Friday, April 1, 2011

April Brings Pranks, Showers & National Poetry Month

Poetry is life stripped of all the distracters. Life, bare-boned, intensified.

April 1 - April Fool’s Day - but today also begins National Poetry Month & that’s no joke. Songs are more present in our society than TV or cell phones, and yet, people still cringe and shudder when the word poetry is even whispered. Parents and children delight in century-old nursery rhymes and the wise parent knows that if your child is having trouble learning something, set it to music. We all know how a song will stick in your head, even when you wish it wouldn’t; it’s unavoidable. And we all know how a song can be a time-capsule for a memory, sweet and pleasant or heavy and sad.

Poetry is simply music without the instruments. The music is in the precise selection and combination of words. The emotion is in the quick cut to the heart of the matter, no elaboration as you find in novels. If you are short on time, poetry is a quick reading fix.

So to celebrate the day…

The Snarky: My “I Read Dead People” T-shirt

The Delightful: Caroline Kennedy’s A Family of Poems

A compilation of beloved Kennedy poems divided into sections that speak of a child’s world: About Me, That’s So Silly!, Animals, The Seasons, The Seashore, Adventure, Bedtime. Yet, the poems included are varied and appeal to both child and adult. Some are written by traditional adult favorites, such as William Shakespeare, Thomas Hardy, and Walt Whitman, while others are child favorites, such as Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and Alfred Noyes. Some are silly; some are poignant. Some will speak one thing to the child, and something entirely deeper to the adult. Some will tell the child of what is to come; some will remind the adult of what was.

All of the pages are complemented by Jon J. Muth’s striking watercolors, artfully reflecting the tone of each poem.

Celebrate the day - celebrate the month - with the poetry that surrounds you.

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