It's April . . . National Poetry Month.
And you know what that means.
Every year in April, I share some of my favorite poems and favorite poets on Fridays.
I also encourage you to give poetry a try.
I know many of us had rotten poetry teachers in school, which got us off on the wrong foot with poetry. We didn't get it. No one could explain it to us. We felt like freaks if we DID happen to like it. We were made to memorize poems we hated and thought were gross. It was a "unit" in a literature course that only lasted 2 weeks, and we were happy to have behind us.
That kind of thing.
But my guess is your rotten poetry teachers never shared the right poems. The ones that did resonate with us. Poems like this one . . .
A Jar of Buttons
by Ted Kooser
This is a core sample
from the floor of the Sea of Mending,
a cylinder packed with shells
that over many years
sank through fathoms of shirts –
pearl buttons, blue buttons –
and settled together
beneath waves of perseverance,
an ocean upon which
generations of women set forth,
under the sails of gingham curtains,
and, seated side by side
on decks sometimes salted by tears,
made small but important repairs.
Ted Kooser is a poet from the American Midwest best known for his accessible, conversational style of writing. While his poetry is rooted in the Great Plains of the United States, his poems resonate universally - grounded as they are in humanity. He served as Poet Laureate of the Library of Congress from 2004 - 2006, and is currently a Presidential Professor of Poetry at the University of Nebraska. Ted Kooser also writes children's books. You can find out more about him here.
The annual Poem-in-Your-Pocket day is Thursday, April 18 this year. Think about sharing YOUR favorite poem with your friends that day.
The poem Jar of Buttons is from Delights & Shadows, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2004. Poem copyright Ted Kooser.