4.01.2008

Celebrating National Poetry Month: Poem #1

"Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.Inaugurated by the Academy in April 1996, National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events." To learn more about National Poetry Month and a whole lot of other valuable information about poetry go to www.poets.org .


Today begins National Poetry Month. As I did last year, I will be posting a poem a day to celebrate the art and beauty of poetry. You can view thirty diverse poems in my April 2007 archives. I will introduce thirty new ones this year.
Today, as I continue to enjoy the quiet surrounding of Lake Chelan in central Washington state, this poem was very appropriate.
Lake Chelan
They call it regional, this relevance-
the deepest place we have: in this pool forms
the model of our land, a lonely one,
responsive to the wind. Everything we own
has brought us here: from here we speak.

The sun stalks among these peaks to sight
the lake down aisles, long like a gun;
a ferryboat, lost by a century, toots
for trappers, the pelt of the mountains
rinsed in the sun and that sound.


Suppose a person far off to whom this lake
occurs: told a problem, he might hear a word
so dark he drowns an instant, and stands dumb
for the centuries of his country and the suave
hills beyond the stranger’s sight.


Is this man dumb,
then, for whom Chelan lives
in the wilderness? On the street you’ve seen
someone like a trapper’s child pause,
and fill his eyes with some irrelevant flood-
a tide stops him, delayed in his job.


Permissive as a beach, he turns inland,
harks like a fire, glances through the dark
like an animal drinking, and arrives along that line
a lake has found far back in the hills
where what comes finds a brim gravity exactly requires.

William Stafford 1914-1993

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for reminding me. I'm going to a poetry symposium with my friend Mara next weekend, so I guess we'll be ringing the month in well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We're posting poems eveyday also!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I got that poster several weeks ago and was saving it for April. The poem/quote that's on it is great. I need to find my poster now and post the poem, don't I?! Thanks for reminding me!

    I'm enjoying your trip.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am glad to see all of you celebrating poetry. I have my poster ready to put up too Rondi. I love the poster this year... very catchy!
    dk, I'll be over to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't get my poster this year
    :O( so I was happy to see yours and will definitely stop by each day. Thank you, ambitious poet friend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. On a darker note, but poetry just the same, i've posted the first two parts of "The White House Torture Sonnets" here:

    http://concertobi.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

I always enjoy reading comments!