Tag Archives: poetry

National Poem in Your Pocket Day

The majority of the day went by without my being aware that today is National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Of this heretofore unknown holiday the Academy of American Poets has this to say:

Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores.

Too late to participate in any event (though the availability of such events in my geographic location I find I doubt), I hereby share a favorite poem. The only difficulty, of course, is choosing only one.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant–

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased

With explanation kind

The Truth must dazzle gradually

Or every man be blind–

by Emily Dickinson


Spring, and Other Things

Storms came through last week bringing the spring precipitative trifecta of rain, hail, and snow; and then wind, lots of blustery wind. With every spring, I am reminded of how much I love the spring storm-skies: skies with clouds of different kinds stacked one layer upon another, fluffy white clouds above a storm cloud, and the sun breaking over it all. I love how you can be standing in sunshine under a patch of blue sky, surrounded by these clouds, and see approaching the darkness of rain, cloud descending all the way to earth in shafts of blue-gray darkness.

April is National Poetry Month, and because a friend reminded me just today, in fact, of the beauty of Gerard Manley Hopkins, I thought I would celebrate the spring storms and National Poetry Month by sharing this photo of a spring storm elsewhere (just a cell phone photo, but my amateurish attempts to capture the storm skies are futile and I frankly gave up this year), and a Hopkins poem about spring. Another time I’ll have to share more about Hopkins; a modern poet before there were modern poets.

Spring Thunderstorm Sky

Photo courtesy E. Buchanan

God’s Grandeur

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.


And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.