Friday, April 20, 2007

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, me thinks how sweetly flows
The liquefaction of her clothes.
- Robert Herrick

If that last line doesn't help you see, really see, the drape and flow of silk as it moves, I don't know what will.

This is both National Poetry Month and National Library Week. What better time to go to the library and check out a book of poetry? Here are some suggestions for starters:

Good Poems, selected by Garrison Keillor

Alabanza, by Martin Espada

The Golden Treasury of Poetry, selected by Louis Untermeyer

Anything by the Elizabethans, including the Psalms in the King James version. Anything by Gary Snyder or William Blake or John Keats.

We live in a time when words and their power for truth are sadly debased, in the media, in advertising, in political "spin". Poets can show us what is really real about ourselves - about our world- in a turn of phrase, a flash of insight. This is important. What may be even more important: by exposing us to true words they can help innoculate us against the shabby, the dishonest, the slack untruths and half truths that fly around our ears and swarm in front of our eyes. Poets can wake us up.

So go to the library.

1 comment:

Frank said...

And in my case, Go to the library and ask them why I'm being fined over $50 for books I returned a month ago... hmmm...