V is for verse (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Today is day 22 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  The challenge began with A on April 1 and continues the alphabet throughout theverse month, except on Sundays. My theme for the month will be this blog’s tagline: life, books, and all things bookish, so you can expect a little bit of this ‘n that. I’m still reading, though, and I’ll add reviews whenever possible. Thirty days of blogging is a huge commitment for me, but I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting new blog friends.

Today’s word: verse

No way could I do an April blogging challenge and not mention poetry. I mean, April being National Poetry Month and me being an English teacher and all. I’ve read some of the other participants shout outs to poetry and they ranged from sharing one’s own poem to listing favorite poets.

poetry
Teresa Grau Ros@Flickr

Several years ago my husband and I stumbled on an announcement buried in the newspaper: poet laureate Billy Collins and poet Naomi Shahab Nye were reading at the local university, and the evening was free and open to the public. We felt like we had stumbled upon a little slice of heaven. Collins was personable and warm, his poetry so accessible. Shahab Nye was as well. There was something about listening to their reading live that resonated. Shortly after that evening, I started following the Poetry Out Loud YouTube channel. This national competition for high school students focuses on the recitation of poetry in a powerful and meaningful way. The kids are incredible. Here’s one of my favorites, Bilingual/Bilingue. 

As often happens when one falls down the internet rabbit hole, I somehow landed on a spoken word channel. And fell in love. Now I’ll be honest–some spoken word is just a bit too edgy and profane for me. I don’t like to be yelled at and I don’t like every other word to be a f&@k or worse. But if you look long enough and hard enough, you’ll find some gems like Taylor Mali and Phillip Kaye and Sarah Kay. Sarah of the beautiful rise and fall of images and emotion. (Here she is at her best in “If I Should Have a Daughter“)

I love words. I like the way they sound … and how they feel on my tongue: echoing vowels and satisfying fricatives. I love the way words play, meanings slipping one to the next, then up and over. I love the hope of words and the way they make my heart soar.

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