Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Poetry & the Creative Mind Day, April 11th; National Poetry Month

Poetry & the Creative Mind Day

If you like poetry, you should celebrate Poetry & the Creative Mind Day. If you want to celebrate poems longer than one day, you should know that April is National Poetry Month. If you are having a hard time forcing yourself to be creative, Poets.org gives us some ideas with their 30 Ways to Celebrate page. My favorite ideas are "Take a Poem Out to Lunch", "Get out the Sidewalk Chalk and Commit a Poem to Pavement", and "Put Some Poetry in an Unexpected Place".

Today at lunch I tried to recite a poem, any poem, and my brain just froze. Out of all the poems from all the poets that I had been required to memorize for a grade, or even those that have just became part of my subconscious from reading over and over again over the years... it's like they weren't there. I couldn't remember any of my Frost, or Parker, or Dickinson, or Lewis, or Yeats; the only poem that I remembered enough to recite was Shel Silverstein's "I Cannot Go To School Today", which probably means that I shouldn't be at work today. You know, because I have the measles and the mumps, a gash and rash and purple bumps...

6 comments:

Soccer Dad said...

the only poem I can recite by heart is "Jabberwocky"

Other than occasional nonsense rhymes.

The peanut sat on the railroad track,
His heart was all aflutter.
Along came the 7:15. Toot. Toot.
Peanut Butter.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

'Twas Brillig and the slithy toves,
Did gyre and gimbol on the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths out grabe.

I love that one too! And by the way, anyone reading this should definately go see The Last Mimsy. It was very good.

Soccer Dad said...

I was wondering if "mimsy" had to do with Jabberwocky. Of course in the poem mimsy's an adjective and I'm guessing that it's a noun in the movie.

My brother and a friend and I used to act out Jabberwocky for friends and relatives.

Yes, I know that's sort of geeky.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Mimsy is a proper noun in the movie, and has a rather clever tie-in to Jabberwocky the poem.

I would have done a movie review but, Neel Mehta does a much better job than I would have. His review is http://nhmehta.blogspot.com/2007/03/go-ask-alice.html

And, I wish I had known about Jabberwocky when I was a child, I would have made my brothers play it with me. Maybe I did know about it, I just didn't get into poetry until college. I love the poem, and when I taught Sunday School, I used it as a ice breaker to discussing Isaiah.

Soccer Dad said...

Alas I don't my later prophets. What's the tie in to Isaiah?

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Isaiah was a poet, and lots of people think he is difficult to understand. But once there was a small understanding of the structure of Hebrew poety, (parallelism, chiasmus, ellipsis, strophe, and there are others I can't remember) and the imagery used (personification, hyperbole, merismus) I found that people understood Isaiah better.

I would introduce the class to Jabberwocky and would have someone who had never seen the poem before read it out loud. Then I would explain portmanteau, and ask if the poem was any more understandable and enjoyable with that knowledge. I would then point out that any type of poetry is more enjoyable when it is understood.

I love Isaiah, I find his writing is very beautiful.