Thursday, April 2, 2015

National Poetry month 2015 (USA)


Is America's chance to discover it's wealth of poetry and, if it's not there already, inspire a love of poetry that could last forever. Inaugurated  by the Academy of American Poets, National poetry month was inspired by the success of Black History Month (Feb) and Women's History Month (March), when in 1995 The Academy convened a group of publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary organizations, poets, and teachers to discuss whether the same idea would work for poetry. The first one was held in 1996 and now every year, thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events all with the one aim – to celebrate poetry and it's vital place in American culture. National Poetry Month, held every April, is now the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrating poetry's vital place in our culture and, although I'm from Europe (England), I'll happily take any excuse to celebrate, what for me has been a lifelong love. So to celebrate National Poetry Month 2015 (USA) here are two poems by a couple of poets I admire.

The Dogs – Helen Mort

Some mornings, waking up between the sandy whippet
and the black- their breathing slow as mine,
their eyes more sorrowful – I remind myself I'm not a dog.

 It's not acceptable to taste the grass or roll in moss until
I'm musked with it. There are deer in the woods I'll never see.
My thirst discriminates. It does not have me bend

my grateful head to puddles, gutters, hollows
in the rock. I don't track rabbits in my sleep.
I'll not know love like theirs, observed in mute proximity

and if I sometimes sit bolt upright after dark, sensing
a movement in the yard, its only that I've learned
a little of their vigilance. I'm not like them:

one night I'll set off past the meadow, down
behind the beck, beyond the blunt profile of silver Howe
and nobody will call me back.

Helen Mort is a poet born in Sheffield in 1985. She is a 5 times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award, she received an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 2007 and won the Manchester Poetry Prize Young Writer Prize in 2008.[1] In 2010, she became the youngest ever poet in residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. She is the new Derbyshire Poet Laureate. In 2014, Helen Mort won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for "Division Street" which was also shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the T.S. Eliot Prize

Don't let that horse
eat that violin - Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Don't let that horse 
eat that violin
cried Chagall's mother
But he 
kept right on
And became famous
And kept on painting
The Horse With Violin In Mouth
And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
and rode away 
waving the violin
And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across
And there were no strings 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (born March 24, 1919) is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. Author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration, he is best known for A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), a collection of poems that has been translated into nine languages, with sales of more than one million copies.

National Poetry Month

Poem a Day

Support Your Teach


Poem Magazine




Serena said...

I adore Ferlinghetti!

@parridhlantern said...

Ferlinghetti is a favourite of mine, in fact of all those labelled under the beat tag he is the one I return to most.

Brian Joseph said...

Happy National Poetry month!

Your post reminds me that I need to read some poetry and blog about it in the next couple of weeks.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Brian, will be interested in who or what you choose

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the introduction to Helen Mort. I like her poem.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Kinna, I've picked up a copy of Division Street which made the shortlist for the T.S. Eliot Prize & hope to post on it soon

my heart's love songs said...

i'm campaigning to have it changed to "International Poetry Month" ~ the internet allows access to poets and poetry all around the world and I believe we are one community.

(I found this post through Savvy Verse & Wit's National Poetry Month Blog Tour.)

@parridhlantern said...

Sounds like a wonderful idea. It would need a lot of coordinating & cooperation as there are existing days such as World Poetry Day (March) & my nations day (UK ) in October