Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April is Poetry Month

This would be a great time to remember all those lovely lines of verse that are rattling around in our brains somewhere.

Since I don't feel much like writing today, I will put the question out to any of you wonderful souls who read this blog:

What poem or verses that you learned or memorized do you still remember? Did you have any favorites?

For myself the first books I remember receiving as gifts were ones of poetry. Christopher Robin and Pooh were part of my life before Disney discovered their market appeal, and at times I am a little saddened at having my imagination usurped by all those "imagineers".

I also have two wonderful and beautifully illustrated editions of poems by Eugene Fields. The Gingham Dog and The Calico Cat and Wynken Blynken and Nod were published by Follett and Company as part of their Read-Along series. The soft, round, and delicately colored illustrations by Helen Page are ones I don't think I will ever forget.

So tell me your poetry favorites.


Anonymous said...

My mother was a voracious reader and like many in her generation, grew up memorizing poetry. She would quote Keats, or The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, or Edward Lear, at the drop of a hat. She shamelessly bribed my sister and me to memorize poems from the time we were small, or sometimes she'd ask us to memorize a poem for her as a birthday present--something I'm grateful for now. One of the first poems I memorized, and still one of my favorites, is Shelley's "Ozymandias". It packs an amazing amount into fourteen lines:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Jena said...

A former English teacher, I looked forward to April for one reason: Poetry Tournament. I'd use the NCAA brackets and pair poems which the students would vote for and by the end of April, we'd have a champion. My favorites to share with students were Billy Collins's "Introduction to Poetry," "First Book" by Rita Dove, "Since Syntax is First" by e.e. cummings, and "Advice to a Girl" by Sara Teasdale. Even when I left the teaching field, I kept my binders full of poetry on overheads. Just in case.