Monday, March 21, 2016

World Poetry Day

It seems that every cause, idea, group, disease, etc., has its own special designated day, week, month, etc., in our modern world. Did you know, for example, that today is National French Bread Day? Also, National Common Courtesy and National Fragrance Day? Indeed it is!

But some things are so important that they get not just a "national" day but a "world" day. And today is one of those, too. It is World Poetry Day.

This is an annual event, celebrated every year on March 21. Why that particular date? Maybe because this is the time of year that brings out the poet in all of us.

To celebrate this special day, here are just a few favorite lines from favorite poems. 


Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver - The Summer Day

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley - Invictus

He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest.
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song.
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
W.H. Auden - Funeral Blues

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
W.B. Yeats - The Second Coming

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas - Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all
Emily Dickinson - "Hope" Is the Thing With Feathers

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain.
Edna St. Vincent Millay - Time Does Not Bring Relief 

'Men work together,' I told him from the heart,
'Whether they work together or apart.'
Robert Frost - The Tuft of Flowers

to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go
Mary Oliver - In Blackwater Woods

As it has been said:
Love and a cough
cannot be concealed.
Even a small cough.
Even a small love.
Anne Sexton - Small Wire

We were so wholly one I had not thought
That we could die apart. I had not thought
That I could move,—and you be stiff and still!
That I could speak,—and you perforce be dumb!
I think our heart-strings were, like warp and woof
In some firm fabric, woven in and out;
Your golden filaments in fair design
Across my duller fibre.
Edna St. Vincent Millay - Interim

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth - I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud 

10 comments:

  1. Lots of memorable poetry, Dorothy. Some I memorized long ago, one I set to music, beautiful words stir the soul.

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    1. They do indeed. We all need poetry in our lives.

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  2. This is what great poetry is all about--you've touched my heart with some of these lines today, especially the ones about love and loss. And of course, Wordsworth--I think of these lines every spring when the daffodils begin blooming. I would add my favorite lines from Frost: "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep/But I have miles to go before I sleep/ And miles to go before I sleep." That always feels like my mantra, especially right now as I look at all the garden work I need to get done:)

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    1. That's an excellent one, Rose. Thanks for adding it.

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  3. My two favorite poets are here: Edna St Vincent Millay and W B Yeats (I am reading him this month for Irish Reading Month.) Last week I finished Mary Oliver's A Thousand Mornings, reading a poem a day. Just in case you didn't know it was your weekly poetry posts that got me reading poetry again. Thank You!!

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    1. Oh, Judy, I am honored that my posts had that effect. Thank you!

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  4. Beautiful post, Dorothy! Poetry stirs the soul. That reminds I have to finish reading Borges and start a new poetry book.

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    1. Which reminds me that I should have included a quote from Borges among my favorites. So many great poets...

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  5. Enjoyed this thank you for sharing

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