Word flow

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:

  • Poets.org
  • 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.

If you prefer to read rather than to listen to poetry, visit “The Poetry Foundation” to find a poem of your liking. Or, stop by PoemHunter.org to use words and stanzas to recover poetic memories.

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.

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