Welcome back to the 255! We wish our students our best of luck as we now embark on the final stretch of the semester! In celebration of National Poetry Month, the 255 is bring you a special segment highlighting our favorite poets and writings. We hope that throughout this month you all take time to reflect on your favorite styles of poetry from classical to contemporary, in both written and oral traditions. For more information on how to celebrate National Poetry Month check out the source below brought to you by the Academy of American Poets. They have some awesome year-round project going on.
Academy of American Poets
Professor Jennifer Brown’s Featured Poem:
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
– Maggie Smith
Professor Jerry William’s Featured Poem:
When I went out to kill myself, I caught
A pack of hoodlums beating up a man.
Running to spare his suffering, I forgot
My name, my number, how my day began,
How soldiers milled around the garden stone
And sang amusing songs; how all that day
Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone
Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.
Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten,
Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope
Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten,
The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope,
I held the man for nothing in my arms.
– James Wright
HUMSOC Admin Alex Dill’s Featured Poem:
“An Old Cracked Tune”
My name is Solomon Levi,
the desert is my home,
my mother’s breast was thorny,
and father I had none.
The sands whispered, Be separate,
the stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
on the edge of the road.
– Stanley Kunitz
We hope you enjoyed some of our favorite poems. What poetic themes and styles interest you? What about those poems hold meaning to you? What makes a poem memorable? These are all great reflective questions that we should consider throughout National Poetry Month. Whether it be reading a poem a day, reflecting on some of your favs, creating your own poetry, or actively participating in a poetry group, we wish you all a wonderful poetry month. Finally, as always, a brief reminder to be kind, stay safe, and stay hydrated and poetic!