National Poetry Month


I like April.  Violets and daffodils abound…breezes blow warmer (unless you’re in NEPA and are having winter flashback…will it ever be spring?  Or will it–please say no!–go right into a burning valley summer?)  I do like April.  I like that the Nation recognizes it as “National Poetry Month” but for us poets and writers and poetry lovers alike…is it ever NOT poetry month?  We know that poetry is a year-round celebration.  It’s almost May already.  I put up a poetry display at work; I work in a public library.  I’ve been sending out email blasts “a poem a day.”  My poets were sometimes “the greats” like Dickinson, Plath, Frost, Sexton, Levine…but I featured local poets…poets I met through my MFA program.  Poems that made my heart snag.  Poets who, in my heart, equal and sometimes excel those great poets that came before and made their ink stamp on paper…

Here are some personal poets I know that you should check out:

Kim Loomis Bennett
Alexis Belluzi
Brian Fanelli
Dawn Leas
Amye Archer
Rachael Goetzke (I finally give myself credit and identity as such!)
Edward Lupico
Iris Johnston
Jason Carney
Richard Aston
Mischelle Anthony
Neil Shepherd
Christine Gelineau

Philip Brady
Steve Flannery
Tony Morris
Tom Hughes (though he mainly writes poetry for me) :)–he does write a heck of a good sonnet.
Charles O’ Donnell

This list could go on and on…and I know as soon as I publish this post I will have neurotic worry that I left about a billion more that I love that I feel I should have mentioned.

Who are some of your favorites?

Of course, I cannot forget my favorite poets who write children’s poetry but that is not, of course, restricted to children:

Shel Silverstein
Dr. Seuss
Jack Prelutsky

So I leave you with two of my favorites:

A Prayer in Spring by Robert Lee Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; 
And give us not to think so far away
as the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, 
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; 
And make us happy in the happy bees, 
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard, 
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, 
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love, 
To which  it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will, 
But which it only needs that we fulfill.


Last night I Dreamed of Chickens by Jack Prelutsky

Last night I dreamed of chickens,
there were chickens everywhere,
they were standing on my stomach,
they were nesting in my hair,
they were pecking at my pillow,
they were hopping on my head,
they were ruffling up their feathers
as they raced about my bed.

They were on the chairs and tables,
they were on the chandeliers,
they were roosting in the corners, 
they were clucking in my ears,
there were chickens, chickens, chickens
for as far as I could see…
when I work up today, I noticed
there were eggs on top of me.

Truth:  I made friends with an elementary school girlfriend at age seven because I was enthralled that her dad was a poet.  He was like a celebrity to me.  We ended up writing stories together and being good friends in childhood.  


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