Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pretty How Town (Kris Delmorst)

April 1 is most certainly April Fool's Day... but it is also the beginning of National Poetry Month:

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.

More here...

P.S. SMM here, here and here...

SONG: Pretty How Town by Kris Delmhorst

BOOK: Poem in Your Pocket: 200 Poems to Read and Carry, edited by Elaine Bleakney

POEM: How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual by Pamela Spiro Wagner

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don't even notice,
close this manual.

QUOTE: "Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary." ~ Kahlil Gibran


  1. hope your son is recovering nicely - what a scare...
    I need to 'pick your brain' (doesn't that sound awful?) about John McCutcheon


  2. Hey, Catherine ~

    Thanks for the continued support - with the help of good friends and a powerful antibiotic, E *is* recovering nicely, and I'm attempting to get back to normal (whatever that is) as well...

    Would love to give whatever feedback I can regarding John McCutcheon - when I presented him in my series, he was nothing less than professional and gracious and compelling, oh my!

    Ask M for me e-address or phone number if you'd like to pursue this further - whatever the question, he's worth the investment of your time/energy/money... :-)