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National Poetry Month and the Gift of Simplicity

Marion Charatan

Posted on April 7, 2020 16:53

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April is designated as National Poetry Month. Poetry can be defined as the fewest words to express the greatest level of emotions. Remember the words of Poet Laureate Maya Angelou 'still I rise.'

Maya Angelou was never an official US Poet Laureate. Although the gifted writer, singer, musician and civil rights activist was never listed as 'Poet Laureate' with the Library of Congress, many thought of her as such. 

Born on April, 4, 1928, Maya Angelou passed away in May of 2014. The anniversary just passed last Saturday on what would have been her 92nd birthday. This quote reinforces the depth of the poet's gift: "Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still l'll rise."

I remember the power of poetry from my early college days. I was somewhat of a sensitive kid and poetry was an escape for me — reading or writing it. 

When I was introduced to Norton's Anthology of Poetry, a whole new world opened up. I enjoyed reading contemporary artists but was also drawn to classic poets like Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Robert Frost or the edginess of Alan Ginsberg or soul of Langston Hughes

These artists, all of different times and circumstances, stress the need for us all to rise above adversity and embrace the human spirit. Now we need to do this more than ever. 

I appreciate the reflection of the sun on my living room blinds when I get up in the morning now — more than ever. Living, and hopefully surviving a worldwide pandemic gives us all pause to reflect on what is really important in life.

There are many online activities to join in with to honor National Poetry Month

And to acknowledge the significance of poetry, albeit not a great work of art, here's my own little ditty:

Here is a poem to lighten your spirits,

Til the threat drifts away

And the danger pivots

From distancing, masks, paranoia and tears

To sanitizer, toilet paper, wipes and jeers

A cross-section of humanity

Some great and some bad 

The visceral ugliness makes me so sad

Be safe, stay strong 

Don't give into fear

Words of kindness we need to hear

You will rise like a phoenix above a white cloud

Come back healthier and scream out loud

"I'm free we are safe — there's no more despair

In the arms of your family; in the wake of repair."

I wish everyone health, safety and brighter days ahead and encouragement reading some poetry. It's good for the soul.

Marion Charatan

Posted on April 7, 2020 16:53


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