A Poem A Day – Maya Angelou


Alone

Lying, thinking

Last night

How to find my soul a home

Where water is not thirsty

And bread loaf is not stone

I came up with one thing

And I don’t believe I’m wrong

That nobody,

But nobody

can make it out here alone.

 

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

can make it out here alone.

 

There are some millionaires

with money they can’t use

their wives run round like banshees

their children sing the blues

they’ve got expensive doctors

to cure their hearts of stone.

 

Alone, all alone

Nobody, but nobody

can make it out here alone.

 

 

Maya Angelou, author of the best selling I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Gather in My Name, also published many poetry collections.

Dr. Angelou received several honorary degrees throughout her life. She wrote television screenplays and appeared in several movies. Her unforgettable voice is always inspiring and makes one sit up in attention.

 

 

The Layers


I have walked through many lives,

some of them my own,

and i am not who I was,

though some principle of being

abides, from which I struggle

not to stray.

When I look behind,

as I am compelled to look

before i can gather strength

to proceed on my journey,

I see the milestones dwindling

toward the horizon

and the slow fires trailing

from abandoned camp-sites,

over which scavenger angels

wheel on heavy wings…

Stanley Kunitz

 

Stanley Kunitz is one of America’s greatest poets. He is a recipient of both the Pulitzer and Bolllinger prizes. President Clinton presented Mr. Kunitz with the National Medal of the Arts in 1993.

 

A Poem A Day #5


What is your Love Philosophy? I will share my poem later this month.

Love’s Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river

And the rivers with the Ocean,

The winds of Heaven mix for ever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single;

All things by a law divine

In one spirit meet and mingle,

Why not I with thine?-

 

See the mountains kiss high Heaven

and the waves clasp one another;

No sister-flower would be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth

and the moonbeams kiss the sea:

What is all this sweet work worth

if thou kiss not me?

 

Persey Bysshe Shelley, Romantic Poet

 

Percy Bysshe Shelley was born 4 August 1792 at Field Place, near Horsham, Sussex, England. The eldest son of Timothy and Elizabeth Shelley, he stood in line to inherit his grandfather’s considerable estate and a seat in Parilament. He attended Eton College, where he began writing poetry, and went on to Oxford University. His first publication was a Gothic novel, Zastrozzi (1810), in which he voiced his own heretical and atheistic opinions through the villain Zastrozzi. After less than a year at Oxford, he was expelled for writing and circulating a pamphlet promoting atheism.

“In the slightly more than four years before his death in a boat accident, Shelley published seven further volumes of poetry: Rosalind and Helen (which included “Julian and Maddalo” and “Lines Written among the Euganean Hills“) (1819); The CenciPrometheus Unbound; with Other Poems (which included “The Cloud” and his “Ode to the West Wind”); and Oedipus Tyrannus; or, Swellfoot the Tyrant, a satirical drama on the trial for adultery of Queen Caroline which was quickly suppressed (1820); Epipsychidion and Adonais: subtitled “An Elegy on the Death of John Keats” (1821); and Hellas (1822). Many other poems were left in notebooks, some (like the “Letter to Maria Gisborne” and “The Witch of Atlas,” both dating from 1820, and “The Triumph of Life,” left unfinished in 1822, were published among the Posthumous Poems put together by Mary in 1824. Still others (like the satire on Wordsworth, Peter Bell the Third) were held back, only to appear in her full-scale edition of her husband’s poetry published in 1839. His numerous prose works, such as the “Defence of Poetry” and his translation of Plato’s Symposium were brought out a year later, in 1840.

Shelley drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on 8 July 1822. After his body washed ashore near Viareggio, it was cremated according to the dictates of Italian law. His ashes were buried in the Protestant Cemetery (actually, Cimitero Acattolico or non-Catholic Cemetery) in Rome. In 1854, three years after Mary’s death a monument was erected in memory of both the Shelleys.”

*http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/PShelley/bio.html

 

Haiku – Poets


 

Poets

Poets gather here

under the tree of life

ONOMATOPOEIAS!

 

Here is an example of an onomatopoeia poem. I invite you to write one for Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Running Water

water plops into pond

splish-splash downhill

warbling magpies in tree

trilling, melodic thrill

 

whoosh, passing breeze

flags flutter and flap

frog croaks, bird whistles

babbling bubbles from tap

*This poem is by Lee Emmett from Australia

 

 

A Poem A Day –


Another very favorite poet is Mary Oliver. I have many of her poetry books and feel peace and calmness when I read her poems. Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award, is one of the most celebrated and best-selling poets in America. Some of her books include What Do we Know, The Leaf and the Cloud, Winter Hours and Blue Iris among others.

This is an excerpt of one of my favorites:

Some Questions You Might Ask

“Is the soul solid, like iron?

Or is it tender and breakable, like

the wings of a moth in the beak of an owl?

Who has it, and who doesn’t? ”

 

I love questions. I think I have mentioned before I was always asking questions which made my mother crazy sometimes. Ms. Oliver’s poems in general make you ponder and ask many questions, especially about nature and life in general.

 

A Poem A Day #2


A friend posted this poem on Facebook recently. It seems to show so much of what is happening today all around the world. It is a poem to ponder and wonder about how as people we may be culpable of contributing to the unsettling scenes.

Poets remind us of the cruelty . But they also give us food for bold thoughts. Bold thoughts that offer solutions. I am so exhausted. I believe so many of us are. I hope we work together to find solutions. After all no one wants to be pitied.

PITY THE NATION”
(After Khalil Gibran)

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except  to praise conquerers
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own
Pity the nation whose breath is money
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to  erode
and their freedoms to be washed away
My country, tears of thee
Sweet land of liberty!

 

 

 

Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti (born March 24, 1919) is an American poet, painter, socialist activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. He is the author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration. Ferlinghetti is best known for his first collection of poems, A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), which has been translated into nine languages, with sales of more than one million copies.[2] Ferlinghetti turned 100 in March 2019, leading the city of San Franciscoto proclaim his birthday, March 24, “Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day”.[3]

 

 

 

A Poem a Day _ #1


Carl Sandburg is one of my favorite poets. In honor of National Poetry Month I would like to share one of his poems. The title is what we all seek in life.

HAPPINESS

I asked my professors who teach the meaning of life to tell

me what happiness is.

And I went to famous executives who boss the work of

thousands of men.

They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though

I was trying to fool with them.

And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along

the Des Plaines River.

And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with

their women and children and a keg of beer and

an accordion.

Carl Sandburg

 

Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, writer, and editor. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. Wikipedia

What is happiness to you? This is what it is to me. Write a Poem. 

My mother taught me about happiness one day.

She did not know I was watching her.

She spoke to the Daisies in her garden

and praised them. They began to dance.

Mom was never one to smile a lot

but that day she smiled the day away.

I too delight at the sight of daisies.

They put a smile on my face because

I will never forget

what happiness looks like.

Melba Christie

 

HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH


April is National Poetry Month and as always I try to attend as many poetry readings as I possibly can. When I taught high school I would also attend conferences and workshops for educators and poets. I have so many wonderful memories of those days.

Another great activity this month is Poem in Your Pocket Day 2019 is on April 18 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

I would like to invite WordPress Poet/bloggers to post a Poem a Day for the entire month. We need to get into the rhythm and focus on the things that help us get through difficult times. Poets speak to all issues but most of all as a friend told me once (who happens to be a poet) “Poets are little gods.”

For me, poetry is life and life is poetry. I shared many of my original poems and I am so grateful for your comments and encouragement I have received since I started my blog in 2012.

So let’s get into the rhythm and create some mindful poetry. Happy National Poetry !!!

 

Art by Melba Christie

Poem Medley


I love the way you love me

You’re all I need to get by

Life is like a song you see

Our love is as clear as the blue sky

 

You are all the joys under the sun

precious moments of endless love

We are the envy of everyone

You are a blessing from up above

 

No one else will ever do

I’m in heaven when I’m with you

You make me feel brand new

Believe me, my love is true

No one else will ever do

No one else will ever do.