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Friday, April 6, 2012

National Poetry Month

It's April and that means that it's National Poetry Month, which offers a good excuse to read and share poems that we enjoy. One of my favorite poems is "Frost at Midnight" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge is best known as one half of the dynamic duo that wrote Lyrical Ballads, published in 1798, that kicked off the Romantic movement (in England at least). "Frost at Midnight" is often referred to as a "conversational poem." And, by 19th century standards, it's very talky.

In the poem, the speaker (ie Coleridge) is sitting alone at midnight. Everyone is asleep and he's holding a baby in his arms.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
This is a very quiet and reflective poem. Coleridge is trying to capture a mood and his passing thoughts in this moment. The speaker reflects on his past, but also has high hopes for his child's future.
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes!
I appreciate how personal and intimate the poem is. We experience someone working through their fears and concerns. The poem doesn't just offer up canned wisdom or pithy statements. When poetry is good, this is what it does best--makes us think and reflect both on the poem, but also on ourselves.

What does good poetry do, in your opinion? I'd love to know!

Don't forget about the...

Poetry Scavenger Hunt

Bring your kids to the second floor and take part in the Poetry Scavenger Hunt. Find the poems and win prizes!

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