April is National Poetry Month. Each year around this time, I picture all the world’s words flowing and swirling together forming new relationships and floating back to us through interesting new pathways – poetry.
Please enjoy this post while sipping a soothing cup of tea, savoring the richness of a delicious, dark cup of coffee, or relaxing with a nice round glass of red wine. If now is not a good time, browse through later this weekend and then make a date with yourself to return and listen to a least one poem a week for the rest of the month – or even the year!
Here’s one of my favorites, which I’ve mentioned before; When the burning begins is by Patricia Smith and is about a girl and her Daddy making cornbread. I see the room, smell the burning, and feel her emotions. I think I like it so much because I heard it before I read it; I truly believe poems are best out loud, just like gratitude letters and Dr. Seuss.
The Favorite Poem Project, is amazing. Americans recite their favorite poems and you learn a bit of back story along with hearing them share. These slices of humanity never fail to fill my heart, today I listened to “We Are Cool” read by John Ulrich a 20-year-old student at the time of the reading. His description of the love his family shares with him is worth the listen; the poem seems to be such a small part of his life, and yet it is the thing that gave him hope.
To hear other poems, check out:
- BBC Arts and Poetry also offers poems for your listening pleasure
- The Cortland Review is an online literary review in streaming audio where poets read their works. Their “Poets in Person” videos are wonderful, I admit that I am often more intrigued by poets than their poems, the videos feed my literary voyeuristic tendencies.
For poetry with a twist go to the Poetry Foundation’s “Chicago Poetry Tour”, where the history of Chicago is shared out-loud in verse. (You can download this little wonder, print their map and walk through the streets or you can do as I did, and armchair travel your way around the town.)
And, no virtual poetry tour would be complete without mentioning NPR’s poetry section, where poetry based stories abound.
Please take a moment to share your favorite poem or poetry site with Wishful Thinking Works readers; we’re listening.