Wednesday, April 04, 2007

National Poetry Month

I was reminded when visiting Christa's blog yesterday afternoon that April is National Poetry Month. I enjoyed celebrating National Poetry Month last year on my blog and plan to do so again. (Thanks for the reminder, Christa!)

You can sign up to receive a poem each day from (the website of the Academy of American Poets, which, as I learned, inaugurated National Poetry Month in 1996). You will need to register with the site, but that takes just about 20 seconds.

For my first poetry entry, I chose one of Emily Dickinson's "definition" poems ("Hope is . . ." / "Faith is . . . "). And then below the poem, I've included a paragraph from Garrison Keillor's introduction to Good Poems in which he speaks of Dickinson and the enduring power of writing.


Presentiment - is that long Shadow - on the Lawn -
Indicative that Suns go down -

The Notice to the startled Grass -
That Darkness - is about to pass -

~ Emily Dickinson, c. 1863

To see poetry finding an existence that its maker never imagined, visit Emily Dickinson's grave in Amherst. Here lies the white-gowned virgin goddess, in a cluster of Dickinsons, under a stone that says "Called Back," and here, weekly, strangers come as grieving family, placing pebbles on her big stone, leaving notes to her folded into tiny squares, under small stones. Dickinson was a famous recluse who camped in the shadows in the upstairs hall and eavesdropped on visitors, and now there are few graves in America so venerated as hers. She is mourned continually because the quickness and vitality of her poems make her contemporary, and when you make flies buzz and horses turn their heads and you declaim "Wild Nights! Wild Nights!" and give hope some feathers, you are going to have friends in this world for as long as English is read.

~ Garrison Keillor


Blogger Christa said...

Well, it was you who inspired me last year with your celebration of poetry, so I'm glad to return the favor. :)

So are you out for spring break now? 5+ glorious days of sleeping in, reading...for fun, no grading, catching up on some movies, getting coffee for the pleasure of the taste and not just for the caffeine... I could go on. Enjoy it!

11:28 PM  

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