April is National Poetry Month

spring poetry wordle

April is National Poetry Month, so it’s a good time to, not only read some poetry, but to discover some new poets and explore different types of poetry. I have to admit, that my reading has not included reading poetry as much as it should, though when I think about it, I have enjoyed poetry through the years. My earliest memories include the love of Green Eggs and Ham and Fox in Socks. What better introduction to poetry than Dr. Seuss?  Though it was required reading for me in college (usually a death knell to the enjoyment of reading), I greatly enjoyed reading Paradise Lost as well as The Odyssey.  As a writer, reading poetry helps me to see words in a different way; a more musical way. Ray Bradbury read poems before beginning a day’s work. In Zen in the Art of Writing, he said, “Poetry is good because it flexes muscles you don’t use often enough. Poetry expands the senses and keeps them in prime condition.”

I am now reading through a collection of poems edited by my favorite poet, Luci Shaw. The collection,  A Widening Light: Poems of the Incarnation, includes poems from several poets, including Luci Shaw herself. Using poetry to help us worship God is nothing new. We all know the Psalms as works of poetry, as well as the books of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations.

poetry

Perhaps no one explains better why we should read poetry than the teacher, John Keating, played by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.

In anticipation of hearing Shelby Stephenson, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, speak next week, I am going to pick up his book, Fiddledeedee, from the library.

Any favorite poets or poems you’ll be reading this month?

 

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “April is National Poetry Month

  1. Shiloh
    By Tim Shey

    Brutal deathdance;
    My eyes weep blood.
    Pharisees smile like vipers,
    They laugh and mock their venom:
    Blind snakes leading
    The deaf and dumb multitude.

    Where are my friends?
    The landscape is dry and desolate.
    They have stretched my shredded body
    On this humiliating tree.

    The hands that healed
    And the feet that brought good news
    They have pierced
    With their fierce hatred.

    The man-made whip
    That opened up my back
    Preaches from a proper pulpit.
    They sit in comfort:
    That vacant-eyed congregation.
    The respected, demon-possessed reverend
    Forks his tongue
    Scratching itchy ears
    While Cain bludgeons
    Abel into silence.

    My flesh in tattered pieces
    Clots red and cold and sticks
    To the rough-hewn timber
    That props up my limp, vertical carcase
    Between heaven and earth.
    My life drips and puddles
    Below my feet,
    As I gaze down dizzily
    On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.

    The chapter-and-versed wolves
    Jeer and taunt me.
    Their sheepwool clothing
    Is stained black with the furious violence
    Of their heart of stone.
    They worship me in lip service,
    But I confess,
    I never knew them
    (Though they are my creation).

    My tongue tastes like ashes:
    It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
    I am so thirsty.
    This famine is too much for me.
    The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
    Papa, into your hands
    I commend my Spirit.

    Ethos
    February/March 1997
    Iowa State University

    Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s