April Is the Cruelest Month
…especially in Maine, where it is due to SNOW this weekend. But it is also National Poetry Month. I’ve done the usual display in the high school library, and have posters up from Poets.org and books ranging from Shel Silverstein to Edgar Allen Poe.
National Poetry Month gets knocked by some as a superficial attempt to lure people into poetry. That may be so, but one month is probably better than none. Even though I used to write it (badly), poetry is not really my favorite thing. I spent more than my fair share of time in school trying to figure out what the hell poets were trying to say when it seemed to my prosaic self they could have done far more efficiently without such obscure symbolism. I am a Philistine, I guess.
I found this really fun site (Magnetic Poetry Online Poetry Kit—just click onto the link) to tap into your creative side and kill some time at work.
Fool around with it (it’s like refrigerator magnet poetry but you’ll be clicking and dragging the little words onto the screen instead of the fridge), come back here and share your great poem. You have several choices from the the word kits—I picked the romance one, natch. I haven’t had a contest in ages, so it’s time. One poet will win a prize! Enter as many times as you want to bring culture (and amusement) to MRMR. Or you can post a poem you like. New post and winner announced on Friday, April 18.
Now I’ll leave you with my favorite poem, Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold.
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.