I love the sound of poetisa, Spanish for female poet or poetess. In honor of Women’s History Month I must salute my favorite poetisas. I will focus on Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and Julia Burgos.
Emily Dickinson was first introduced to me in seventh grade. My teacher would have been classified as a spinster back then. She was in her late forties and not married. Today she would be a career women and no one would care if she had ever married or not. She was somewhat melancholy and thus I suppose this was her fascination with Emily Dickinson. What I recall vividly about my teacher was her interest in nature and that she was a loner like biographers depict Emily Dickinson.
I remember the poem I wanted to know by heart was “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” It must have been the question that followed that hooked me, “Are you nobody Too?” Perhaps that simply a rhetorical question for the pre-teen soul but why did it resonate with me? After all these years of reading poems by Emily Dickinson I think about that teacher and wonder if she too asked that burning question.
So many books have been written about the life of Emily Dickinson. Three books that I believe are excellent are Lives Like Loaded Guns, Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters, and The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson.
To find out more about Emily Dickinson you can find information at the Poetry Foundation website: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/emily-dickinson.
Meet the challenge:
Finish this line from a poem by Emily Dickinson
“I’ll tell you how the sun rose ……”
The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
In honor of Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets since I began reading her poems in the sixth grade. I have a collection of books written about her. One of my favorites:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
April is the month to celebrate poetry. The month has been designated National Poetry Month. I like to think that with April showers and the beginning of spring comes inspiration and thus more of us may be inclined to pay attention to our muses. I write poems every day. But there is something about spring that inspires me to read aloud my favorite poems and to write more of my own.
The Dodge Poetry Foundation is devoted to fomenting the appreciation of poetry read aloud. They sponsor teacher’s seminars called Clearing the Spring, Tending the Fountain, http://www.dodgepoetry.org/schools/spring-fountain/registration-information/ every year.
Another great site is Poets.org. where you can create your own poetry notebook to collect your favorite poems. Many libraries and book stores sponsor poetry readings this month. Check your town’s local activity calendar.
Happy National Poetry Month. I want to thank the followers and supporters of Poemattic. I leave you with a few quotes to ponder: Happy reading and Happy writing!!
“Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.” –Carl Sandburg, Poetry Considered
Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes. – Joseph Roux
Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own.
“The sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another day
For an approving God.”
– Emily Dickinson
Good Day Sunshine
So many have had something to say about you
whether you were on the rise in the morning
or falling into deep slumber in the evening
I like you best at morn
when you so well adorn
the sky and make me want to sigh.
– Melba Christie
Here’s flowers for you:
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’the sun,
And with him rises, weeping.
– William Shakespeare
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