Yet how much room for memory there is

Not sure why it’s taken me so long to read some Hart Crane (1899-1932), especially when he’s come so highly recommended to me by friends…but I’m glad I finally did.

“My Grandma’s Love Letters”

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother’s mother,
Elizabeth,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

“Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?”

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.

Welcome to National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month Poster from 2008Dear readers and stumblers-upon,

I started this blog two Aprils ago because I wanted to share one of my greatest loves–poetry–with my friends. For years I had been hearing a similar echo from people when it came to talking about poetry, a mishmash of reactions that included “it’s inaccessible” “I don’t get it,” “I don’t know where to begin,” “I don’t have the patience for it,” “I hate rhyme,” and so forth.

National Poetry Month seemed like the ideal time to invite others to revisit a form they had written off sometime around high school English class and to suggest different works to fellow poetry readers. And it was also a challenge to myself… to post a new poem (and poet) every day, to move beyond my bookshelf and back to the unexplored shelves of the library, and to remind myself why, exactly, I love poetry so dearly.

And so it begins again. Thirty days of April and 30 more poems for you to read (check the last posts for the first two). Whether you are a friend of mine or a random googler, I invite you to take a moment out of your busy days to read some verse. I can’t promise that all of these poems will be to your liking, but I hope that a handful of them–even just one– will move you, confuse you, unnerve you, comfort you…make you think, make you hungry, make you remember, or make you appreciate this beautiful, heartbreaking world in a new way.

Natalie

P.S. If you are overwhelmed by blogs and the growing numbers of unread items in your RSS readers, just type your e-mail address in on the top right and the posts will conveniently arrive in your inbox. And, if you have a reaction to a poem or want to suggest another one, please, please leave a comment!

P.P.S. To read more about National Poetry Month, check out The Academy of American Poets and their 30 fun suggestions for how to celebrate.