It’s National Poetry Month Again

This being National Poetry Month, I’m reprinting some past  posts on poetry, that forgotten art most of us leave behind forever once we leave school, perhaps because we were forced to memorize Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” in 8th grade English.

Oh, well. . . Get your poetry party on  with a list of booze-related poems  here.  Some fine stuff in the list, but it somehow ignores what may be the grandest poetry/booze mashup (sour mashup?) ever written,  Housman’s “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff,” with such immortal lines as

Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:

Here’s a link to this great poem. I’ll have more to say about “Terence” in my  forthcoming memoir of poetic tippling, tentatively titled Down in Lovely Muck.

Three years ago at this time, I did an NPR/KERA radio piece in which I bemoaned my declining interest in poetry and vowed to go looking for its charms again. Here’s what I said at the time. (I recommend listening rather than reading the copy.)

OK. I didn’t strictly keep my promise–some weeks I read one poem, some weeks five, some none–but I did put poetry back on my mental radar screen.

As National Poetry Month slips away, it’s time to revisit “April Inventory,”  W. D. Snodgrass’ lovely  poem about aging, self-knowledge, and the elusive promise of renewal.  A poem to ponder here.

Want more great poetry? Check out Two Years Ago on MUSE MACHINE

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