April is the month in which I was birthed into the world. It is also, I found out this year, National Poetry Writing Month. And I, much to my disbelief, entered a poetry contest for #NaPoWriMo through Local Gems Poetry Press. 30 poems on a theme in 30 days, the winner gets his or her “chapbook” published – I’m actually pretty excited. Not because I’m confident that I’ll win, but because I’m being forced to be productive and to compile and edit a manuscript by a deadline. I hate deadlines. But… they are exactly what a procrastinator needs – what I need. And, if I don’t win the contest, I will self publish the poetry as an e-book. I wrote it, so hold me to it! It’s time to take a bigger risk than blogging.
So, since I’m busy trying to write poetry that’s at least halfway good, I’m sharing some of my favorite poetry, which is truly good, for this week’s post. The first poem is one that you probably know and the second will probably remind you of someone that you know. Number three is, I think, my very first favorite poem from middle school days and the last bit of verse that I’m sharing says just about everything to me in just a few lines. Without further ado, I defer to the true poets:
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
“Still to be neat, still to be dressed”
Still to be neat, still to be dressed,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed;
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art’s hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th’adulteries of art.
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
There Will Come Soft Rains
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
from Auguries of Innocence
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
Featured Image: Me, at eight years old, dressed up as an old-fashioned girl and pretending to write with a “quill”
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.