April is National Poetry Month Check out Poets.org

Poets.org is a really neat website.  I don't usually review websites, but this one is worth a look, if you like poetry.  Poets and poems are searchable.  For instance, type in "Lorca" and you'll get a great little bio and list of Federico Garcia Lorca's works.  Clickable, of course.

Most of my students say they don't like poetry, but it's really not true.  When we first began reading Homer's Odyssey we discussed the tradition of oral poetry.  The conversation led to music, lyrics and how those choruses just stick in your head.  Other than, Call me Ishmael, how much prose can you recite?  But poetry? We have lines and lines of it at our fingertips, even if we aren't conscious of it.  A rose by any other name; I sing the body electric; Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well; How do I love thee?; Water, water, every where; Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?; Death be not proud, though some have called thee; To sleep, perchance to dream; Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred; Love is faithful and kind; Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil; The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea In a beautiful pea-green boat... and so, so many more wonderful poems, that swim about in our memories and anchor us to what is beautiful in this world.

My students decided fairly quickly that it's much easier to remember poetry than it is to remember prose.  And they decided that Homer was a pretty smart guy.


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