poetry friday roundup is here!

“You are as welcome as the flowers in May.” ~ Charles Macklin

Did you know May is National Strawberry Month? Please help yourself to some berries and a ginger shortbread cookie.

 

Hello and Happy May! Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup.

It’s a new month — the month of flowers, buzzing bees, birds building nests, and nature-loving free spirits dancing around a maypole with gay abandon (are you one of them)? 😀

 

Phoebe Wahl (2014)

 

I loved May Day as a child. We wore muumuu and lei to school, and in fifth grade, we learned the maypole dance for the school program. So fun to see all those colored streamers weave together.

Here are two short poems in celebration of this lovely month. Hope your days ahead are full of joy with lots of time to savor the blossoming beauty.

*

 

“Vilma Picking Lilacs” by Tavik František Šimon (1910)

 

MAY NIGHT
by Sara Teasdale

The spring is fresh and fearless
and every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing,
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.

*

 

“Field of Flowers” by Jo Grundy

 

FROM THE BOOK OF TIME
by Mary Oliver

I rose this morning early as usual, and went to my desk.
But it’s spring,

and the thrush is in the woods,
somewhere in the twirled branches, and he is singing.

And so, now, I am standing by the open door.
And now I am stepping down onto the grass.

I am touching a few leaves.
I am noticing the way the yellow butterflies
move together, in a twinkling cloud, over the field.

And I am thinking: maybe just looking and listening
is the real work.

Maybe the world, without us,
is the real poem.

~ from The Leaf and the Cloud (De Capo Press, 2001)

*

 

Ben Giles (2013)

 

Now, please leave your links with the dashing Mr Linky below.  Enjoy all the poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week, and as Kahlil Gibran once said, “Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”

*

 

 

*

 

💚 A SUITCASE OF SEAWEED & MORE GIVEAWAY WINNER! 💜

Thanks to all for your heartfelt comments and condolences about my dad’s passing. I enjoyed hearing about how your parents met, as well as your thoughts about race relations in our country.

Just so happens there were four Michelles among all the beautiful and brilliant commenters. Though M. Random Integer Generator was starry-eyed over all of them, he managed (with great difficulty) to select just one Michelle to win Janet’s book. And she is:

🌺 MICHELLE TURNER OF GOURMANDISTAN! 🌷

🎉 CONGRATULATIONS, MICHELLE! 🎈

Please send along your snail mail address so we can get the book out to you lickety split!

*

 


Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

an e.e. cummings poem for april

“Then it was spring; and in spring anything may happen. Absolutely anything.” ~ E. E. Cummings

“Bouquet in White Vase,” by E. E. Cummings (1947)

 

Spring, April, Poetry Month: a welcome trifecta of hope, beauty and possibilities. It’s a time of birdsong, thoughtful reading, invention, and above all, celebration. We celebrate and marvel at words, which, according to Wordsworth, can capture “the breathings of your heart.”

Nobody does Spring better than my favorite poet E. E. Cummings. It’s fitting that my first encounter with Cummings was his iconic “in-Just/spring” —  I remember meeting the “little lame balloonman” in high school and I haven’t been the same since.

In college, his “sweet spring” was on continuous loop as I read, read, read, wrote, wrote, wrote, and learned how to learn:

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

As a young teacher, I shared “Spring is like a perhaps hand” and “O sweet spontaneous” with my students. We discussed the inherent musicality of language, with Cummings the prime example of a poet who reveled in experimentation and innovation. Words are living, breathing entities, after all — why not make them sing?

Continue reading