Monday, April 10, 2006

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. In celebration I'd like to share a terrific site for finding poetry. Poem Hunter is a dandy little database you can search by poet, title, or subject. It is by no means exhaustive on each of the poets it archives but it is a terrific start. It has several other nice features but I'll let you go explore by yourself. I'd also like to share one of my favorite's with you. I have so many but this seemed sort of appropriate to the celebration.

Poet's Obligation by Pablo Neruda

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell;
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea's lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn's castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying "How can I reach the sea?"
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

(Translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid)

Now, share a favorite poem with me. It can be one you wrote, one you memorized, one you searched out on the database, silly, serious, or sublime. Just leave one in the comments. I discovered Neruda by recommendation of a friend so I love to hear what others enjoy.

Happy Poetry Month!


Tan Lucy Pez said...

My favorite poem is by Elizabeth Bishop, and is titled One Art.

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

-- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

Logophile said...

I love Neruda, I discovered him through a movie, one of my favorites, Truly, Madly, Deeply.
I have a LOT of favorites, and unfortunately most of my favorites are not very short.

But I will go with Nash, I do adore him so.

Oh To Be Odd!

Spend the winter at the bottom of Florida and the summer on top of
the Adirondriacs.
You go to Paris and live on champagne wine and cognac
If you're dipsomognac.
If you're a manic-depressive
You don't go anywhere where you won't be cheered up, and people say
"There, there!" if your bills are excessive.
But you stick around and work day and night and night and day with
your nose to the sawmill.
If you're nawmill.

Note: Dipsomaniac -- alcoholic

barefoot_mistress said...

Oh! This is easy. My favorite poem is Song of the Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats....

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

One of my favorite poems was written for me when I was 16, by my first boyfriend. I cannot share it, but I will always cherish it.

Blueprincesa said...

I had no idea that April was poetry month! That's awesome! And Neruda is one of my favourites, too.

MyUtopia said...

Happy Poetry Month
Here is my poem to throw into the mix:

The City of Procrastination

The waves of traffic flow by
And night catches up with the sound.
The streetlight turns on
Illuminating the world below
Inside a cool breeze blows
And a slip of paper falls, breaking the silence.
I turn to see it float to the floor.
But the blinding night shades my eyes.
And I forget the fallen paper.

A stray's aria seizes attention
And laughter erupts into the night.
Smoke sorts through the flickering flame and tongues loosen
As the golden droplets dissolve and spin
The hands glide just about the face
And the night grows dim.
Lids grow weary in their place
Goodnights are said and blankets drawn
Eyes shut tight to hide the creeping light
The paper lays and waits unnoticed till dawn.

truckdriver_sefl said...

What a wonderful poem thanks for sharing:-}

James Goodman said...

Hmm, here's one I wrote several years ago:

The Observer

I sit in darkness contemplating the night
Visions of demons soaring in flight

The moon so full of heavenly bliss
Cascading down like a lover’s kiss

The windswept beauty of a grassy plain
The tormented souls writhing in pain

Angels come but never land
This havoc was wrought at their father’s hand

They watch in sorrow as men’s souls burn
And take their remains each in turn

Here sits God in robes of blue
Smiling in patience, waiting for you

miss_lissa said...

Happy poetry month!
hmm, trying to pick one of my favorite poems/poets is like picking which strand of hair I enjoy best.

But, I will share this one with you..

"Like Barley Bending"
by Sara Teasdale

Like barley bending
In low fields by the sea,
Singing in hard wind

Like barley bending
And rising again,
So would I, unbroken,
Rise from pain;

So would I softly,
Day long, night long,
Change my sorrow
Into song.

The Village Idiot said...

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big Love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

ee cummings

AlRo said...

Am I a Seer? _ by -- ME

Has it occured to you
That i may be a seer?
Has it occured to you
that maybe i could be what we both
do not believe could actually be
Could I heal?

Could you heal?
Could you actually know my thoughts?
The wounds of my heart seem to vanish..
The screaming within my soul
Has gone....
Have you cured me?
You have made me wonder!

IS it possible?
That you have found
Someone that really understands you?
Is it possible
That you have seen someone that really believes You?
Is it possible
That you have actually seen someone
That sees within you?

Can you see me?
Can you feel me?
Can you actually understand?
That I love you?
Can you believe that I have seen myself within you?
a thousand times...
and it no longer frightens me?

Can you believe that the heart can be..
Can you believe that
the soul can be cleansed?
Can you see that maybe the mind..
can be lifted..
So long as there is one
that can see within it?

Can you see me?
Can you see what is in my mind?
Can you feel what is in my heart?
Can you believe that what I feel for you..
Is uplifting, unbelievable...
Do I know you from some other time?

I see you.....
I believe in you...
I can see that you are seeing..
You sometimes may not understand...
Perhaps even be frightened..
For there are things said between us..
that is unbelievable...
but believe it..
and it will become reality....

I will heal you!
I will see that you are healed...
I will love you...
For I will see that you love again...
I will mend you..
For you deserve to see the world...
I will see that you care...
For you should not live the evils
That can corrupt you...

I see and speak for you..
I dream and walk for you..
I would breathe or die for you...
I am the seer within you that sees
What you wish to see...
I am
With you ...
whether I am or not !!

Lelu said...

Roses for one.
Violets for two.
The sky is blue,
And my heart is, too.

Tommy Gunn said...

I wrote this a long time ago and am really proud of it. It may be crap but I like it. Hope you all will too. Otherwise, like miss_lissa, I have a hard time picking a favorite but Frost, the Brownings, Yeats, Tennyson and Longfellow are all on my bookshelf.
Happy Poetry Month all.

Fear and Bones

Hells fire flashes as demons laugh. Dark, viscous venom cutting rivers in their chins. Nails flaying skin, shredding, wailing into the night. The demon taunts me, "God is calling!"

Hells nightmare follows me, toying, teasing. Insanity closes with every tick of times passage. Ha! Glowing embers, eyes I'm sure, searching, hunting from the inky black of Gethsemane’s garden.

Hells demons sniff and snarl, measuring fear. The stench of decaying flesh surrounds me. Shrieking into the dark I run, "God, save me from this!" It's mine. The death stench permeates my very soul.

Mortal fear feeds Satan’s addiction. When fear fades bones crunch and Satan smiles. Snapping blades shred sinew, slice muscle, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" My blood heavy on his belly, sated, his eyelids droop.

The demon slumbers. And I? I rise to save the world.

Sheri said...

Very nice! I'm feeling a little out of my league here with all these lovely poems being submitted. I can't write a poem to save my ass so I'll just say how much I enjoyed reading everyone else's!

Breazy said...

Here is one of my favorites because it reminds me of my 16 year old cousin that was killed a few years ago. She was a christian and had more faith than most 16yr olds . Her mother found this poem and emailed it to me just a few short months after her daughters death and it touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes everytime I read it !

My Child Has Been Set Free

Daughters hold a special bond
That nothing can replace
Their smiles can chase the blues away
And brighten up a face.

Joys we’ve known, a special day
Shared between us two
Secret talks and peaceful walks
Just to name a few.

Times of reminiscing
The day you learned to crawl
Looking through the photos
I’ve always kept them all.

But one sad day, the phone did ring
It tore my world in two
A voice came on the other end
“I have bad news for you.”

The precious girl, I loved so much
Was quickly leaving me
So many things we might have known
Will never come to be.

Thoughts of her are everywhere
I cannot let her go
But somewhere up in heaven
A star does softly glow.

She sees a Joy unknown to me
Her face is full of Light
They walk into the Promised Land
God holds her hand so tight.

Just as the shifting sands of time
Flows gently out to sea
Here today and gone tomorrow
My child has been set free.

Author/Written By:
Marilyn Ferguson

snavy said...

Not as deep as some of the others but I like it -

Just to dance--
just to let the music take you
in a way that seems to make you
feel suspended everytime you leave the floor...

Just to soar--
in a moment free and aerial
to rise magically ethereal,
like an angel in a gossamery swirl...

Just to whirl--
and to nimbly pirouette
into a twirling silhouette,
high on pointe, with muscles taut down to your

Just to pose--
with body sculpted, statuesque,
to excute an arabesque,
and with fragile, artful grace sustain your

Just to prance--
to step in flawless syncopation
with the corps in tight formation,
marking time with every heartbeat, every turn...

Just to yearn--
to be poetry in motion,
and, with disciplined devotion,
to create a thing of beauty and romance...

Just to dance!

by: Linda Staten

Of mine -

The Edge

To be able to live in the afterglow
Have the scent of your touch on my skin
Over and over, the waves capture me
My body with yours - where you end, I begin

Anonymous said...
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Bridget Jones said...

I'd love to leave one
but I"m an idiot.

I just read others' stuff.....

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