Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh, Yeah . . . It's Poetry Month Again!

Noting that my blog is over two years old now, I realized that I forgot to mention that this was National Poetry Month. Two years ago, Justrose over at the Anonymous Rowhouse had been sharing her thoughts on the month which, in turn, served as the nudge to start my own blog. That year, I think I showcased other people’s poems that I thought were interesting . . .

Last year, I inflicted my own horrible attempts at poetry on you all. I promise to NEVER, EVER do that again . . . because good grief, those certainly sucked a lemon . . .

This year, I was going to be more low key. I bought a book, Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled, as a way to learn more about the structures of poetry so I can begin to more intelligently appreciate poems and the ways in which good ones work.

I also bought The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, because he is a Harlem Renaissance poet that I really wanted to learn more about. In school, I only learned about a few of his poems, but those were only the tip of the iceberg of his body of work . . .

As you know, my month has been crazy busy (as usual) but I am still committed to this little project of mine. However, I’ve just started reading the Fry book and it will take me a bit to work through it. (I highly recommend the Fry book – it is very witty and readable . . . and you’ll learn a lot! It also helps if you can imagine Fry’s British accent as you read it – He is best known here in the States for playing Jeeves next to Hugh Laurie’s Bertie Wooster.)

Here are a couple of Hughes poems that struck me the first time I glanced through his book . . .

The Dream Keeper

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.


I catch the pattern
Of your silence
Before you speak.

I do not need
To hear a word.

In your silence
Every tone I seek
Is heard.


When the lips
And the body
Are done
She seeks your hand,
Touches it,
And sleep comes,
Without wonder
And without dreams,
When the lips
And the body
Are done.

I Dream a World

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn.
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black and white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind –
Of such I dream, my world!

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