Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “poems”

Poem of the Month: Moons


I do like moon poems.

image: Morguefile

To the Moon [fragment] by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing Heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,—
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

POM: April 24


Always a parent. The kinder are grown, gone, got lives of their own. Yet I will always be their momma. I am concerned if they are eating right, sleeping enough, and if they are  concerned about their cholesterol levels. This is why I so relate to this poem.

Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?

Don't fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn't know
is that when we're walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand

—Robert Hershon

from Poetry Northwest, Volume XLI, No. 3, Autumn 2000
Poetry Daily, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Copyright 2001 by Robert Hershon.
All rights reserved.

POM: April 22


I have fond memories of my father and boats.

Work

by Sally Bliumis-Dunn

I could tell they were father and son,
the air between them, slack as though
they hardly noticed one another.

The father sanded the gunwales,
the boy coiled the lines.
And I admired them there, each to his task

in the quiet of the long familiar.
The sawdust coated the father’s arms
like dusk coats grass in a field.

The boy worked next on the oarlocks
polishing the brass until it gleamed
as though he could harness the sun.

Who cares what they were thinking,
lucky in their lives
that the spin of the genetic wheel

slowed twice to a stop
and landed each of them here.

Copyright © 2015 by Sally Bliumis-Dunn.

image: morguefile/seabreeze

POM: April 20


Carl Sandburg captures well how language is as fluid as a river. Rivers can shrivel up over time, and so can language. Poetry keep the languages of times, people, ideas, and civilizations from drying up.

Languages

Carl Sandburg (18781967)

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 new course 
Changing its way to the ocean. 
It is mountain effluvia 
Moving to valleys 
And from nation to nation 
Crossing borders and mixing. 
Languages die like rivers. 
Words wrapped round your tongue today 
And broken to shape of thought 
Between your teeth and lips speaking 
Now and today 
Shall be faded hieroglyphics 
Ten thousand years from now. 
Sing—and singing—remember 
Your song dies and changes 
And is not here to-morrow 
Any more than the wind 
Blowing ten thousand years ago.

POM: April 16


Dunbar was one of the first African Americans recognized for his talent in poetry. This is almost magical in its lyric imagery. I can’t even think of trying to find a photograph that could possibly capture its radiance. Perhaps a Monet?

les Coquelicots

 

 

Invitation to Love

Paul Laurence Dunbar, 18721906

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene’er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.

You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it to rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.

Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd’ning cherry.
Come when the year’s first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter’s drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome

POM: April 1


April is all about poetry,being it’s National Poetry Month. In anticipation of this wonderful joyous month of celebrating verse I’ve been busy collecting poems about poets. Here is the first postcelebrating poets and their contribution:

The Poet by Tom Wayman

Poet Appreciation: #4 George Santayana


Quick–what teacher did Conrad Aiken, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens have in common? *Jeopardy muzak plays softly* If you answered George Santayana you either are a verse warrior or you clued in on the post title.

Santayana, a Spanish-born American, was a philosopher, essayist, novelist, teacher, and poet. Receiving his PhD from Harvard he joined the faculty in 1889. In 1912 he moved to Europe and must have liked it because he never returned to the states. Santayana, thought to be an important influences of critical realism, became part of what is known as the Classical American Philosophy. He died in 1952.

 
 There may be chaos still around the world
by George Santayana
 
There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
I heed them not; or if the subtle night
Haunt me with deities I never saw,
I soon mine eyelid’s drowsy curtain draw
To hide their myriad faces from my sight.
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.
Unless I am way off base, I think this is the complex version of Bobby McFerrin’s hit ditty “Don’t Worry. Be Happy.” I hear in this poem how the world can be swirling and whirling about us, yet we can cocoon within ourselves and remain blissfully at peace.  I prefer the happy llama mode: humming along in life.

Marching into April’s Muse


It’s lovely that spring has basically sprung. There is no subtlety of seasons in my neck of the States.  One weekend eight inches floated down with the grace of a freight train, causing school to shut down (oh goodness was I bummed). The next the rain came in, melting all that amassed snowflakiness and suddenly I’m owner of lakefront property. I hope the assessor doesn’t drive by.

One of the nicer aspects of March of how it promenades in so roaringly, only to meekly usher in April and all her flowers.  Mixed in flowers are sunny days, longer days, taxes *cough*, and while these are sporadic occurrences of sweet sorrow (unless you like taxes), it’s an celebrating poetry.

Yes, this is a heads up that April is National Poetry Month.  This year I arranged a guest poet to appear about every other post. In between the celebrity verse readings there will be poetical bits like forms, clips, and images.  Ooh, I can’t wait. I’ve been working on April since last December.

Until April and the official start-up, here are some links to help you prepare:

Got questions about National Poetry Month?

Looking for ways to celebrate NPP?

Poet-to-Poet Project

And one of my absolute favorites: Poem-in-your-Pocket Day

Walt Whitman graces the poster this year. Find absolutely tons of great poetry info at http://www.poets.org.

See you around the corner!

A Garden of Verses


image

As children we begin our acquaintance with poetry through nursery rhymes and catchy little verse books and move up to reading by way of Dr. Seuss. If the love of poetry takes hold. Then we discover there is a world of rhyme through the pens of such poets as Jack Prelutsky (shown happily proffering his poetry pencil). And of course, Shel Silverstein.

Robert Louis Stevenson and Lewis Carroll come to mind for when we are older. And then what? We are told “good” poetry shouldn’t rhyme and rhyming verse is childish. We then go deep into the likes of Robert Frost, Longfellow, and perhaps Langston Hughes when we get into school. This is not a bad thing. Not at all. Life gets more complicated as we get older and poetry can be that reflection.

I wonder if this is where we lose the initial love of poetry, when we have to work at understanding it through its symbolism, imagery, and meter. Cats and fiddles, Jacks and Jills no longer suffice as poetry thrills. Tis a shame.
My freshmen groan and revolt when I trot out the poetry unit. I wish I could say I have swayed their opinions or created new converts at the end of the designated nine weeks, yet that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. Most do appreciate poetry a bit more. Sure, that works for me–I’ll take it.

I wonder how many of us would continue loving poetry if we could only be allowed more Jack Prelutsky when we are all grown up.
image

When

Poem Delivery Service


http://www.poets.org/poemADay.php

Wading through countless updates, newsletters, and ads can be annoying, if not time consuing.  Yet I signed up for one more inbox filler, and I am finding it not a nuisance, rather it’s a shot of morning freshness: I signed up for Poets.org Poem-A-Day. Granted it’s only my third day; however, it makes me stop and reflect on the power of verse, plus I get to discover new poets. 

During the week it’s contemporary and the weekends it’s classics. Definitely a perfect blend. So click on the opening link and wake up to the fragrance of verse delivered fresh daily.

Happy Poetry Month!

 

 

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