Friday, April 13, 2012

National Poetry ... Month?

It's become personal tradition to recognize National Poetry Month only when half of April is already over. Nothing subversive on my part, although that would be a nice pun.

The lack -- half-lack? -- of recognition comes from a very busy life.

Busy in a way that feels as unbound as free verse, lush as a sonnet, and metered by the rhythms of growing boys.

While I still think setting aside one month for heralding poetry is ridiculous, thirty days is more honor than love's one-day in February. Perhaps the time allotted speaks volumes about our culture.

But today, as National Poetry Month dawned on me once again, I pulled out one of my favorite poets. W.H. Auden first crossed my path in college, in particular, "As I Went Out One Evening." The words hit me like granite. I was a geology major, and Auden was weaving into his verse elements such as stones, tectonics, and glaciers. Better: he was using those elements correctly, even from a scientific perspective.

When I became a Christian, his verse expanded even further. That reverential Catholic perspective of his, dyed by profound personal trials, reached into every twisted chamber of my heart.

Here's the great poet reading the words which today still feel like a death-to-life blow.

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