Wow, here we are at the start of the second quarter of this wacky year and the first day of National Poetry Month. In any other year, April is full of optimism and beauty for me, and I try to imbue poetry into every single day and celebrate it more than I already do. This year is not like any other year as we curl inward and away from each other in order to protect one another. In this time of pandemic, fear, isolation and uncertainty I am trying to cling to optimism and poetry helps me to do that. I've been reading a lot of Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, (of course), and also going old school with Emerson. Reading their words helps even when I'm unable to put my own thoughts and feelings into words.
There is sadness, anxiety, grief and a true sense of loss, but there has also been an outpouring of love and support. A real knowledge that we are in this together, even apart and these moments of giving and connection and humanity that have sprung up digitally have been a true lifeline. My favorite singer/songwriter Josh Ritter has opened his living room on Tuesday nights to sing his songs to us and for the past two weeks that hour with him has brought me so much joy I forget that I'm not able to be with my poetry students or hug on my mom. I am going into National Poetry Month with a commitment to find joy every day and to seek out the unexpected moments as I witness them.
As I do for most years, I'm participating in a Found Poetry project every day in April. This year a group of us are all working with the same text as we find the poetry hidden in the Michael Crichton classic Jurassic Park. You can follow along on my Dino-themed Tumblr here.
I'll pop back in next week with some more updates, but until then curl up with a good book, (I'm wrapping up my 2019 list of favorite books, (finally!) and will post it soon), try your hand at a poem, there are lots of places to find daily poetry prompts, my favorite is NaPoWriMo, try your hand at a found poem, my favorite found poet friend is E. Kristin Anderson and you can find her philosophy on found poetry here, or try a new recipe. I've been making focaccia every week and I use this recipe.
Love to you all and virtual hugs; look for the flowers, listen to the birds!