Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Celebrate Poetry - Nesdoly

If writers were musicians, poets would not be the rock stars, the pop icons or the members of the symphony orchestra. In fact I doubt they'd even rate as mainstream among readers as jazz does among listeners. They're pretty much to writing what indie bands are to music - autonomous, little known, more focused on producing their content than becoming wealthy or famous.

Despite the generally cold shoulder of readers, we poets keep writing anyway because we love poetry and get some kind of strange fulfillment producing more of it (droll Billy Collins says it so well).

April is National Poetry month in Canada and the U.S. It's a time when poetry organizations of all kinds celebrate their particular brand of writing with readings, displays, contests, and book sales -- a month we poet odd-balls will be filling the airwaves with our strange music, from haunting to humorous. On this March 31st eve of National Poetry Month, I'm inviting you to join the celebration. You might just find that you enjoy these strains more than you ever thought you would. Some suggestions:

  • Subscribe to a daily email poem. The Writer's Almanac with its entertaining, easy-to-understand poems read by Garrison Keillor is an excellent choice.
  • Attend a poetry reading in your community. Check the bulletin board in your local paper.
  • Enter a poem you've written in a free contest. That's right. I said FREE. Check it out here.

Finally, while I still have your attention - here's a poem. It's about why I write poetry...

I Take My Walk Just In Time

I take my walk just in time
under the frowning sky
share the green with black crows and white gulls.
They graze while I ponder should I
give it up this tinkering
with words that pilfers time
from creased shirts and dusty corners?
There’s little coin to justify
hours spent and what will be its fate
on that final bonfire-trial day?

Beside my path stands a gull so near
we could touch.
smooth pearly gray
wingtips telescoped to perfect
white dots on black.

Surely God, the original and extravagant Creator
Who thought it no waste
to paint alpine flowers
craft ocean stars
and decorate with this polka-dotted petticoat
understands the urge I feel
to build for the epiphanies of my life
little piles of words?

I turn home with lighter heart
step to subtle happy rhythms –
a woodpecker rattling her way up a finger of snacks
and on my jacket the intermittent pat pat
pat of reconnaissance raindrops.

© 2003 by Violet Nesdoly


Peter Black said...

What a champion for poetry and poets, Violet!

Me? I only dabble in the genre
but if I should ever engage more fully in the art
it may well be in part
because Judith, Don, and you
have fueled the spark
of inspiration in me.


violet said...

Ah Peter - that's the point :)

The Prophet said...


It seems that the news coming from the United States have only a criminal court.

Again on Saturday April 11 in Washington state, a man who upon learning that his wife was leaving for another man, killed her five children between 7 and 16 years and then committed suicide.
In addition, the crime occurred in New York, where a Vietnamese killed 12 people in a support center for immigrants and then committed suicide.
It is clear that there is an evil in American society that leads people to commit these assassinations, partly encouraged by the freedom of American law to allow citizens to bear arms, and also produced by a psychological flaw that appears nested in the minds of the American settler.
It is also clear the fault of the American government not only veto the indiscriminate sale of weapons to the public, guns that are sometimes high-power, nor the governments have not been striving to make a call to disarmament.
If the government of Barack Obama does something to block these laws, or the companies behind them, which will be more clear is that this year there will be more assassinations in the United States and in other countries.
Obviously also the passivity of the American churches and religious leaders, who are more worried about their family lives to preach on the last pirouette of a pet or not to invade your blog.
I appeal to all people who love life, to the families of those who have suffered such tragedies, the communities who were frightened to death of innocent people, and even the churches that their pastors were killed or brothers in Christ, to join in a crusade to stop something in this wave of violence that shook the United States.

D.S. Martin said...

Well said, Violet!
Sometimes the thing we're trying to get at, is only approachable through poetry. Thanks for the encouragement.

D.S. (Don) Martin

Belinda said...

I absolutely love your poem Violet. I am one of your great fans. I richly enjoy your word feasts.

violet said...

Thanks so much for the comments, Don and Belinda - I never saw them till now (4/29/08). (BTW, I love having you on my team, B!!). I agree, Don - some things are best expressed through poetry.

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