Tuesday, April 7, 2009

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month (sign up to receive a poem a day in your e-mail), so I thought I'd take this post to honor poetry. I like poems, haikus, rhymes. Sometimes I may not get the deeper meaning, but I enjoy them nonetheless. I used to write little poems when I was younger, but they were teenage poems - nothing to really write home about.

So, I pulled out the Bible of poetry, at least in my opinion, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I've read these poems so many times since my childhood; the pages are dogeared to mark my favorites. So I share with you the title poem:

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow.
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

And from the hubby who is a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, a poem by Billy Corgan, from Blinking with Fists:

The Follies of Summer

Quicksand, ocean sky
Wondering, don't ask me why or how we got here
We just did
The most eternal sun-drenched kiss is locked in my mind as something I won't miss
Or even try to remember
Summer has come and gone so many times I've lost count
Endless, nameless, marked by time as nothing special
But the warmth is here, you see
In darling soliloquy
Hidden in the costume and fine-boned prose
Under canopies of sheltered light and life
Summer is here and it is all mine

Do you like poetry? Do you have a favorite poet or poem?


4you said...

I just had this conversation with some coworkers recently, who are in a poetry class for their MFA. I have a hard time with poetry, I like to understand what I'm reading. I often feel that I don't get the poetry I read. It also bothers me when I think I get something and someone has a completely different interpretation. It makes me feel dumb.

The result of this conversation was my colleagues assuring me that they sometimes feel the same, but that I should give poetry another chance. They gave me some book recommendations and tips on how to read poetry better. So, maybe I need to give it another shot. I didn't think I'd like Fantasy novels and fell head over...for a series in high school.

A. said...

I agree that it's very easy to feel dumb when reading poetry. But I also think it's OK to have different interpretations than other people. With any sort of art - books, paintings, theater, poetry - what you think it's about can be totally up to your own interpretation. And while some may think you're wrong, more than likely the actual artist will embrace new interpretations of his/her work.

And hey, I didn't think I would like books about teenage vampires either - you just never know! :)

CMS said...

I love The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost & Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. I love pretty much everything by Maya Angelou. She's amazing.

willikat said...

Oh, the poets!!!! My favorite favorite favortist is ee cummings. I love Nikki Giovanni, Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton (seriously, check her out especially Notes to Superman and Wishes for Sons, both brilliant). I love Longfellow and Neruda. William Wordsworth--I wandered lonely as a cloud. There are so so so many beautiful poems that are pure...poetry. Not necessarily that crap you can't understand where people think they're high minded but really they make no sense. And poetry is supposed to be open to interpretation....so don't feel dumb, 4you. It's a really really beautiful art form. You just gotta find the ones that resonate with you.

Anonymous said...

My favorite poet is Linda Pastan, especially her poems that deal with grief. A line from one of her poems that has always stuck with me is "Grief is a circular staircase."