Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Celebrate Poetry

I heard on the radio yesterday that April is National Poetry Month. Most of what I choose to read is prose; today I read the poem of the day, as determined by the Academy of American Poets.

National Poetry Month is a month-long celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. It was inspired by celebrations such as Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March.

Today's poem was by Gregory Orr, a poet that was unfamiliar to me. According to his biography on the Website, "he is considered by many to be a master of short, lyric free verse." The featured poem was easy to read and understand:

Untitled [This is what was bequeathed us]

This is what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
And, leaving,
Left to us.

No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.

No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.

No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.

That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.

There's a new poem every day for the rest of the month. All of the poems are from books published in the spring, so it's a great way to be introduced to a lot of new material.


  1. I've never been able to get into poetry. I managed a four-year degree in literature without reading really any poetry!