Poetry Project

It’s April, which means it’s National Poetry Month (did you order your free poster already?), and that means that everyone should take the opportunity (if you don’t do so regularly) to get some poetry into your life.

You’ll be glad you did.

To help you along, I’m going to leave this thread up at the top all week for people to post the name (or first line or famous line) and author (if you know it) of a poem you love. Note that it does not have to be your favorite poem; it does not have to be, even, a great poem; you need not explain (though you can if you wish) why you love it or what you love about it; you do not have to include a link, but you are welcome to do so (and if any of you want to tack on a link to a cool version of someone else’s choice, please feel free). The idea here is to give other people a chance to find a poem that they might love or enjoy or that, at least, someone else (other than the poet) has loved.

I’ll start it off with a poem that seems appropriate given that the poet just recently passed, leaving an amazing body of work behind her, and the whole Titanic thing happening all over, somewhat bafflingly (to me).

Anyway, it’s called, “Diving Into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich.

21 thoughts on “Poetry Project

  1. Inspired by Gladys’ prolific work yesterday, I’ve decided to add a new one every day…

    So, here’s this: Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy. That third section always chokes me up when I’ve read it to my classes on the last day of certain, fitting semesters, but it’s the last section that I love most, I think.

  2. “A Poem About Responsibility”

    There was a most important job that needed to be done,
    And no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
    But in vital matters such as this, the thing you have to ask
    Is who exactly will it be who’ll carry out the task?

    Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
    That this was something somebody would surely have to do.
    Nobody was unwilling; anybody had the ability.
    But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.

    It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
    If anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
    But since everybody recognised that anybody could,
    Everybody took for granted that somebody would.

    But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
    That he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
    And nobody took it on himself to follow through,
    And do what everybody thought that somebody would do.

    When what everybody needed so did not get done at all,
    Everybody was complaining that somebody dropped the ball.
    Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
    And everybody looked around for somebody to blame.

    Somebody should have done the job
    And Everybody should have,
    But in the end Nobody did
    What Anybody could have.

    Charles Osgood

    • Oh…that’s GREAT. Well done.

      Thanks. You’re definitely not among the lame-o’s.

      dr

  3. For yesterday’s suggestion, I’ve got this one by ee cummings.

    The last two sections are killer:

    that you should ever think,may god forbid
    and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
    for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
    called progress,and negation’s dead undoom.

    I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
    than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

  4. “Destiny”

    Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
    For one lone soul another lonely soul
    Each chasing each through all the weary hours
    And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
    Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
    Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
    And life’s long night is ended, and the way
    Lies open onward to eternal day.

    Edwin Arnold

  5. “!” by Wendy Videlock

    Dear Writers, I’m compiling the first in what I hope is a series of publications I’m calling artists among artists. The theme for issue 1 is “Faggot Dinosaur.” I hope to hear from you! Thank you and best wishes.
    —Ali, editor, Artists among Artists
    I think that I shall never fear
    a brontosaurus that is queer,

    iguanodon as fetisheer,
    a mammoth bringing up the rear,
    an astrodon with extra gear,

    metrosexual squirrel and deer,
    a breeder with a dance career,
    a fruit with cauliflower ear,

    a lesbianic Chanticleer,
    a grinning limpish-wristed Lear,
    the weird one or the mutineer,

    but those who perfectly adhere,
    stay clear, stay clear, stay clear, stay clear.

    Source: Poetry (April 2012).

  6. “To the Mannequins” BY HOWARD NEMEROV

    Adorable images,
    Plaster of Paris
    Lilies of the field,
    You are not alive, therefore
    Pathos will be out of place.

    But I have learned
    A strange fact about your fate,
    And it is this:

    After you go out of fashion
    Beneath your many fashions,
    Or when your elbows and knees
    Have been bruised powdery white,
    So that you are no good to anybody—

    They will take away your gowns,
    Your sables and bathing suits,
    Leaving exposed before all men
    Your inaccessible bellies
    And pointless nubilities.

    Movers will come by night
    And load you all into trucks
    And take you away to the Camps,
    Where soldiers, or the State Police,
    Will use you as targets
    For small-arms practice,

    Leading me to inquire,
    Since pathos is out of place,
    What it is that they are practicing.

    November 1961

    “To the Mannequins” from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. Reprinted by permission of University of Chicago Press.

    Source: Poetry (April 2012).

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