Friday, April 10, 2015

April Is Poetry and Lilacs

The lilacs are just beginning to burst forth here. First come jonquils and crocuses, then Bradford pear trees, and then redbuds, dogwoods and lilacs. I love the floral smell emitted by clusters of bluish flowers. The fragrance is sweet and fills the house quickly if a very few branches are brought inside; it reminds me of my grandmother who had many lilac bushes she shared in spring. She let me cut mounds of lilacs and white spirea to include with cookies and candy in my May Baskets left secretly hanging on friends' front doorknobs.

April is also National Poetry Month. I always loved this month when I was teaching. I was never erudite about poetry, but I wanted my students to be aware of beautiful words and thoughts. I don’t like poems I have to study to understand or appreciate. Poetry should be pure pleasure and enjoyment in my book. I like lovely words trickling over a page or scenes that provoke my own internal thoughts.

I wished I had started the month writing my own poems, had challenged myself to produce. But I did face three new poetry books, all very diverse. The first is Cowgirl Poetry: One Hundred Years of Riding’ and Rhymin’. I had heard of Cowboy Poetry and read some, always enjoying Baxter Black’s work. But I had never heard of Cowgirl Poetry. This is a sweet little volume one can carry in her purse, pulling out at rare moments for a good poem here and there.

Lines from Carole Jarvis’s Round Up Hand:
The day’s been long and Rose and I are weary,
But we held our end up, like the cowboy crew.
And I will go to sleep tonight rememberin’
When the cowboss smiled at me and said,
“You’ll do!”

 Melissa Fite Johnson’s While the Kettle’s On recalls her parents and grandparents with love, loss, and sadness; the last section tells of meeting her husband Marc. Simple and tasty are these poems are like a piece of basic apple pie, satisfying. I loved the cover of this poetry book when I saw it!

A line from her poem Poetry Group where the poet writes about the group moving outside to meet in early spring: 

Something about sipping hot tea, feasting on homemade muffins, 
listening to birds chatter, 
and feeling a breeze on my arms, 
makes everyone’s poems better.

The latest book by former poet laureate Ted Kooser is also gentle and kind…soothing…pleasant to read. I
wait for his next books. Splitting and Order is definitely one his best. One of my favorite poems was his At the Kitchen Table which starts with this description:

Not a flock of stories,
Not usually,
But a few that arrive at dusk,
In pairs, quietly
Creating themselves
In the feathery light.

Who is your favorite poet or what is your favorite kind of poetry?


Anonymous said...

I like poetry that tells a story, simply, without pretension. Have you taken a look at "Old Broads Waxing Poetic"? I think you'd like it.

Elephant's Child said...

I don't read enough poetry. I do like T.S Eliot, and Sylvia Plath.
And Delores is right - Old Broads Waxing Poetic has some gems in it.

Patricia A. Laster said...

Great lead-in to National Poetry Day. And I've never heard of Old Broads Waxing Poetic. Sounds like something I might enjoy. I DO love Ted Kooser and Billy Collins. Have a volume of e e cummings I haven't yet tackled.
Lilac aroma is almost as good and as strong as hyacinths. Great post.

Susan said...

Oh Bookie. I am SO JEALOUS of your spring having sprung. It is still cold and windy as heck here today. But there is spring in the air.

And at least I like the way the porch wind chimes sound as they dance in the gusts!

I like simple poetry that is easily understood. I don't like having to stop and try to figure out what the poet is writing about.

Love, love, love lilacs. They are among my favorite flowers.

Hope you have a delightful weekend! Susan