Tag: National Poetry Month

“A word that shall echo forevermore”

(National Poetry Month, Day 18) Every year, I feel as though April 18 is something…but I just can’t remember what. This year, I remembered: the midnight ride of Paul Revere! The American Revolution seems so distant to me, in both time and space—but it really HAPPENED…and not too far away from where the Graceful Grammarian and many of her friends live. To bring Paul … Read More “A word that shall echo forevermore”

A Passion poem

(National Poetry Month, Day 17) During Holy Week each year, I like to read “I See His Blood Upon the Rose,” a poem by Irish nationalist poet Joseph Mary Plunkett. Plunkett was an eccentric character: a sickly young man who traveled around Dublin in medieval-esque costume. A leader of the Easter Rising in 1916, he was arrested by British troops and married his fiancée … Read More A Passion poem

One of the best poems you’ve never read

(National Poetry Month, Day 16) Patrick Kavanagh, a farmer-turned-poet of mid-20th century Ireland, created some really remarkable verse. His poetry has a refreshing quality. It’s unpretentious, exuberant, and earthy; it shows keen awareness of the physical experience of life on earth and of the Divine light that shines through even the most opaque substances. The bifocal view of the earthly and the divine, which … Read More One of the best poems you’ve never read

A premature festival

(National Poetry Month, Day 13) Did you know that the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the United States is at Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey? While the cherry blossoms have just barely begun blooming at Branch Brook, the events of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival are practically all over. While we wait for the blossoms to flourish fully in the … Read More A premature festival

For its own sake

(National Poetry Month, Day 11)     As we continue to enjoy some poems about language and writing, let’s read a poem about poetry. I guess we could call it a meta-poem.   I admire Archibald MacLeish’s ability to conjure up a series of multi-sensory images, unrelated though they may seem, to convey the message that poetry is primarily meant to be appreciated, not … Read More For its own sake

Excavating by pen

(National Poetry Month, Day 10) Writing can be hard work, but its rewards are great—this can be said of many other types of work, too. “Digging” is one of my favorite Seamus Heaney poems. It covers gardening, potatoes, turf-cutting, family traditions, and time travel; what’s not to love? The best thing about this poem, in my opinion, is that we can actually hear the … Read More Excavating by pen

Fulfilling the assignment

(National Poetry Month, Day 9)   Imagine that you are a second-semester English course in college. Your professor distributes a sheet with the printed assignment for the first paper you’ll write in the course. You expect to be told the length restrictions, format requirements, subject of the paper, and more. With eager anticipation, and perhaps a little bit of dread, you begin to read … Read More Fulfilling the assignment

A Mutability Canto

(National Poetry Month, Day 8) For the next few days of National Poetry Month, let’s explore some poems about language and writing. First on the docket: Languages by Carl Sandburg There are no handles upon a language Whereby men take hold of it And mark it with signs for its remembrance. It is a river, this language, Once in a thousand years Breaking a … Read More A Mutability Canto

Spring swinging

(National Poetry Month, Day 7) Yesterday was such a beautiful day in New Jersey, and although today is not quite as brilliant, I know that additional perfect spring days are on the way. Spring days are the best days for riding swings, I think. We have a glider on our front porch, and now that I think about it, that’s the only swing I’ve … Read More Spring swinging

For those whose work is never done

(National Poetry Month, Day 6)   It’s getting late, and I’m getting tired! But I couldn’t let day 6 of National Poetry Month go by without sharing a poem with you.   Tonight’s selection is “The Ballad of Father Gilligan” by W.B. Yeats. This poem is appropriate for those who feel overworked or overwhelmed, and for those who believe in miracles. It’s based on … Read More For those whose work is never done

Guess what I found at the Shop Rite…

(National Poetry Month, Day 5) Poetry is everywhere! Proof: here’s what I found on the back of a box of Celestial Seasonings Jammin’ Lemon Ginger Herbal Tea.

For baseball fans only

 (National Poetry Month, Day 4)   Every once in a while, something reminds me of the magic that is baseball in America. I’m not saying that rabbits inexplicably pop out of batting helmets or that the sand shaken off of cleats is pixie dust. However, there is a certain mystique surrounding baseball: the dreams it awakens in young children playing in all-important little league … Read More For baseball fans only