National Poetry Month

This month, BBCE shook things up a little and shared poetry instead of reading a book. Everyone brought a couple of choices. I love poetry, but I’m not… ahem… well versed in it, so my first choice was my favorite from high school — “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Man, I love that poem. I love the idea of possibility in it.

Dianna recommended “Forgetfulness” by Billy Collins, who is a former U.S. Poet Laureate. I read it and loved it so much I put a hold request on one of his books at the library because I can’t wait to read more.

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Right???

Then, Dianna found this:

Very cool.

Do y’all have a favorite poet or poem? As long as it doesn’t involve a man from Nantucket, I want to know about it. Share!

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5 thoughts on “National Poetry Month

  1. One of my most favorite poems was written by you. You submitted it with one of your scholarship applications and it was published. I knew then that you had the talent. I can’t get my hands on the poem right now, but maybe you can add it to my comment for everyone else. I think it was called “The Dance”. The one with the roses. (I don’t want to spoil it.)

    • Thanks! I have it, and I almost took it with me last night to share but I chickened out. I’ll have to think about putting it up here. It’s from high school so it’s pretty rough. But I’ll think about it.

  2. Here’s the poem Susan and I were talking about last night:

    One Art
    by Elizabeth Bishop

    The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
    so many things seem filled with the intent
    to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

    Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
    of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
    places, and names, and where it was you meant
    to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
    next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
    The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
    some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
    I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

    –Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
    I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
    the art of losing’s not too hard to master
    though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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