Archive for April, 2012

National Poetry Month

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Happy April, and Happy National Poetry Month!  To celebrate this awesome month, my students are starting off each class period by reading a poem of their choosing.  I directed them to, my favorite poetry website, to begin their search for poems to bring in. is sixteen years old this month and is doing fun things to celebrate its “Sweet Sixteen”–fun! To join in, I’ve compiled a list of sixteen poems that I’ve enjoyed in my life. Next to each poem, I jotted one takeaway or “summary” to give you an idea of what the poems are about, so if the title, author, and/or topic piques your interest, give it a google and give it a read!

1. “Sadie and Maud,” by Gwendolyn Brooks – on following your own path in life
2. “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” by Walt Whitman – on persistence and patience
3. “O Me! O Life!” also by Walt Whitman – on the meaning of life
4. “For Those Who Need a True Story,” by Tara Betts – on survival
5. “One Art,” by Elizabeth Bishop – on the art of losing
6. “Dublin Made Me,” by Donagh McDonagh – on the pride of your roots
7. “Age Looking Back at Its Youth,” John M. Ridland – the electricity of youth
8. “If Thou Must Love Me,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning – on love
9. “One Boy Told Me,” Naomi Shihab Nye – on fresh perspective and questioning
10. “Why Are Your Poems So Dark?” by Linda Pastan – on poetry’s inspiration
11. “Love the Wild Swan,” by Robinson Jeffers – on freedom
12. “On Turning Ten,” by Billy Collins – on leaving childhood
13. “Like You,” by Roque Dalton – on human connection
14. “On the Death of a Colleague,” by Stephen Dunn – on the inevitability of death
15. “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” by John Donne – on the strength of true love
16. Number sixteen on this list is reserved for some of the poetry submissions I got for the first issue of  Killing the Angel.  They were fantastic, and I can’t wait to make the first issue acceptances final and write those poets to let them know how great they are!  Who knows, maybe those poems will be on your top sixteen list when you read them this summer…