Despite the soaring pollen counts and the jungle that used to be my yard, I love spring.
I love walking outside and seeing a bunch of tiny daffodils peeking through pine straw. I love chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, little kidders in their church finery, with Easter baskets and bonnets. I love the explosion of azaleas blooming at The Masters and the excitement of the highs and lows on that Sunday as golfers make a run for the green jacket. I love digging out my sandals from the back of the closet, and sitting on my deck, reading (and sneezing) in the sunshine. There’s something poetic in the air when spring arrives.
I know booksellers and teachers and poets and the like got together and chose April for National Poetry Month ostensibly because it was available and people could celebrate with a high degree of participation. But that sounds awfully stuffy and dry, doesn’t it? I’d rather think it’s because April is right there in the midst of spring when the earth is coming alive again, just like words come alive in a good poem. Rebirth, renewal, rejoicing!
I hope your April has been glorious and that you enjoyed a poem or two. If you haven’t got round to the poetry, here’s a list of 10 Classic Spring Poems Everyone Should Read and I liked Dr. Oliver Tearle’s choices. I have to admit that it’s The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot that always comes to mind in spring but only because of that well-known first line…”April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land…” Maybe in an English Lit college class long ago, a professor made me read it, possibly explained it, but it’s just that line that’s stuck with me.
I don’t believe April is the cruellest month; maybe one day I’ll write a poem titled “April Sings of Hope” but until then, I’ll keep writing at the Muffin. This month’s offerings, “New Tricks” about learning my lesson when working on novel edits, and “I Get By with a Little Help from the Pros” where the advice therein is great whether you’re a writer or new car owner.
Which reminds me…I need to figure out where the button is that will spray my windshield. It’s a pollen-y mess!
Cathy and Libs ♥ (who is on the prowl for snakes because yeah, April is Snake Month, too)
An exciting day here in Cathy C. Hall World ’cause I won a book!
I tore into the envelope and then I…well, I just stopped in mid-rip because the book is so gorgeous.
And I wanted to tear into the book right then and there but I stopped again because…well, it’s Irene Latham and her wonderful poetry and that’s something that one doesn’t tear into. One pauses and finds a nice spot–say, the sunny deck outside the kitchen–and then one sits and drinks in the poetry.
Ahhhh. And then one reads the interesting facts about Antarctica and feels snobbishly superior to all those folks who think they know Antarctica. Finally, one sighs and goes back to the beginning to read again. (One might even sit there pondering when one’s kidders will have kidders so that one can read wonderful books of poetry to said kidders…)
Anyway, if you have kidders or grandkidders, treat yourself to When the Sun Shines on Antarctica by Irene Latham. ‘Course, my book is extra special because I won it!
I almost don’t want to tell you how I won it because then maybe you’ll win the next book that I want, but Sheila’s so generous…so, okay. Get yourself over to Sheila Renfro’s blog where she gives away at least one wonderful book a month. You’ll find picture books, middle grade books, writing books…well, just a bounty of books! All you have to do to win is…
Hmmmm. I think you’ll just have to zip over and find out for yourself. I mean, I don’t want to make it too easy for you. After all, I’ve got my fingers crossed for this month’s book!
Whether you pen poetry or picture books or anything in between, understanding rhyme helps you write better. If you can get a good grasp of meter and beat and rhythm in your writing–whether you actually rhyme or not–your words will sing on the page.
But most of us fools just rush in where angels (and very experienced writers) fear to tread. That is to say, we write a rhyming poem or story and think, “Wheee! I’m brilliant!”
Sometimes, we are. Most of the time, we are not. And this is the royal “we” I’m using as I’m including my high-falootin’ self in this group. Honestly, I’ve always loved poetry. I loved poetry when I was just a wee, little child (A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES was one of my favorite books!) and I read books of poetry through my elementary school years, to high school, to college and beyond. I have a book three inches thick of favorite poetry I’ve copied down that I still thumb through (and it includes my own poetry as well. Um…I skip those dreadful verses).
The point is, friends, loving verse and understanding how verse works is not the same. So if you’re way past your schooling years and those boring classes where you had to read poetry and mark scansion and such (which you totally never really got, anyway), you might be ready to look at poetry again and perhaps fall in love with verse (and improve your own). Here’s a good place to start: For Better For Verse.
And then you’ll be ready in April when RhyPiBoMo comes around.
Or maybe just ready to take a second look at that poem you wrote and thought was brilliant. You know, before you actually send it out into the world.