April is National Poetry Month: Heart to Heart

 Since I discovered Heart to Heart edited by Jan Greenberg at a bookstore five years ago it has been a favorite anthology. The book is a celebration of twentieth century art which inspired the collection of poems. Forty-three American poets were commissioned to each choose a work of art then write a poem about it. The book displays the colorful works of art next to the composed poems. I couldn't pick a favorite, but here is one that I have used with my students as a way to use powerful word choice to depict the American experience.  I love the lines " Spread an easel of colors... On fifty pieces of scissored history" . Lovely imagery.  Enjoy.

by J. Patrick Lewis

Brash canvas,
Bleeding borders,
Kindled calm,
This is oxymoronicamerica,
Forged out of iron and lace
By people strapping and raw,
Who wrestled and pinned history
To the map.

Happy as a circus boy,
Spirited as an outlaw,
Rough as a gandy dancer,
This continent of tinted steel
Spread an easel of colors
On fifty pieces of scissored history-
And painted itself a self.

1 comment:

  1. Love the poem! I had to take a second look at the painting before it registered, perfect poem created for this piece of art.


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