Day #357: This Poem

baby sleeping

All people are children when they sleep.
there’s no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.

Rolf Jacobsen (translated by Robert Hedin from the original Norwegian)

Day #141: Poetry Mosaic

Two years ago I asked 30 poets to record one of their poems for Bookology‘s Poetry Mosaic feature. It was an undertaking … with fabulous results. I am grateful to all of the poets who contributed to this project. We’ll do it again. I have loved poetry since my second grade teacher read poems aloud each day and challenged us to write our own poetry. I hope you find joy in reading and writing poems. Listen to the Poetry Mosaic contributors to spark your day.

Poetry Mosaic with Charles Ghigna

Day #135: The Poetry of Puppetry

The Poetry of Puppetry! A roomful of enrapt children listened to the poetry of Langston Hughes, Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, and many more poets read by a caterpillar, a polar bear in a refrigerator, a talking wall, a mail snail (oh, the delight of receiving mail), and other characters brought to life by the Loki Puppet Players at St. Paul’s Central Library. I am grateful for the gifts that talented librarian Kim Faurot and her fellow puppeteers share with all of us. They’re performing this show three more times in April. If you’re near St. Paul, you’ll want to go (and maybe bring a child or two with you).

The Poetry of Puppetry II at the St. Paul Central Library, St. Paul, MN

Day #53: e.e. cummings

Poetry has always sung to me, ever since I first read it in Highlights magazine at the dentist’s office. (Odd that I remember that so clearly.) Later, I asked the school librarian if poetry was available in books. Poetry felt like treasure to me, something exalted above mere words.

In high school, I encountered e.e. cummings’ poetry, which felt closest to the heart. Considered an avant garde poet, he usually wrote without capital letters and often without punctuation and his syntax was outside the norm, all of which appealed to my teen self. “At the time of his death, September 3, 1962, he was the second most widely read poet in the United States, after Robert Frost.” (poets.org) A complicated and controversial person, I am grateful for e.e. cummings’ poetry, which still causes me to stop, savor, consider, and wonder.

“i thank You God for most this amazing
day for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes”

from “i thank You God for most this amazing” (1950)