"National Poetry Month"

Emily Dickinson

I can't believe it's already the last week of April. This month has just flown by! So this is my last National Poetry Month post, and I couldn't well forget Emily Dickinson (actually, I feel like there are a lot of poets I wish I could spotlight... one month of poetry just isn't enough!). She's one of my favorites, I think mostly for how prolific she is--it seems like there's always a poem of hers I haven't yet read.

Here's one of my favorites--in fact, I'm scheming a tattoo inspired by this poem... but that's a post for another time!

HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;       
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;       
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I hope you've enjoyed these weekly poems as much as I have, and I encourage you to make poetry a part of your everyday life--even after National Poetry Month is over!

Tie Your Heart to Mine, Love

I love reading poetry in other languages. Or rather, I guess I should say I love reading poetry in Spanish, since that's the only other language I can read. I think there's something magical in the fact that beauty, love, sadness, death, are all universal, and that the same feelings can be evoked even in translation. I love that every translation is a little different, and yet it can be the same poem.

Anyway, here's a poem by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, in Spanish and English. I think it's lovely.

De noche, amada, amarra tu corazón al mío
De noche, amada, amarra tu corazón al mío
y que ellos en el sueño derroten las tinieblas
como un doble tambor combatiendo en el bosque
contra el espeso muro de las hojas mojadas.

Nocturna travesía, brasa negra del sueño
interceptando el hilo de las uvas terrestres
con la puntualidad de un tren descabellado
que sombra y piedras frías sin cesar arrastrara.

Por eso, amor, amárrame el movimiento puro,
a la tenacidad que en tu pecho golpea
con las alas de un cisne sumergido,

para que a las preguntas estrelladas del cielo
responda nuestro sueño con una sola llave,
con una sola puerta cerrada por la sombra.


Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.

Night crossing: black coal of dream
that cuts the thread of earthly orbs
with the punctuality of a headlong train
that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.

Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,
to the grip on life that beats in your breast,
with the wings of a submerged swan,

So that our dream might reply
to the sky's questioning stars
with one key, one door closed to shadow.

In the Library

In this post, National Library Week meets National Poetry Month. And I die and go to heaven.

Here's a poem.

THOUGHTS IN A LIBRARY. by Anne Lynch Botts

Speak low -- tread softly through these halls;
Here genius lives enshrined, --
Here reign, in silent majesty,
The monarchs of the mind.

A mighty spirit-host they come,
From every age and clime;
Above the buried wrecks of years,
They breast the tide of Time.

And in their presence-chamber here,
They hold their regal state,
And round them throng a noble train,
The gifted and the great.

Oh, child of Earth! when round thy path
The storms of life arise,
And when thy brothers pass thee by,
With stern, unloving eyes, --

Here shall the Poets chant for thee
Their sweetest, loftiest lays;
And Prophets wait to guide thy steps
In wisdom's pleasant ways.

Come, with these God-anointed kings,
Be thou companion here;
And in thy mighty realm of mind,
Thou shalt go forth a peer!

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, I'm going to post a poem every Tuesday.
If you'd like to join up and do the same on your blog or Twitter, please do! Leave a link in the comments!

I'm going to start with my very favorite poem in the world. It's perfect for this time of year. It fills me with thankfulness and joy and springtime.