Tuesday, April 01, 2008

National Poetry Month - April 2008

Today, April 1st, kicks off National Poetry Month, and that’s no April Fool’s joke. Wouldn't be much of a joke anyway.

Poets.org has all the scoop on National Poetry Month. I'll just use this space to share a few of my favorite poets and a poem from an old volume titled Book Lovers Verse, by Howard S. Ruddy (Bowen-Merrill Co., Indianapolis, 1899), an interesting volume of old poetry for the bibliophile (see Biblioverse).

First, links to several contemporary poets whose work I admire (in no particular order):

Ted Kooser
Donald Hall
Jane Hirshfield
Nan Cohen
Larry D. Thomas (I'd be remiss in my blogging duties today not to include the Poet Laureate of my home state of Texas)

There are many more, but these are poets whose work I have collected and read in recent years. Old favorites from another time are led by Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Edward Arlington Robinson, William Butler Yeats, Dorothy Parker, Emily Dickinson, and way too many others to get into here. Maybe there are one or two I've listed for new readers out there to get acquainted with.

And now for a poem from Ruddy's, Book Lovers Verse, mentioned above. Appropriately, it is from one of America's most celebrated poets (and from my list above), Emily Dickinson, whose work I'm sure will find a place or two in this month's observances of poetry.

The Book, by Emily Dickinson

There is no frigate like a book
      To take us leagues away,
Nor any coursers like a page
      Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
      Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
      That bears a human soul!

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