made

In all those books, something for everyone,
The deli offerings of civilization itself.

The library is the book of books,
Its concrete and wood and glass covers

Keeping within them the very big,
Very long story of everything.

The library is dangerous, full
Of answers. If you go inside,

You may not come out
The same person who went in.

I am borrowing this from the website Poets.org -
Alberto Ríos
Born in 1952, Alberto Ríos is the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona and the author of many poetry collections, including A Small Story about the Sky (Copper Canyon Press, 2015). In 1981, he received the Walt Whitman Award for his collection Whispering to Fool the Wind (Sheep Meadow Press, 1982). He currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:25 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
Today's poetry post is an opportunity. The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program is offering an online poetry program that will run from 4/14-20. Check it out with the link below! It is free. I have registered. I am hoping I will be able to share some of what I learn.

http://www.dodgepoetry.org/schools/sfonline/


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:23 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
Oh, man! This poem has a line in it that epitomizes for me what makes a poem a poem - words that tear right into me and strike like a blow.

Elegy, Surrounded by Seven Trees

Rachel Eliza Griffiths
for Michele Antoinette Pray-Griffiths


Ordinary days deliver joy easily
again & I can’t take it. If I could tell you
how her eyes laughed or describe
the rage of her suffering, I must
admit that lately my memories
are sometimes like a color
warping in my blue mind.
Metal abandoned in rain.

My mother will not move.

Which is to say that
sometimes the true color of
her casket jumps from my head
like something burnt down
in the genesis of a struck flame.
Which is to say that I miss
the mind I had when I had
my mother. I own what is yet.
Which means I am already
holding my own absence
in faith. I still carry a faded slip of paper
where she once wrote a word
with a pencil & crossed it out.

From tree to tree, around her grave
I have walked, & turned back
if only to remind myself
that there are some kinds of
peace, which will not be
moved. How awful to have such
wonder. The final way wonder itself
opened beneath my mother’s face
at the last moment. As if she was
a small girl kneeling in a puddle
& looking at her face for the first time,
her fingers gripping the loud,
wet rim of the universe.


The line that grabbed me:

Which is to say that I miss
the mind I had when I had
my mother.

This line captures in such a deep way the multifaceted loss of a parent.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:57 pm
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
Today's installment is one of my all time favorite poems by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost. I love this poem in ways I cannot put into words. It strikes me at my emotional core. Something about what is me resonates with this these words.

Tree At My Window

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.

Vague dream head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.

But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.

That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
I think every person in the USA needs to read and think deeply about this poem.

[the] north[ern] [of] ireland
Pádraig Ó Tuama


Listen
It is both a dignity and
a difficulty
to live between these
names,

perceiving politics
in the syntax of
the state.

And at the end of the day,
the reality is
that whether we
change
or whether we stay
the same

these questions will
remain.

Who are we
to be
with one
another?

and

How are we
to be
with one
another?

and

What to do
with all those memories
of all of those funerals?

and

What about those present
whose past was blasted
far beyond their
future?

I wake.
You wake.
She wakes.
He wakes.
They wake.

We Wake
and take
this troubled beauty forward.


_________________
In love we are made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed
--May Swenson


Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:32 am
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Post Re: National Poetry Month: April 2019
Quote:
Don’t Go Into the Library

Thanks, Saffron, for posting these. I really like this one poem though, especially the title.


_________________
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Question everything


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