Children's poetry

As much as I like novels, poetry remains my first love. There's something magical about reading a good poem aloud, and hearing the musicality and meter in the language. 

 

There are many good poetry books to choose from. For instance, the Dr. Seuss books do a great job of showing kids how powerful alliteration, meter, and rhyme can be.

 

If your kids have outgrown Dr. Seuss, you might check out William Blake ("Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience") or Robert Frost ("Mending Wall," "Birches," and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening").

A Blurred Sagacity

I'm working on a collection of poetry called "A blurred sagacity." The phrase comes from one of my favorite poems, "Eros Turannos" (literally, tyrannic love) written by Edwin Arlington Robinson. I chose the title because it describes my own writing process: aspiring to clarity and wisdom, but often finding that words can conceal just as much as they reveal.

 

Here are a few poems from my collection:

Beauty needs companionship

 

Shakespeare found a summer’s day to win

affection both from fair and gentle youths

and ladies dark who held their light within.

Though his words did much to rival truth

and fed conceit to those not worth his rhyme,

your beauty needs no fawning proclamation,

false witness, nor the envy of Father Time;

it serves as herald to your angelic station.

 

But there is that which mirrors cannot hold.

I speak of Virtue, lady, and though unseen

remains untarnished as ethereal gold

or rivers running always clear and clean.

Beauty needs companionship to share her throne

for without Virtue, beauty walks alone.

Leviathan

 

I have swallowed the moon. She lies

in my stomach a lost pearl.

And when I laugh

the tide groans

werewolves shudder

fireflies dash themselves against

electric lamps.

 

My eyes have turned milk white.

Pale light spills over my teeth

                                                down

                                                           my

                                                                  chin

and still I laugh! A Roaring-Lunatic-

Freight-Train-Laugh! sending rivers

over banks and old people

under trees.

 

My mouth black as night sky.

 

But the moon has grown lonely

for her troupe of stars. She begins

to rise from my organ asylum, squeezing my chest,

my throat, still rising until my eyes are lamplights.

 

I giggle and light trickles out:

bubbles from a drowning man.

 

It is useless! I am mad

with laughter! My eyes incandescent craters

rolling loosely in sockets! My

bladder loosens with Mississippi impatience. My

sides tripling over. My

tears, My

 

moon is gone.

 

She has fled these throaty corridors

to take her place in Heaven’s industrial crown, and I

sweet I, can only watch her go.

Upon sitting next to a woman at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church

 

Her nut brown hair becomes my rosary.

Her eyes, a passion play in colored glass.

The culprit thread that slowly lets her hosiery

droop makes me stare in morning mass.

Her lips, a dying rose upon the snow.

Her nose, a flying buttress gracefully cast.

A wrinkle, now some paunch begins to show

below her eyes, revealing a sleepless past.

 

Her tiny hands hold fast the book of hymns,

her voice a symbol made of sounding brass.

She sings of flaming swords and cherubim

and thinks of herself instinctively last.

And now she seems an angel dressed in tweed:

a Christian martyr, were she asked to bleed.

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