National Poetry Month

I just saw yesterday that April is National Poetry Month. I wouldn’t consider myself a big connoisseur of poetry. There is much I don’t know about poetry and much poetry I haven’t read or studied. I do like it. Some of it, anyway. As I said once before, in kind of my history with poetry, “When carefully chosen words really encapsulate a particular thought or feeling or truth in poetry, it just really hits home like nothing else.”

Here are just a couple of quotes about poetry:

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This was a quote tugging at me after reading Janet’s quote from Darwin about not being able to enjoy poetry any more after neglecting it for so long.

This one was quoted in Challies’ mention of a quote from Alister McGrath’s biography of C.S. Lewis (C. S. Lewis – A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet).

For Lewis, poetry works not by directing attention to the poet, but to what the poet sees: “The poet is not a man who asks me to look at him; he is a man who says ‘look at that’ and points.” The poet is not a “spectacle” to be viewed, but a “set of spectacles” through which things are to be seen. The poet is someone who enables us to see things in a different way, who points out things we otherwise might not notice. Or again, the poet is not someone who is to be looked at, but someone who is to be looked through.

A few years ago I listed some of my favorite poems here and here. and shared some here over the years. I tried my feeble hand at a few of my own: Ode to Hay Fever, Ode to a Summer Cold, and A Mother’s Nightly Ritual.

I think I’m going to make it my ambition for the rest of this month to read a poem a day. Here is one I just discovered:

Notes on the Art of Poetry

By Dylan Thomas

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,,,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,, ,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

I’m linking up for Poetry Friday at hosted at Live Your Poem today.

7 thoughts on “National Poetry Month

  1. I love poetry. Some of the very best I have ever read were very short ones, like haikus and two or three lines. They had so much encapsulated in few words, I could only sit in awe. I absolutely hate poetry that was written NOT to say anything. I also love the long, crafted poems, going way back, and some of the “newer” voices with interior rhyme, like Poe. Incredible!

  2. I would describe myself as a poetry person, if that means someone who loves reading poetry, but I didn’t know this one by Dylan Thomas. Also had never seen the CS Lewis quote. Have saved both of them!

  3. I’d never seen this one by Dylan Thomas, either!

    Even though you’re not a “poetry person,” I’m glad you found your way to Poetry Friday! Hope we’ll see you back again — maybe we can convert you!!

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