Refuse to Cower!

As National Poetry Month 2024 comes to its end, we acknowledge poetry’s ongoing influence in our lives. Though I will continue to post poems, I will refrain from daily posts for now … maybe until next April? No, I’m pretty sure I’ll post again before next year.

I began the month with a lighthearted April Fools Day poem. And it’s worth mentioning on this day fifty-eight years ago, The Church of Satan was founded. Though I hesitate to draw attention to this founding, I recognize the pervasive lure toward New Age spirituality and away from traditional Christianity. Continue reading “Refuse to Cower!”

Danger, Will Robinson!

Still observing National Poetry Month 2024, we’re winding down the final days of April with a cursory look at things in the news. Let’s see there:  campus unrest, airline delays and mishaps, political trials, wars in distant places ….

On second thought, maybe there are better ways to celebrate April than the same old, same old? Contemplating some of the headlines might just provide motivation for crawling back into bed like a hibernating bear. Is there Good News somewhere – anywhere? Continue reading “Danger, Will Robinson!”

Opinions vs. Truth

As today is April 20th, we’re almost three full weeks into the annual observance of National Poetry Month. I always find it interesting to scroll through one website which chronicles various notable events On This Day. No mention on that website of National Poetry Month (no results found), but the site provides an interesting mix of history, film and tv, music and sport going back a long way.

When I view sites like On This Day, I’m usually curious about why certain pieces of information are included. For instance, the website today refers to a particular song release or a celebrity who broke her arm when thrown from a horse, or a specific brutal act committed by a mass murderer. Who decides which “events” are important enough to merit inclusion? Continue reading “Opinions vs. Truth”

Viewpoint Transcendence

Today, we celebrate April’s 19th day in observance of National Poetry Month 2024. It’s always interesting (to me) to know what other individuals and organizations are doing to mark the month. Here’s one innovative tack:  NPR (National Public Radio) has a hotline anyone can call to hear a poem recited daily. (Long distance charges may apply, of course.)

Somehow I missed this info, but today I learned the month’s theme is weather. I was unable to locate any mention of this theme on the informational page for National Poetry Month. Maybe I’m being spoofed by the AI monster? There’s a warning which says I need to “verify critical facts.”

Alas, I completely overlooked the Poem in Your Pocket Day celebration which occurred yesterday! One of the suggested ways to participate in this exercise is to Read a poem out loud from your porch, window, backyard or outdoor space. Yes, I suppose I could hold a belated celebration? The cows in the pasture across the lane could be my captive audience. Continue reading “Viewpoint Transcendence”

Speedy Mis-Judgments

Continuing with my personal observance of National Poetry Month 2024, I might have been tempted to start out by stating another day … another poem. Blah, blah, blah. Instead, early this morning, an unexpected distraction sent my whole plan for the day off the rails!

It’s fair to say, this is how my brain works, I guess. Especially when it comes to writing poetry, the muse is often out of control! Words begin shaping into sentences in my head, and almost without bidding, an entire poem has seemingly written itself! More often than not, I’ll rush to write out those sentences and give them time to simmer … at least for a day or two, maybe more. I just don’t want to trust myself with a hot take! Capiche? Continue reading “Speedy Mis-Judgments”

Despair In Delusion

As we observe the twelfth day of National Poetry Month 2024, I was thinking about how some dates come and go without being judged significant. They’re just days we go about our business and ordinary lives, doing what needs to be done and then climbing into bed at night to do it all over the next day.

Other days are highly memorable … remarkable … seared into our brains for many years to come. An anniversary (of sorts) went by a couple weeks back. Since it was Holy Week, I made a conscientious decision to avoid marking the day, even though a sonnet I had written was intended for post on that day. Continue reading “Despair In Delusion”

Art For the Happy Few

Speaking to a journalist in 1897, humorist Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) stated, “I have even heard on good authority that I was dead.” As I continue the April observance of National Poetry Month 2024, I’ve read similar statements related to poetry.

More than half a lifetime ago (August 1988), Commentary Magazine ran an article “Who Killed Poetry?” Written by Joseph Epstein, the article is still available to read online. Back in that time, Epstein’s commentary is said to have caused quite a stir in literary circles. The essay provoked necessary discussion about poetry’s relevance. Coincidentally, the highly-acclaimed film Dead Poets Society was released in 1989. Epstein’s death of poetry statement was published eight years before National Poetry Month‘s inaugural 1996 celebration. Continue reading “Art For the Happy Few”

Sincerest Forms of Flattery

As we come to the tenth day of National Poetry Month 2024, I’m turning my attention to one specific poet, John Keats (1795-1821). Many literary scholars count Keats among the all-time great poets.

One poem written by Keats (a sonnet from 1818) goes by the clunky title When I have Fears That I May Cease To Be. Given Keats was still in his twenties when he died, the sonnet provides a curious window into his spirit. In my view, the poem deserves multiple readings and invites contemplative thought. (See the link above to read the poem for yourself.)

Continue reading “Sincerest Forms of Flattery”

Chit-Chat Colloquy

Three guys gather in a recording studio. They’re preparing to record the initial episode of a new podcast. Unbeknownst to them, their podcast episode (once released) will become subject matter for a poem. It will also be a jumping-off point for this post related to National Poetry Month 2024, rising out of a fledgling podcast.

One of the three men is married to my niece. The other two are strangers to me. Since I’m listening to their podcast, I must improvise by recreating the scene in my head. My mental image suggests each man is equipped with his own microphone and headset. Being long-time friends, they know each other well and share an obvious depth of affection which communicates through the audio. They treasure each other’s friendship, so their conversation is relaxed and warm.

Continue reading “Chit-Chat Colloquy”

Basketful of Joy

Day seven of National Poetry Month 2024 and there were multiple poems I might have posted here today. However, since it’s a Sunday, I wanted to take a slightly more serious tone. (In general, I tend to lean more on the humorous side. If you can’t laugh in this life, it’s got to be pretty dismal overall. That’s not a world in which I’m very comfortable.)

Today’s sonnet celebrates my joy of living (joie de vivre). Some years ago, I remember a certain political candidate stating an opinion that there were many Americans (about half the country) who could be appropriately characterized as a “basket of deplorables.” Opinions differ, of course, and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

Continue reading “Basketful of Joy”