Friday, April 01, 2011

Roses and Violets and Stuff

April is National Poetry Month, which prompted me this week to crack open the door of the rhyming centers of my brain and sift through my limited knowledge of the poetic form to kick off the month with a few stanzas in appreciation of poets and poetry, and, mostly, the creative process.

Spend some time this month with a poem or two, reading them or writing them. And let me know if you find a word that rhymes with orange. Or purple. Or sofa.

An Ode...Unfinished 

A poem can come in many forms,
The writer, with his brain that storms
In elements of meter, rhyme and verse.
While some may be more skilled than I,
I take my pen, don’t question why,
I figure I can hardly do much worse. 

Now, I’m no e.e. cummings,
and that Will Shakespeare’s really something,
I can’t compete with them, this much I know.
But if I just write my own lines
in free verse or in loose rhymes,
I don’t need to rival Edgar Allan Poe. 

Among this wide variety,
some write for notoriety,
or publication, fame or love or cash.
I’ll share a quick confession
that it’d cure my word obsession,
if I could learn to rhyme like Ogden Nash. 

I page through poets laureate
and I’m sometimes sorry that
my lack of comprehension calls a truce.
But a favorite still will always be
the style and sweet simplicity
of the ne’er to be compared to Dr. Seuss. 

A poem can convey sentiment,
or sorrow, love through which you went,
the clich├ęd roses red and violets blue.
Some like flowers or candy better,
but I’d recommend a letter
with a short verse that can best say, “I love you.” 

Now we have these thirty days,
so many poems, so many ways
to pay a glorious tribute to this month.
From Dickinson to Wilde to Frost,
in all their words we can get lost,
and celebrate the art of...

[note to self: find rhyming word for “month”
before writing next year’s poem.]

“I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance,
were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.” 
—Ogden Nash

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