Friday, April 1, 2011

National Poetry Month: 30 New Poems--Poem the First

Welcome to National Poetry Month! After giving this much thought, I've decided that sharing a poem that's new to me each day during the month would be a good way to spread the joy of poetry. If it's new to me, there's a good chance that it's new to the 8 people per day who read this blog. (While we're on the topic, what better time than now to subscribe or follow us! Let's boost that number to double digits!!!)

So our first new poem comes via the poem-a-day email...

by Marilyn Krysl

Looking back now, I see 
I was dispassionate too often, 
dismissing the robin as common, 
and now can't remember what 
robin song sounds like. I hoarded
my days, as though to keep them 
safe from depletion, and meantime 
I kept busy being lonely. This 
took up the bulk of my time, 
and I did not speak to strangers 
because they might be boring, 
and there were those I feared 

would ask me for money. I was
clumsy around the confident, 
and the well bred, standing on 
their parapets, enthralled me,
but when one approached, I
fled. I also feared the street's 
down and outs, anxious lest 
they look at me closely, and 
afraid I would see their misery. 

I feared my father who feared 
me and did not touch me, 
which made me more afraid. 
My mother feared him too, 
and as I grew to be like him, 
she became afraid of me also. 
I kept busy avoiding dangers 
of many colors, fleeing from 
those with whom I had much 

in common.

Read the rest of the poem here.

I hope you find the images and descriptive language of this poem as enchanting as I do. And, of course, the perfection of the ending just makes this poem.

The theory behind this Poetry Month series is that there are so many wonderful poems out there that we aren't aware of. I want to at least spend the next 30 days sharing poems that might have gone undiscovered and that might strike a chord with you in a way that might make you want to pass it along, either to friends, students, or loved ones.

So sit back, relax, (subscribe!), and enjoy the wonders of National Poetry Month.

And how apropos that the first day of National Poetry Month falls on a Poetry Friday! Check out the roundup hosted by The Poem Farm. It's destined to be the most exciting roundup of the year, for sure.


  1. Wow...this poem really touched me on so many levels - what a wise poem, really. Thank you! And yes, I'll be checking in to see what other treasures you dig up this month of poetry.

  2. This is about the third time I've seen this poem out and about recently! It has touched a chord with lots of people. I went to Wickipedia and looked up "sutra":

    "...literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula) or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. It is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew (these words, including Latin suere and English to sew, all ultimately deriving from PIE *siH-/syuH- 'to sew'), as does the medical term "suture."

    In Hinduism sutra denotes a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic statements, generally using various technical terms. This literary form was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural and scientific study (Sanskrit: svādhyāya). Since each line is highly condensed, another literary form arose in which commentaries (Sanskrit: bhāṣya) on the sutras were added, to clarify and explain them.[1]"

    Interesting, eh?