Oh, frabjous day. Callo! Callay! It’s National Poetry Month! And once again we have trusted friend, poetry lover, and marvelous poet Stephanie Farrow as our Riehlife Poem of the Day editor. Thanks, dear friend.–Janet
Stephanie says: Unfortunately, April has only 30 days, which means only 30 poems-a-day, and there are so many more that deserve to be promulgated far and wide. As David Sedaris says in the introduction to Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules, “It’s the writers who make it hard. Them and their damned excellence.”
Let’s begin as we did last year with a cautionary poem from Billy Collins to keep this poetry business in perspective.
Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins
The Apple that Astonished Paris
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to water ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.