{national poetry month, HUZZAH!}

EVERY YEAR, I think, “Oh, I have too much work to do to participate in this!” And yet, EVERY YEAR, here I am – clicking through blogs, reading, commenting, sighing deliciously. The excitement for National Poetry Month is contagious. Poetry Geeking is infectious. I can’t help but take part!

The Princesses are all participating in various ways – Liz and Andi did haiku last year, and both Liz and Andi will reprise that, as they are pretty much the Haiku Queens of our group. Kelly is combining yoga, tai chi and poetry in innovative ways, and Sara is poetry-ing away with Laura, who continues her consistent poetry exercises of “15 Words or Less” poems, based on a picture, and her newest venture, “Writing After Reading, which is a thought-provoking series of discussions and prompts. Instead of interviews this time around, Tricia is hitting the teaching angle, and highlighting a poem, a theme, a book, or a poet every day and suggesting ways to make poetry a regular part of life in the classroom.

Other poetry peeps involved are the great Gregory K., who is also fundraising for a poetry crusade called Poetry: Spread the Word!, which would make the poetry celebration last for much longer than a month! I’m excited to go over and contribute and cheer him on! Reprising the Alphabet Soup Poetry Potluck is the very dear Jama K. Rattigan. My cousin, Mary Lee Hahn, is going to write a poem a day in honor of National Poetry Month. She’s also playing a QR Code poetry game, which is utterly leaving my iPhone-less self in the dust. (Oh, well. It’s good to have cousins who are smarter than me.) David Elzey is doing Burma Shave poetry/twitku – you’ll have to read to find out exactly what that means!

What’s MY contribution going to be? Well, it will probably be limited to Fridays, but I have a few poems to share — poems which were written as part of a Language Arts project for Oakwood School in Hollywood, in response to MARE’S WAR. I’ll share a few lines from a few poems — and talk about how I feel they fit with what MARE’S WAR is all about.

Meanwhile, here’s my little Poetry Friday contribution for today. It matches my mood pretty well – I’m grateful for the twelve pages I wrote yesterday, the late afternoon sun that, after a morning of rain actually gave Tech Boy a mild sunburn on the way home (hah! You know we haven’t seen the sun in awhile for THAT to happen – he’s paper-white, poor boy), the earworm from the Rossini piece we just sang (Qui Tollis, if you want to know), the wind gusts that rattled the windows and provided an interesting sideways flight effect for the pigeons and gulls, the rain across the panes — just small things which keep me going. Te Deum.

Te Deum

by Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

Glasgow Merchant City D 7

The Latin words, “Tē Deum” translate literally as “You, God,” and is generally the form for a praise poem. This one is less religious and more spiritual than some, if that makes sense, and I hope it prompts you into your own simple statements of gratitude.

For those following, the Poetry Friday round-up is today hosted by Amy @ The Poem Farm, where second-grade haiku (Petetry!) is on tap today, and where there will be poetry all month long.

9 Replies to “{national poetry month, HUZZAH!}”

  1. Love this poem, Tanita–just recently I had a day where for some reason I was more able than usual to just take in the beauty of small things. I wish I could do that fully all the time! The common sunshine, the common table…good things!

    Thanks for highlighting some of the Poetry Month celebrations. I’m so behind. But you’ve inspired me to click around this weekend, at least!

    Sunshiney hugs!

  2. There’s that fantastic girl with the excellent coat again!

    When Lucas and I were walking to the bus stop this morning, we saw a tree with green on it, leaves just starting to peek out from their buds. It is forty degrees today, though, so they may think better of it.

    I love all the energy in the blog world, and I love what a big deal everyone makes about poetry month. I’m going to talk to a group of fourth graders next week about books they might like to read for fun, and I have a couple poetry books in the pile.

    1. We got up to FIFTY-FOUR today, briefly, but that felt like all kinds of victory, so I’ll take it.

      I’d often thought when I was in school that we needed a real holiday between Valentine’s Day and the end of school — one that we were AT school for, since Pesach celebrations are home-based, and nobody is at school for Easter Sunday — and National Poetry Month is, I think, it. What better reason to bust out the cupcakes and the classroom decorations.

  3. Love the praise poem, and expressing gratitude for the multitude of small things in each day we are often too rushed/distracted to acknowledge. Looking forward to the poems you’ll be sharing this month! 🙂

  4. Hey, Cuz, thanks for the shout-out! And thanks again for the calendar — I am enjoying a year of Glasgow views!

    I love this poem. It spoke to me last June when school was out, but it’s good to hear it again on the brink of spring when the struggle is still on. It seems like a whole different poem.

    1. It really is amazing how meaning changes – it sleeted earlier in this week, and then hailstones piled up on my windowsill. The wind was gusting in the 50 mph stage, and I was thinking, “Aaaargh!” And then, it calmed down for an afternoon, and I was just grateful that though this progress toward the new season is three steps forward, two steps back, that there IS movement…

  5. YES! Thanks be to God for those little bouts of sunshine and work gotten done. I am looking forward to your Friday Poetry posts! How nice for you to have those high school poets responding to Mare’s War. Cool!

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