Summer Poetry Kicks

I've been on a poetry kick lately. First off, I'm suprised at how This Is Just To Say has gotten under my skin. The first time I heard it, I scoffed at the idea of it actually being considered a poem. (I admit, I am a scoffer sometimes.) Something about it, though, has gotten to me. Every time I read it, I like it a bit more. Maybe it's its economical use of words. Poetry has never been a big thing with me. My attempts, at writing poetry, many years ago as a student, always seemed contrived and stilted. My feeling is poetry comes from within and cannot be forced. Some of us perhaps are born with more of an inner poet; maybe more starry eyed and romantic. I'd like to see that side of myself but, alas, I'm afraid I may be too much of a pragmatist.

A friend of mine, whose taste in poetry runs to the flowery side of things, gave me a book of bird poetry for my birthday before last. (Yes, a whole book about bird poems. Famous poets too.) Not being one to rush into things, I finally cracked it open last month and found a poem I could really get behind. Four lines -- evocative, whimsical and a little dark -- If I Were A Cassowary, by Samuel Wilberforce...

If I were a cassowary
On the plains of Timbuctoo,
I would eat a missionary,
Cassock, bands and hymn-book too.

We have a few great poems on Check out Lewis Caroll’s Jabberwocky and the wry prose of Ogden Nash in our Rhymes and Chimes section. Or, perhaps, your tastes may run toward Theodor Geisel...

I speak for the trees,
for the trees have no tongues.

This summer I'm going to read more poetry and maybe study it a little. I don't plan to write any poems unless I really feel compelled to. Since I'm such a poetry novice, if anyone has a recommendation, a favorite poem or poet, please pass it along.


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