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.
I have swallowed the moon. She lies
in my stomach a lost pearl.
And when I laugh
the tide groans
fireflies dash themselves against
My eyes have turned milk white.
Pale light spills over my teeth
and still I laugh! A Roaring-Lunatic-
Freight-Train-Laugh! sending rivers
over banks and old people
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
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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