Sunday, April 12, 2009

TSS: Poetry Month

The Sunday Salon.comI decided to focus on reading more poetry for a mini-challenge, without even realizing the timing worked out so that the mini-challenge led me right into National Poetry Month. I love when life converges on itself that way. Anyway, I've been listening to more poetry.

I also went to a talk on Tuesday by Sage Cohen, who has a new book out called Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry. Sage firmly believes that poetry should be enjoyed by everyone and that we cheat ourselves by deciding we're not "good enough" to write poetry. I can't wait to read her book, because I do like writing poetry but I don't know enough to be able to tell whether any of mine are any good. Sage's point is to write them anyway. I like that.

In that spirit, I've been working on a poem about my kids and my old cat who was very ill last week and spent all day every day at the vet getting IV fluids to save her kidneys. The cat is much better now, though not out of the woods completely. The poem, on the other hand, may be dying a slow and neglected death. Time will tell.

This week's C.O.R.A. Diversity Roll Call is about poetry as well. The full post and Mr. Linky can be found on Color Online this week:
Complete one or all of the following:

1) Post a poem by a woman of color. Your choice must be a poet who has written in the last forty years. Do your best to avoid the most anthologized, popular poets unless poetry is new terrority for you. In that case, check out why the popular poets are well loved.

2) Tell us why you like the poem you chose. Don't worry about the technical aspects of writing poetry, devices or forms. Give us your reader's response. How does it make you feel or what does it make you think about? What questions does it raise for you?

3) If you are a poetry reader and you can recommend a contemporary woman poet of color, who do you recommend and why? I would really love to hear about emerging or lesser known poets. Introduce us to poets from around the world.

Please remember to provide citation for the work you post. Provide links and interesting trivia if you like. Be creative.
Susan makes it easy to get started by offering names of a half-dozen poets you can Google.

I decided to focus on January O'Neill, a.k.a. Poet Mom, whose first book of poetry, Underlife, will be published in the fall by CavanKerry Press. It's hardly fair to feature a poem written for NaPoWriMo, a challenge to write a poem every day in April, but I'm doing it anyway. Please click on the titles to read the poems.

A Mother's Tale shares a moment in which O'Neill teaches her young son how to experience the world as poetry.
Tea With My Husband begins with the buzz in the author's mind left over from the day's business, moves through the physical sound that ends that portion of the day, into the sound that signals the beginning of reconnecting with her husband.

What do you think of these? And, is anyone else doing anything special for National Poetry Month?


  1. Thanks for the kind words! I am most flattered and appreciative.

    And I must take on this challenge from Color Online (that is, when I get a few moment!).

    National Poetry Month is a great time to discover poetry and poetry activities. I look forward to reading more posts on your blog.

  2. Ali,

    I am so glad you chose January! She's promised me a copy for review. I'll be asking for an interview as well.

    Great choice. Thanks for the links. And I am very interested in Ms. Cohen's book.

  3. Well, maybe I'll read a poem or two :)

  4. January, You're welcome. I was soooo tired by the time I finished that post last night, now that I reread it I think I edited out all the parts where I said how much I liked the poems! I hope you will participate, would love to see who you recommend.

    Susan, I look forward to your review of January's book, and an interview would be great. I'll be writing more about Sage Cohen's once I've read it. I took so many notes at the talk and was going to write a post about it this week but it turned out to be a killer week with very little writing time.

    Lenore, I hope you will! Or you could read a novel in verse, like Ellen Hopkins does.

  5. Lenore,
    If you'd like an enjoyable, quick, accessible novel in verse, try Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. I commented about it recently. I didn't write a full review but I highly recommend it.

  6. Ali, thank you for sharing January's poems! Both are poignant and moving. I will definitely have to visit her site more often.