Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fickle April: National Poetry Month

T.S. Eliot called April "the cruellest month." Geoffrey Chaucer referred to it as a "time of sweet showers." Toubadours Simon & Garfunkel note April as a time "When streams are ripe and swelled with rain." Even cartoonists recognize April's split personality.

I posted this poem on David L. Harrison's Word of the Month site, where I've participated regularly for over a year. A word is chosen each month, and the challenge to poets is to create a poem using that word. This month's word, "detour," seemed just right for April.


April detoured from
luscious lilacs and
sun-soaked skin to
cold cloud cover,
wicked wind and
fiendish frost.
Even the showers shiver.
(copyright 2012, Jane Heitman Healy)

What do you think about April?

Hear Eliot himself read from "The Waste Land":

Hear Chaucer's "General Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales read in Middle English:
The Canterbury Tales - General Prologue -... by poetictouch

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Carol

Sunburst over a crest of a hill by C. E. Price

It's Easter and National Poetry Month! Enjoy this selection from Christina Rossetti. Wishing you Easter joy!

An Easter Carol
Christina Rossetti

Spring bursts to-day,
For Christ is risen and all the earth’s at play.

Flash forth, thou Sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.

Winter is past,
Sweet Spring is come at last, is come at last.

Bud, Fig and Vine,
Bud, Olive, fat with fruit and oil and wine.

Break forth this morn
In roses, thou but yesterday a Thorn.

Uplift thy head,
O pure white Lily through the Winter dead.

Beside your dams
Leap and rejoice, you merry-making Lambs.

All Herds and Flocks
Rejoice, all Beasts of thickets and of rocks.

Sing, Creatures, sing,
Angels and Men and Birds and everything.

All notes of Doves
Fill all our world: this is the time of loves.

Botanic Gardens - Easter 2009 (William Murphy) / CC BY-SA 2.0

(This poem is in the public domain.)

I've known about Christina Rossetti since I was in first grade, memorizing her poem "Who Has Seen the Wind?," a poem any prairie child can understand. Read more about Rossetti, a 19th Century poet, here. See more of her poems here.