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Monday, March 31, 2008

A Month of Poetry

Today is the last day of March. Tomorrow is no joke, it is the first day of April, the month we celebrate poetry. Everyone is a poet, everyone loves poetry, everyone is poetry. Why April?

Of course no celebration of poetry can commence without speaking about the two classic poems heralding the month of April. They are "The Prologue" from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales:

1 Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,
2 The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
3 And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
4 Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
5 Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
6 Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
7 The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
8 Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
9 And smale foweles maken melodye,
10 That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
11 So priketh hem Nature in hir corages-
12 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
13 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
14 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
15 And specially, from every shires ende

and T.S. Eliot's opening lines from The Wasteland:


April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

April is the pagan month of birth or rebirth. It is the month we plant, the month we wake from winter, the month we sow our wild oats and seeds. Poetry is the language of the lover. I am reminded that Shakespeare was born and died in this month.

This is what a friend, Beffa Wyldemoon, does in another school to celebrate poetry in April:

The NPM theme this year is A POEM IN YOUR POCKET, and we are posting colored posters for APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH throughout the school that show an index card sticking out of the back pocket of denim jeans with the question in big letters: Do YOU have a POEM in YOUR pocket? And in the blurb underneath "Every day the POCKET-POETRY PATROL will be stopping students & staff to ask if they have a poem in their pockets. Each person who shares with them a poem will have her/his name entered in a drawing April 17th (which is the day before we go out on spring break) - for valuable gift cards to Borders. Be a BARD! Share a poem!"

It will be from my Poetry page that I will be writing this month's Blog posts.

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