Prompt Poetics

There are online websites and apps I’ve noticed which acknowledge April as National Poetry Month 2024. The dictionary.com app on my phone (which I use quite often) displayed an announcement promoting their support. When I opened the app this morning, I noticed they’ve sponsored a poetry challenge to celebrate National Poetry Month.

The challenge looks interesting, specifying only two rules which may be fun, but stringent. If you’re someone who enjoys making up new words, this challenge might get your 2-5 line poem published to their challenge webpage! Looks like an excellent way to awaken oneself to a new experimental format. Continue reading “Prompt Poetics”

Cut It Out!

As we enter the last half of April and National Poetry Month 2024, I’m enjoying the wonders of Spring re-emerging! The dandelions are out in force across our lawn and eastern meadowlarks are singing their melodic praises through my open window.

Even when there’s a hint of rain in the air (as now with a 35% chance forecasted), I savor Spring’s goodness … except for the birds that insist on nesting in the shelter of my front porch! Back in January or February, I tore down the nest they’d built last year, high and out of my reach. (I had to get out the ten-foot ladder.) How did I miss their efforts at rebuilding? Alas, I can’t say for sure, but build they did, and from the porch floor, I’m unable to see whether bird-eggs are present, so I’ll forbear – for now! Continue reading “Cut It Out!”

Tax Day Blues

Whether it’s National Poetry Month 2024 or not, this poet quickly realizes there are consequences to stress. When I crawled out of bed with an achy neck and stiff upper shoulders, it was readily apparent I’d been mon-stress-ly afflicted! With the income tax deadline set for midnight tonight, who wouldn’t be stressed?

Would anyone have blamed me for crawling immediately back into bed? Yet, I would not be deterred! As a matter of fact, I have a sonnet which fits perfectly with the day and my diminished condition! (Ha! How’s that for good planning?!) Though written a number of years ago, I kept the poem in reserve … for now apparently. Continue reading “Tax Day Blues”

The Fragrance of Christ

We’re two weeks into National Poetry Month 2024, and it’s a beautiful day outside (maybe a bit unseasonal at 82º), but poetry is in season whatever the outdoor temperature.

This being Sunday, I wanted to post a more serious poem (no silliness) but this one requires a personal admission:  from time to time, I experience unfortunate lapses in my level of spiritual maturity. Because our income taxes are due tomorrow and I have much to do to complete them, I’m bummed. Taxes have become such a chore for me! Anyone else feel the same?

Continue reading “The Fragrance of Christ”

Finding My Location

Thirteen days into our observance of National Poetry Month 2024, I think this is a good occasion for review. A dear friend and reader asked me recently about the name of this blog. Where does it originate, why did I choose the name, etc.? Others may have had similar questions, so let’s pull back the curtain (so to speak).

I launched this blog in July 2010. Names are always tricky but my vision for this writing platform was to share my thoughts, my poetry and my faith and, in the process, possibly earn an audience. I chose the name Wiseblooding as an homage to Flannery O’Connor, a writer I greatly admired. Her first novel was titled Wise Blood. Continue reading “Finding My Location”

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”

Moon Over My Arky

People are on the move today, traveling from distant spots to experience the solar eclipse in real time. This convergence of world events happening alongside the eighth day of National Poetry Month 2024 would be (for some) an ideal opportunity to commemorate. Perhaps there are hundreds (thousands?) of poets waxing eloquent about the waxing (and waning) of the moon. Not me.

As a helpful tool for people unable to travel directly into the darkened path, NASA has provided a virtual map. In our local area, the main thoroughfares have posted warnings prohibiting parking on the shoulders during the eclipse, so it would seem there’s an expectation of multiple misdemeanor law-breakers early this afternoon. (I wonder if troopers will be so distracted by the eclipse they’ll forget to hand out tickets?) Continue reading “Moon Over My Arky”