Sunday, April 18, 2010

April is National Poetry Month

Celebrating Poetry
We here offer third in a series of National Poetry Month posts; 2010 celebration. Thank you for offering many insightful 'over the desk' comments about this series. Good to know reading poetry is still on so many of our local readers' to-do lists.

Annie Finch (1956-) was born in New Rochelle, NY, to a family with poets, artists, intellectuals and political activists on both her mother’s and her father’s side. She herself is a poet, librettist, and translator who currently is Professor of English at the University of Southern Maine, and Director of its Stonecoast MFA Program. She holds six honors and awards for her work as author of three collections of poetry, four titles on poetics, a bilingual translation of the work of Louise LabĂ©, two libretti, and as editor of six anthologies including A Formal Feeling Comes — for which she is probably best known. The poem that follows is her contemporary response to one by the 17th century British statesman and author, Andrew Marvell, “To His Coy Mistress,” and it appears to be addressed to him:

Coy Mistress

Sir, I am not a bird of prey:
a Lady does not seize the day.
I trust that brief Time will unfold
our youth, before he makes us old.
How could we two write lines of rhyme
were we not fond of numbered Time
and grateful to the vast and sweet
trials his days will make us meet:
The Grave's not just the body's curse;
no skeleton can pen a verse!
So while this numbered World we see,
let's sweeten Time with poetry,
and Time, in turn, may sweeten Love
and give us time our love to prove.
You've praised my eyes, forehead, breast:
you've all our lives to praise the rest.

Further Reading:
A Formal Feeling Comes : Poems in Form by Contemporary Women, edited by Annie Finch

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson, author of:
21st Century Bread (2007)
In Vitro : New Short Rhyming Poems Post-9/11 (2009)

Photo Credit : Jeffrey Cantrell