It is wonderful to see poetry heralded in your good paper, especially with April coming up, National Poetry Month (“Our view: A craft anniversary,” March 10).
And while April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, it also mixes memory and desire and stirs dull roots with spring rain.
Any month is less cruel when poetry abounds, being so mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. So much better to make mud pies with a pal rather than slinging them at any passing politician’s head.
Many people mistake Robert Frost as our folksy, white-haired Americana gentleman poet when he was much deeper, darker and more profound in his lasting poetry. Frost cultivated the former image, but any serious look into his poetry yields a man for whom loneliness was his true companion rather than humanity, oxymoronic though that be.
So, let us now praise the famous men and women of poetry’s ages: Miss Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Mary Oliver, Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks, Joy Harjo (our fist Native American U.S. Poet Laureate), Edgar Allan Poe, William Carlos Williams, e e cummings, and even the ever-inscrutable Wallace Stevens.
Being that my father’s father came over from County Sligo, I must include the inestimable W. B. Yeats. Indeed, when the world is mad and my heart cannot be consoled, as after 9/11, only poetry soothes. Only poetry says what I cannot: And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.