For those who don’t know, April is National Poetry Month. This year I’ve celebrated by teaching some amazing kids about poetry. It’s been fun, rewarding and, at times, truly amazing.
But I digress. Last week we wound up our study with a look at concrete poetry, which gave me the opportunity to share e.e. cummings’s haunting “[In Just-]“. I’ve always loved this poem and read it regularly to see what else I can discover about it. I remember the first time a teacher displayed this poem on the overhead projector and I was so puzzled by it. I was just getting used to poetry that looked like poetry and here was this crazy mishmash of unrhymed, strangely patterned words.
And yet, it’s the poem I come back to most often when I think about poetry. And it’s the poem I think of when the world is mud-luscious and starting to warm up and the flowers aren’t blooming yet but you know they will… Just spring.
Perhaps the world does us an injustice by making just spring so short a time. It’s over here now, ending with the brief month of April. The first flowers are past their bloom, the mosquitoes are beginning to bite. Summer and pool time and the beach and lazy days are coming. We’re all looking forward to it, but we’ll miss those first days of spring.
Next year when March and April come around, though, I look forward to again listening for the far and wee whistle of the little lame balloon man. And in the meantime, I’ll watch for the seeds I planted this April to sprout and grow. What’s your favorite poem? Share it with me in the comments!