National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month, and, as a Poet, I would be remiss if I did not pay tribute to poems from a smattering of the finest poets. We could use some words of beauty and hope from gifted writers now, in these challenging times. Ohayo Mountain Road forsythia bedazzles winding yellow curves
(Note: the image at right was taken on Glasco Tpke., Woodstock)
Additionally, I am pleased to include here the work of Cheryl Rice, a Poet friend. Her poem "Forsythias", seen below, is especially apropos.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W. B. Yeats - 1865-1939
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee; And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet's wings. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core.
Hope is the Thing with Feathers Emily Dickinson - 1830-1886
Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm. I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.
Walt Whitman - 1819-1892
I celebrate myself
And what I shall assume you shall assume
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
ease … observing a spear of summer grass.
I loafe and invite my soul
I lean and loafe at my ease … observing a spear of summer grass.
Forsythias Cheryl A. Rice They remind me of my grandmother’s backyard,
long, rambling stems defining the line,
briefly, every spring, yellow buds
bursting into walls of blossoms.
Behind my young bushes, the yard is
small and bare, shadowed by aging cedars.
My uncle rode a mower to cut the grass.
Mysteries of their garage included
wooden ladders, rowboats, tools I
couldn’t identify hung high on the walls,
everything but a car, everything belonging
to the landlord, but for their use.
When we came to say goodbye,
Grandma moving upstate,
Eisenhower’s funeral was on the
black and white TV, stacked on
the broken color console.
There would be no more grass cutting,
no loose bricks on the stoop,
no perfume of old mildew warmed
by close summer quarters, cowboy linoleum upstairs where my uncle slept,
fluorescent halo light humming in the kitchen,
forsythias offering up their brief shower of sun,
lush, green waves but for that short gold shine,
all lost to that landlord, and whatever tools
remain in that aching garage.
Cheryl A. Rice’s poems have appeared in magazines