First, welcome to 1-11-11. The one and only. Every day is a “one and only” so make the most of yours!
Recently, at a book sale, I latched on to an ex-library book with the thought of giving it to my daughter to share with her sons. I swear that was my intention! Instead, I kept it, and it now resides on my bookcase next to my side of the bed. It is a big fat book, a hardback, some 540 pages or so. Called The Family Album of Favorite Poems, I have found that browsing through it before I go to sleep gives me interesting dreams! Such favorites as Poe’s The Raven joust with other story-poems such as W. S. Gilbert’s The Yarn of the “Nancy Bell” and The Highwaymen by Alfred Noyes in this mighty tome … and I have found myself lost in the charms of The Children’s Hour, (Longfellow) or awash with the desire to live in a …House by the Side of the Road, (and be a friend to man…) by Foss. I recall the home-schooling I did with my kids, and having my son memorize O Captain, My Captain! by Whitman after we watched “Dead Poet’s Society!”
I admit to a great love of limericks and humorous poems – including the always funny and charming works of Ogden Nash. Who can argue with:
And then forgot to tell us why.”
Richard Armour also tickled my fancy, with such cleverness as his brief but pithy work of art called Money. (Only 43 words, it says all there is to be said on the subject!).
I also love the art form poetry of Haiku, simple, distilled wisdom and beauty that creates a word picture that can stay with you for hours. When accompanied by a photograph, it entrances my mind and frees my spirit.
A small but powerful book written and gifted to me by a friend, Brandy Chenoweth’s How do I Love Thee?!? has tender grace to me. Sometimes gentle, sometimes in your face and proud of it, it is a joy to read poetry by such a talented modern woman. It is comforting to know that young men and women are still listening to the songs in their own hearts, and putting them on paper for others to experience.
One doesn’t think about poetry much in these fast-paced, often-violent times. Yet even poetry about war has a deep rhythm to it, biting and piercing at our armor of fear and anguish. Gentle Haiku, passionate poetry, memorable stanzas that stick in our mind long after the reading… these are the shapes of our dreams, our passions, and our souls. We need to take the time to embrace them again, or perhaps for the first time. Soak our reading and inner eyes with the message of the poet, cadence that rings true, and shares with us another’s perspectives and longings. Find a book of poetry of your own today, and bring your own spirit into sync with rhyme and reason. It is worth the journey!