Sunday, April 01, 2012

April is the cruellest month . . . . National Poetry Month

The Waste Land

by T.S. Eliot

"Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi
 in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σιβυλλα
 τι θελεις; respondebat illa: αποθανειν θελω."

For Ezra Pound
il miglior fabbro.

I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
 Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
 Memory and desire, stirring
 Dull roots with spring rain.
 Winter kept us warm, covering
 Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
 A little life with dried tubers.

Thus begins arguably the greatest poem of the 20th century, or possibly an century (follow the link in the title to read whole amazing poem - and read "The Hollow Men" as well, its companion piece).

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is a poem by Mark Strand. This form is called a prose poem for those who have never seen this form.

The Everyday Enchantment of Music
by Mark Strand

A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound, which was polished until it became music. Then the music was polished until it became the memory of a night in Venice when tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty home of a heart in trouble. Then suddenly there was sun and the music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the memory of what happened after Venice would begin, and what happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would also begin.

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