Featured Poems Intros

I’ve decided that I’d like to keep what I use as the intro to the featured poems each month for reference. Mostly intended for internal use but it generally contains some useful info.

April 2024

This month I’ve decided to feature a guilty pleasure from my teens. My favorite poem by award winning poet and artist Shel Silverstein. Yes, the author of The Giving Tree, that countless parents have read to their children, teaching the importance of friendship.

This isn’t that book.

After working for Stars and Stripes from 1954 – 1956, Silverstein began a 40+ year stint as a columnist and cartoonist for the then young Playboy magazine during which his work was, shall we say, a little less child centric. So, in this month that includes the unofficial 4-20 holiday, here’s The Smoke Off!

March 2024

It’s been far too warm this February. A couple of very cold days along with many where we neared or broke the record high. We may be in for a rude surprise at some point this month but right now it look like spring is ready to, well, spring.

March makes me think of the NCAA basketball tournament, St. Patrick’s Day and new beginnings. Since the collective anthology of basketball poetry wouldn’t fill a pamphlet I’ll focus on the second two this month.

In the first, Yeats, one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets, expresses his longing for a simple life. The sort of pastoral simplicity imbued in Dryden’s verse of two young lovers.

February 2024

February brings to mind such wonders as bare trees, fields of snow, ice covered ponds, cold gray skies, ground hogs, well, you get the picture. So why is this also the month in which we celebrate love?

Valentine’s Day may have originated from the mid-February pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia. Later, in the 8th century, the Christian Church named February 14 as the Feast Day of St. Valentine. This probably put the kibosh on men stripping naked and sacrificing a goat but during the 14-15th century it regained its romantic overtones as courtiers associated it with the “lovebirds” of early spring.

Maybe we celebrate love this month because it warms us during an otherwise cold and bleak time of year. And, since we can always use more love in the world, I offer you two poems this month to celebrate love and beauty. Enjoy!

November 2023

At times this year seems to have moved at a glacial pace and at others it has flown by. Now that we’re in the midst of fall, my favorite time of year, it is once again speeding along. Maybe if I better understood the theory of relativity I could explain this phenomena but suspect the time required to achieve that would exceed my remaining days. So instead I submit the following poems for your consideration during this time of family gatherings, feasting and general gaiety.

October 2023

October. Fall has arrived (barely this year!), the leaves are beginning to take on orange, red and golden hues. Gardens that thrived during spring and summer are offering up the last of their bounty before their winter slumber. Pumpkins and mums are joined by spiders, ghosts and other macabre decorations on lawns and porches. This is a haunting and magical time of year. A time when the veil is said to be thinnest between this world and the next.

It’s hard to rival Poe when it comes to Halloween appropriate writings. I’ve had The Raven in mind since starting this section several months ago. Enjoy!