Friday, April 15, 2011

Poetry Month

In honor of poetry month -- which, really, deserves to be 12 months long -- I dipped into one of my favorite anthologies.

"Northwest Verse" was published in 1931 by Caxton Press of Caldwell, Idaho.

Most if not all of these early poets from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana have been forgotten. But here is just one of its delicious offerings:

   Notes on a Concert

While scientists debated whether
'Twere wise to publish their decision,
The morning stars sang all together
In gay derision.

They said: "This planet is the greater,
And that the less, of those before us."
The stars lampooned each commentator
In ribald chorus.

Antares, Betelguese and Mira,
The big and little constellations,
Sang "fol-de-rol" and "tira-lira"
With variations.

For stars have little else to do
But chant in praise or sing in revel,
And glorify what things are true,
And shame the devil.

But the astronomers still peer
Through telescopes, and jot down data;
They are too occupied to hear
The great cantata.

And one will wag his beard and say:
"Behold, I've solved a hard enigma;
This star, ten billion miles away,
Shall be called Sigma."

                                              ---Stoddard King

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