The fact that we are in the dead center of poetry month is probably not common knowledge. “Rendering unto Caesar what is due Caesar” and similarly pressing matters take precedence for good reason.
Still for the few of us who were silly enough to major in English and even more audacious to teach it, it’s comforting to know that there is one time in the year when our esoteric passions are appreciated. I can’t speak for others but I’m definitely glad poetry gets put on the pedestal once in awhile. It’s hard to imagine a life without it and my sense is that there are many other searchers and romantics who feel similarly intoxicated by the written word, particularly when used so deftly.
Poetry, like music, is odd and often quite shocking to the senses. The existential origins of both are inescapable. The human condition is a challenging experience to say the least and I guess self-expression helps us realize it’s better to try to reconcile the tensions creatively then let them overwhelm us.
That being said, I can’t imagine any poet, musician or artist for that matter who feels like he/she has a conventional thought process. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be as good at their craft. Poetry and poetic living require a tremendous amount of solitude, self-consciousness and risk taking, which is both good and bad when trying to navigate the confusing waters of the world around us. It’s not easy to be self and socially conscious simultaneously.
I have read about the various ways we can celebrate National Poetry Month. Like many other hackers, I have tried my hand at writing at least a couple of poems during this month and the results have been mixed. But just as in poetry, there really are no set rules, so I’ve decided to use this blog to give a little plug to two of my favorite poems. Rather than giving my spin on them, I prefer to let the poems speak for themselves. Great poems endure for a reason.
I certainly hope that you like them, and if you want to comment, any feedback is appreciated. These works have not just inspired my various forms of writing, but have really given shape to the way I think and live.
These are just two of hundreds of awesome poems that deserve limelight during this special month. The way I see it, every day should be a celebration of poetry but a full month of recognition sure is a good start.
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says
we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
~ e.e. Cummings