Monday, April 11, 2011

April is... National Poetry Month!

I love poetry. It gives one a shared understanding, a level of comprehension and compassion with the rest of humanity. Sometimes it is packaged in a silly rhyme:

Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him because he run and hid,
but the meanest thing that he ever did was
before he left he went and named me Sue.

    ~ from "A Boy Named Sue," by Shel Silverstein.

or as a wise old haiku: 

So many things 
they call into my thoughts--
cherry blossoms! 


Poetry has a way of bringing to light aspects that we might miss otherwise in the hurdy gurdy turmoil of day to day living. As Billy Collins says:
                 "Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member 
                   of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem 
                     each day, new worlds can be revealed."

And just in time for poetry month, Collins has come out with an excellent book of new poetry. Horoscopes for the Dead, Random House, 24.00.

This book is just another excellent example of Collin's wit, and superb lyrical style of someone who writes poetry for those who do and do not consider themselves poetry readers. 

To buy his latest book of poems click here. But for now enjoy this selection!

What She Said
by Billy Collins

When he told me he expected me to pay for dinner,
I was like give me a break

I was not the exact equivalent of give me a break.
I was just similar to give me a break.

As I said, I was like give me a break.

I would love to tell you
how I was able to resemble give me a break 
without actually being identical to give me a break,

but all I can say is that I sensed
a similarity between me and give me a break.

And that was close enough 
at that point in the evening 

even if it meant I would fall short 
of standing up from the table and screaming 
give me a break,

for God's sake will you please give me a break?!

No, for that moment 
with the rain streaking the restaurant windows 
and the waiter approaching,

I felt the most I could be was like

to a certain degree

give me a break. 

I hope you enjoy! 




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