Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Poem in your Pocket

“I, too, dislike it; there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
It, after all, a place for the genuine.”

(From “Poetry” by Marianne Moore)

April is Poetry Month and today is Poem in Your Pocket Day – you are invited to carry a poem in your pocket to read to others, to leave on a colleagues's desk or in some public place, or just to finger occasionally as a silent talisman.

Personally, I’ve always loved poetry – and like the character Nola in the forthcoming book, I memorized great wads of it when I was young. My favorites were long dead poets –– poets from my mother’s college poetry anthology and later from my own newer edition of that Untermeyer anthology. – Browning, Tennyson, Vachel Lindsey, Rudyard Kipling, Yeats, Eliot, Hopkins, e.e. cummings, Dorothy Parker, Randall Jarrell, and, that perpetual favorite, Minnie Minnie Moore.

But in the past few years, going to book fairs and writers conferences, I’ve become aware of many contemporary poets.
Glenis Redmond, Jeff Davis, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Cathy Bower-Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye,Irene Honeycutt, Doris Davenport – these are just a few whose work is currently running through my days.

Here’s a nice little starter poem for your pocket from William Carlos Williams.

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
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