“Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.” Dennis Gabor
National Poetry Month is around the corner. My act of celebration is small … my love for poetry unmeasurable … and to express it I’ve compiled one small and final list.
Picking the poems is, of course, a very subjective task and a matter of personal taste … so please feel free to add to my list.
Hope Is A Thing With Feathers
by Emily Dickinson
Hope is a thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings a tune without words
And never stops at all.
And sweetest, in the gale, is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That keeps so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet, never, in extremity
It ask a crumb of me.
by Edgar Alan Poe
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then—in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Photos credit: Emily Dickenson Created by William C. North, Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign; Edgar Alan Poe Portrait; Maya Angelou reciting her poem, "On the Pulse of Morning", at President Clinton's inauguration--all photos are from Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.