April is National Poetry Month: here’s what we read

National Poetry Month has over 24 years become a beloved literary celebration. Click “continue reading” to see a record of the Quechee Library’s daily poetry updates for April 2020.

Today’s Poets & ReaderLouise Gluck and Ellen Bryant Voight–read by Suzanne Brown: For our final April post, on a day which brings us closer to spring and to re-connection, Suzanne Brown, our VHC scholar for so many past book discussions and (one way or another) for new ones in coming months, reads  favorite poems from two former Vermont Poet Laureates.  To read more of Louise Gluck, continue reading below for the  April 5 post. Ellen Bryant Voigt, born on a Virginia farm and long a resident of Cabot, has said that “poetry does its work through music.” She writes clear but complex poetry with her devotion to the land and to family resonant.  Suzanne’s Voight selection comes from Kyrie, a volume of sonnets about the 1918 Flu Pandemic.  Here is Suzanne reading two poems.

April 29: Wendell Berry. The influence and continued inspiration provided by this Kentuckian, born in 1934, to the agrarian movement in this state and throughout the country, cannot be overstated.  Berry has his academic credentials as well as numerous publications including wonderful novels like Hannah Coulter and the Memory of Old Jack.  But informing all has been his traditional farming practice at the 117 acres he has tended back home since 1967.  It has led him to be an outspoken advocate for renewable land uses,  for environmental causes including climate change urgency and, with outspoken religious convictions, for pacifism. Consider these quotes from Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer:  “But the real products of any year’s work are the farmer’s mind and the cropland itself.  ..Make the human race a better head.  Make the world a better piece of ground.”  Listen to Berry read The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer in an interview with Bill Moyers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwopVR1hhMU

Get hands on his essays, his collected poems, his novels, but today read and listen again to Berry reciting one of his best known poems, The Peace of Wild Things. https://onbeing.org/poetry/the-peace-of-wild-things For more about this poet and farming activist read the review at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/feb/20/the-peace-of-wild-things-wendell-barnes-rich-harvest

To have a hint at his reach enjoy reading about Sterling College’s Wendell Berry Farming Program where 12 students from the Craftsbury, Vermont college can spend two years learning to farm sustainably:



April 28: Paul Muldoon:Called by a NY Times reviewer “one of the greatest poets of the past 100 years…who writes with such measured fury” , Muldoon can require work and attention of the reader. His poetry can seem “riddled” with puns and references. Or, he can simply draw one in with the ease of storyteller recalling an Irish boyhood with neighbors like Forty Coats (“layers are the secret, you know”). His village prized storytelling and his memories of that home, including his backyard and pig litters, are vivid.  In a reading some years ago in Concord, New Hampshire, this Yale and (formerly Oxford) professor included a poem featuring a round-about, prefacing that his family once made regular viewing of it for entertainment.  Muldoon was  witty and extroverted that evening, immediately engaging the room.  Meet him now through his voice where its rhythm turns the Hedgehog poem conversational:https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52430/hedgehog

The Loaf is another poem with which to be immediately delighted —and which leads one to be unsurprised by the poet’s love of pop and traditional music.  Friends and collaborator with Warren Zevon and Bruce Springstein, he has written opera libretti and played in bands. Find this poem at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47992/the-loaf

Investigate further Muldoon’s many faceted creativity, many rewards, and many volumes at his own website and with this Guardian article https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/mar/31/paul-muldoon-life-in-poetry.  For another poem today, go to As at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48341/as

April 27: Today’s poets: Amy Lowell & Walt Whitman:May is a few days away and May in New England means lilacs –whatever today’s snowy daffodils suggest.   The most famous lines about lilacs surely belong to the great Walt Whitman in his elegiac poem following the Civil War and Lincoln’s death: When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.  Yet Amy Lowell has her claim too.  Read her Lilacs for a marvelously descriptive look at what we have coming:  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42992/lilacs-56d221a873ff1

A flamboyant woman from a  prestigious family, Amy Lowell said of herself,  “God made me a business woman…and  I made myself a poet.”  More than for her writing of hundreds of poems, she was credited in her lifetime and today for advancing modern poetry for her peers. Born in 1874 and educated in the Brookline, Massachusetts  family estate with a 7000 volume library, she earned this description:  “Poet, propagandist, lecturer, translator, biographer, critic … her verve is almost as remarkable as her verse,” from poet Louis Untermeyer in  American Poetry since 1900.  She traveled often and far, mingling with names now considerably more famous than hers.  To read more about that life and that lesser renown, read The Garden by Moonlight followed by: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/69220/amy-lowell-the-garden-by-moonlight

This post can’t end without a suggestion to devote time to not only reading Walt Whitman but reading about his extraordinary life as a poet (credited with creating ‘free verse’), a humanist, a Civil War nurse,and  a journalist. Whitman wrote in the 1855 Leaves of Grass edition:The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it .  In the later Song of Myself, he indeed used first person narrative to portray the voice of “the common people”.

April 26: Margaret Atwood:Handmaid’s Tale, easily one of the celebrated novels of our time with its film version, is but one product from this most fertile, creative, Canadian mind.  Margaret Atwood, born in 1939, has written over 50 books, including three Booker Prize winners, graphic novels, criticism, and 15 volumes of poetry.  Pre-ordered for our fall collection already is Dearly,  a collection that addresses love, loss, passage of time–with some zombies and werewolves considered.  Atwood’s work jumps genres exploring everyday objects along with  bodies and minds in transitions. To enjoy her today, read Habitation at https://poets.org/poem/habitation 

February does perfectly as well since snow is forecast for this April evening.  If we but could chorus the final line:https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47787/february-56d2288025b1e

Her compelling personality draws one even closer in her 2015 reading at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/76995/variation-on-the-word-sleep

Then, to travel even while Staying in Place, simply listen to Italian Postcard Factory at https://poets.org/poem/italian-postcard-factory-audio-only

April 25: William Carlos Williams: As gardening season finally approaches, it is time to celebrate the poet best know for The Red Wheelbarrow: https://poets.org/poem/red-wheelbarrow William Carlos Williams, born in 1883, lived and practiced as a physician in New Jersey for most of his 79 years.  During that time he also became a memorable and influential poet seeking to write poetry that was uniquely American.  He used a more colloquial language for writing about the lives and circumstances of ordinary people.  Some of those poems were begun on prescription pads in minutes between patient visits.  He viewed poetry (and painting as well) as essential to a full life, best expressed in these famous lines from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower: “It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”

Williams was an influence for the Black Mountain School  and a mentor for Allen Ginsberg. His collaborations included those with the sculptor William Zorach and painters, especially his friend Charles Demuth.  Take a look at https://www.metmuseum.org/en/art/collection/search/488315

His contemporaries included T.S. Eliot and his good friend, Ezra Pound.  Meanwhile as they were concentrating fully on poetry, Williams earned this plaque at his New Jersey hospital: “We walk the wards that Williams walked.”  The following poem illustrates both the observations of that medical practice and his view that poetry should not be overly written, no more than funerals should be ostentatious:  https://poets.org/poem/tract

April 24: Billy Collins: Believer in poetry in public places and one of the biggest names in contemporary poetry, Billy Collins was U.S. Poet Laureate in 2001-2003 and remains one of the top 100 TED speakers of all time with this talk featuring five short animated films set to his poems: https://www.ted.com/talks/billy_collins_everyday_moments_caught_in_time?language=en

There is much humor in that talk and in many of his poems, but to best understand the depth also present we are grateful to our own Helen Clark (think Wrensong and Yellow House Media) for this reading of Days.

As this is a library post, we also favor Books.  Read that at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=37090

In closing, admire Collins’  humility and the wide variance of techniques employed by poets in their craft.  In referring to a comparison of his verse with that of Robert Frost, he said:   Compared to Frost, my poetry is like a bed that hasn’t been made in six months. Frost was a genius in observing the rules of formal poetry — rhyme and meter — and yet made his poems seem as natural as a song. I can’t do that. I sound natural, but I follow a much less restrictive set of rules. The only point of comparison, really, is that we both sold a lot of books in our time.

April 23: WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA.This Polish poet (1923-2012) won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature and was once described in an Italian newspaper as the “Greta Garbo of world literature”. She was Spartan in the number of words per poem, favoring colloquial ones, and published only 350 poems, noting once that she owned a trash can.  A translator, a book reviewer, and editor as well as poet, Szymborska was somewhat reclusive, saying solitude is needed for thinking about experience.  To begin to know, and definitely like, this witty poet, wildly popular in her own country, start with a wonderful podcast with her English translator and a reading of Consolation.  That’s a typical storytelling poem about Darwin that is not about evolution but about what she thinks of his predilection for Victorian novels. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/74694/wislawa-szymborska

Szymborska  wrote frequently of war and terrorism, having survived the Polish upheavals of her 88 years as the government swayed politically and enmeshed her personal and published life.  A fine feature on Szymborska is at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2000/jul/15/poetry.features

For more of the poems that can seem like wise advice, that couple hard looks at the problems of humankind with keen observation of daily pleasures and objects, read https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52955/the-end-and-the-beginning

and then A Great Man’s House at  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=40093

April 22: Major Jackson.It was this Vermont poet whose voice was first heard over our then brand new fiber optic streaming capability at the Quechee Library when he introduced Salmon Rushdie in Burlington for Vermont Reads 2015. University of Vermont Distinguished Professor, Jackson has published five books of poetry and edited others including the innovative and celebratory  Renga for Obama. Read about that at https://harvardmagazine.com/2017/04/renga-for-obama

Next enjoy such Jackson quotes as these: Like the church, books created environments, sacred spaces to cultivate an inner life. Even this: Some friends and I recently reminisced about how applying for and procuring your first library card was as important as obtaining one’s driving license. More are found in an interview with Chard deNiord, another poet who read at our library during his time as Vermont Poet Laureate: https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2019/summer/we-will-not-give-each-other-conversation-major-jackson-chard-deniord

Finally, go directly to the poems of Major Jackson: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/48182/letter-to-brooks-spring-garden

and https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/58736/on-disappearing

April 21: Marianne Moore. A dedicated baseball fan who threw out the  ball to open the Yankees 1968 season, Moore’s poems mix her extraordinarily keen observation of flora and fauna with moral advice.   Her most famous poem, Poetry, wishes for practitioners who create “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”.  She does exactly that.    She makes order out of confusion in a brew of facts and details, people and, so often, animals. For her view of a New England seaside village, read The Steeple Jack at https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-steeple-jack/

Then to almost inhabit the body and soul of an elephant, read Black Earth at  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51565/black-earth

Born in 1887, Moore lived a long life.  She was early on a  part-time librarian and then editor of the The Dial,  encouraging other poets including Bishop, Ginsberg , Merrill, and Ashbery (who came to call Moore the greatest modern poet).  In later life  she became a character on the New York scene in black cape and tricorner hat, meriting profiles in The New Yorker and Life.  For both analysis of poems and more background on this poet’s life, enjoy https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/11/books/review/new-collected-poems-marianne-moore.html

April 20: Carl Sandburg: Called by LBJ “more than the voice of America” and winner of three Pulitzers (two for poetry and one for his Lincoln biography), Sandburg may well be the  poet most introduced in American classrooms, perhaps because his life’s occupations (1878-1967) included work as a porter, bricklayer, farm laborer and infantryman and an innate empathy and political engagement that led to an NAACP as a “major prophet of civil rights in our time.” Hear Chicago read by its mayor at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/video/77415/mayor-rahm-emanuel-reads-chicago-by-carl-sandburg

Gather children if possible to enjoy reading aloud Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories, written said Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times Book Review, “for the eternal child, who, when he or she hears language spoken, hears rhythm, not sense.”  To see a child’s view conveyed by the adult poet, go next to https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52704/boy-and-father

Sandburg was also a musician.  Indeed, he has been called the first American urban folksinger, accompanying himself with guitar at poetry recitals. His 1927 anthology, the American Songbag, was extremely popular and is still in print.  For an delightful podcast of Sandburg talking, reading and singing in 1956 at the height of his popularity when he traveled the country performing, corresponded with presidents, and held a vision of humankind as one large family, take the time to listen at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/podcasts/75450/carl-sandburg

April 19: Jorge Luis Borges: Argentine poet, short story writer and essayist, Borges, was an  erudite fabulist, speaking several languages. The Mexican poet Octavio Paz, saying the genre division for Borges was arbitrary, evokes countries and meeting places far different than ours and provides insight at https://newrepublic.com/article/82260/in-times-labyrinth

Borges’ stories and poems are full of mirrors, labyrinths, dreams, mythology and, yes, libraries. He often wrote with a device he called “the contamination of reality by dream,” In Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges by Richard Burgin (to be found in our library), Borges as an old, long blind man, newly acclaimed in this country, is humble, witty, eloquent and enthusiastic about a great range of topics from music to chess to philosophy, saying of literature the point is  “you should get a kick out of it.   Before turning to his great fiction, so influential Borgesian as been coined much like Kafkaesque, enjoy Adam Cast Forth at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=31623

April 18: Emily Dickinson: For an extraordinary visit to 1891, read the archived words of a friend of the reclusive poet at https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1891/10/emily-dickinsons-letters/306524/

Her greatness,her eccentricities,  her isolation and her romances, have all been the subject of theater and film in recent years . Her habit of writing thousands of poems on scraps of paper such as this illustration of the most appropriate library poem, There is no Frigate like a Book, led to The Gorgeous Nothings, available in library and must be seen in print.  Now considered one of the greatest of American poets, this woman, born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, in a home now a public museum, came to wear only white and live in such isolation that she would often speak only through closed doors.  Extremely religious and focused on immortality, she wrote with unconventional capitalization and punctuation.  For one famous example: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47652/because-i-could-not-stop-for-death-479

Dickinson wrote over 1800 poems which combined acute observations with flights of imagination,  stunningly articulated.  It is not surprising to learn she was a gardener who pressed over 400 flowers into her leather bound herbarium.  Her short poems could be taken as a daily reminder to look closely.

April 17: John Updike: This poet (and novelist and arts critic) was recommended by Robert Hamlin, Wilder resident, library, sci fi and film enthusiast.  It’s a delight to offer you the opportunity to hear Bob reading  Skyey Developments.

Consider Updike’s own words for his work or, as he called it, his  ‘duty’: to give the mundane its beautiful due.

To read more Updike poems, often light verse, try Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=40867

Next, we suggest Tools at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=41875

Finally, to better appreciate Updike’s erudition and humor in so many varied writings, before choosing which of his books to  read, enjoy https://www.neh.gov/about/awards/jefferson-lecture/john-updike-biography

April 16: Wallace Stevens: Born in 1879, the insurance lawyer and vice president of Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company,was not fully recognized for his poetry until near his death in 1955.  Today it fills a Library of America volume and has inspired, not only other poets, but musicians and novelists.  For the poem perhaps most notable,  find Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45236/thirteen-ways-of-looking-at-a-blackbird

No poem in Stevens features, say, a speaker washing dishes and staring at Lake Willoughby wrote Dan Chiasson in the New York Review of Books.  Stevens, the insurance man, concentrated on the nature of  imagination in his poetry, not on political or other engagement. Enjoy another poet’s poetical observation on Wallace Stevens at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=41170

Then finish up with a poem often taught for the myriad ways it can be interpreted, Anecdote of the Jar, now in the public domain so copied here:

 I placed a jar in Tennessee,
 And round it was, upon a hill.
 It made the slovenly wilderness
 Surround that hill.

 The wilderness rose up to it,
 And sprawled around, no longer wild.
 The jar was round upon the ground
 And tall and of a port in air.

 It took dominion everywhere.
 The jar was gray and bare.
 It did not give of bird or bush,
 Like nothing else in Tennessee.

April 15: Maxine Kumin. U.S. Poet Laureate in 1982, lover of animals and farmer of 200 New Hampshire acres with her husband Victor, she wrote poems suffused with those  country days and nights, but also with  her political sensibilities and academic life.  Twenty years ago Kumin generously stood in our library for a rich and memorable afternoon reading.  Be assured many of her volumes, which included children’s books and memoirs, are here to be borrowed.  For today, read The Calling at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=36487

She writes in that poem poetry is like farming.  Throughout her life she worked at both, cultivating with attention to learned technique and attuned to all details.  A Jewish feminist and a mother with continued observation of the world’s troubles, she integrated days and places as in The Poets’ Garden https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=37948

An appreciation evoking Maxine Kumin’s lively, giving spirit and closing with the perfect stanza from the NH poet is at: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/postscript-maxine-kumin-1925-2014

April 14: E.E.Cummings. Born in 1894, Cummings began writing  as a child and became one of the 20th century’s best known and stylistically inventive poets, eschewing capitalization while synthesizing words.  Sometimes his poems look like words scattered on a page, inviting musical reading.  Try anyone lived in a pretty how town at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/22653/anyone-lived-in-a-pretty-how-town

and as freedom is a breakfast food at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52946/as-freedom-is-a-breakfastfood

For more about his life, his 2900 poems, his autobiographic novel after WW1 service as an ambulance driver and internment, and  the romantic wonder with which he could look at our world, see https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/03/03/capital-case

April 13: W.S. Merwin. As an anti-war activist and an environmentalist, Merwin was called the Thoreau of our times.  A practicing Buddhist, Merwin died only last year at the age of 91, having restored a Maui pineapple plantation to a palm forest, now protected and open to the public, while becoming one of the most decorated poets in the world.   Memoirs, translations of French and Spanish poets, and his own volumes indicate how prolific he was.    For today, two poems follow with the recommendation that they be read particularly slowly.  Merwin favored enjambment,the poetic device in which a phrase breaks over two consecutive lines, without punctuation. Read aloud The Shortest Night athttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=39222

Follow with The View at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?contentId=39063

For an excellent summary of his long life and many works, with the marvelous headline “Poet of Life’s Damnable Evanescence”, “, read https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15/obituaries/w-s-merwin-dead-poet-laureate.html

April 12: Edna St. Vincent Millay. Born in Maine, winner of 1923 Pulitzer Prize, subject of Mitford’s Savage Beauty, poet with a preference for sonnets, and reknown for her voice and her passions, Millay can be heard reading her own works at http://www.millay.org/poetryarchives.php

For today, the poem recommendation is Renascence. After reading and listening, find an analysis at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/70258/edna-st-vincent-millay-renascence

Then  to read of a magnificent later home called Steepletop and perhaps plan a visit but surely add to the complex portrait of a feminist poet/playwright with a multi-faceted reputation including an intense sisterhood with literary executor Norma Millay, browse  http://ww.millay.org/poetryarchives.php http://www.millay.org/aboutmillay.php 

It becomes easy to understand the best known Millay lines regarding a candle burning at both ends: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/14095/first-fig

April 11: Robert Browning. The Victorian poet who also wrote Pied Piper of Hamelin was educated in large part by his father’s 6000 volume library.  His poetry is peopled by historical figures found there keeping company with colorful imaginary ones. Characters crossed boundaries as he explored identity in such a way that led Jorge Luis Borges to write this poem in homage: https://biblioklept.org/2014/08/24/browning-resolves-to-be-a-poet-jorge-luis-borges.  But, this weekend, better to enjoy Browning’s lyricism and ponder the thrush singing his song twice over.  Read Home Thoughts from Abroad at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43758/home-thoughts-from-abroad and listen to it read at  https://poetryarchive.org/explore/?key=robert+browning&type=&theme=&form=&region=

to readily understand why Browning rests in the Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey.

April 10: Mary Oliver. An “indefatigable guide to the natural world,” wrote fellow poet Maxine Kumin and as Oliver herself wrote,  When it’s over, I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement.  Find that poem (When Death Comes) and a host of others in Devotions at the library. Oliver does indeed quietly and joyously revel in observing nature  as seen in ambles in Vermont and her later home in Provincetown.  Let’s look today however at an earlier volume: Blue Horses.  Hear Oliver’s Franz Marc’s Blue Horses at https://soundcloud.com/onbeing/franz-marcs-blue-horses-by.  Then enjoy the art that inspired it at https://www.franzmarc.org/

April 9: Robert Duncan.  A San Francisco Renaissance poet and a teacher at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Duncan is not an accessible poet but a rewarding and influential one, writing what is called “projective verse.”  Among several poems at this site, try https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46317/often-i-am-permitted-to-return-to-a-meadow

For helpful analysis, readhttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/68990/robert-duncan-often-i-am-permitted-to-return-to-a-meadow

April 8: Grace Paley, political activist, short story writer and poet, was a New Yorker child of Russian exiles and eventually a Thetford resident, always deeply engaged as an antinuclear, antiwar, antiracist feminist.  Learn of her activism, her fiction and the enormous spirit animating both at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/05/08/the-art-and-activism-of-grace-paley.

Reserve and pick up a Paley book from our library collection for future good reading.  Today for a  sample, find House: Some Instructions athttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48321/house-some-instructions

April 7: Philip Larkin, born in Coventry in 1922, worked as a librarian most of his life while becoming one of England’s most famous poets.  He said a poem “represents the mastering, even if just for a moment, of the pessimism and the melancholy”.  He does this twice, 20 years apart, in two poems on Spring, Coming and the Trees.  Find them with an appreciation at  https://www.npr.org/2012/04/20/150897770/grief-in-greenness-two-melancholy-poems-of-spring

April 6: Robert Frost.  A fair wager would be that this is the poet most often found in our homes.  Choosing just one Frost poem here is hard, but fitting well is Good-by and Keep Cold at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44265/good-bye-and-keep-cold.

To be reminded of his long Vermont life and JFK’s words upon his own inauguration: https://poets.org/poet/robert-frost: When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

April 5: Louise Gluck, U.S. Poet Laureate in 2003, Pulitzer Price Winner for The Wild Iris, and Vermont’s own Poet Laureate from 1994-98.  Some of her poetry, including A Summer Garden can be found at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/55237/a-summer-garden with an interview and profile at https://achievement.org/achiever/louise-gluck/#interview

April 4: W. H. Auden, British-American poet best known for technical wizardry and the political engagement in his works.  For a great WWII example:  Musee des Beaux Arts to be found with  commentary at  https://www.poetryinamerica.org/episode/musee-des-beaux-arts/

April 3: Donald Hall, the Upper Valley’s own National Poet Laureate, author of 50 books including the children’s favorite Ox Cart Man. Know the man better by enjoying https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/donald-hall-life-work.  But, first, how about Maple Syrup at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43018/maple-syrup

April 2: Thomas Hardy. The Victorian Hardy, now considered among our greatest poets, wrote Far From the Madding Crowd among his several classic novels.  However, The Darkling Thrush can not be read too many times to appreciate hope even in somber times.  One fine review with the poem is at https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2009/dec/28/poem-of-the-week-the-darkling-thrush-thomas-hardy

April 1: We start with our first poem of the month, Saint Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell.  Born in 1917, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Vermont’s poet laureate from 1989-1993, Kinnell gave a  never fading memory to those fortunate enough to hear an Upper Valley reading, Find this one at  https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42683/saint-francis-and-the-sow

Please come back tomorrow for our next suggested poet and poem.  Perhaps start writing your own poetry, painting your own picture, photographing your own view, singing your own song, playing your own instrument.