Wednesday, April 12, 2006

April is National Poetry Month

Apparently, April is National Poetry Month! I think everyday is made better by a little poetry. Sign up at this list here and get a poem in your email box everyday, along with a link to the poem of the day from last year. In today's email:

Anne Hathaway
Carol Ann Duffy

'Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed …'
(from Shakespeare's will)

The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, clifftops, seas
where we would dive for pearls. My lover's words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights, I dreamed he'd written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer's hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love -
I hold him in the casket of my widow's head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

[Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare's wife so this is, appropriately
enough, a Shakespearean sonnet, a form I've always loved because of
the punch of that last rhyming couplet. I really like the creativity
in building a love poem like this out of that line from Shakespeare's
will, the link between sex and writing, this idealized but still
lovely look at their relationship. The way it's responding to and
referencing all of his work -- the forests, castles, torchlight,
clifftops, seas.

In her book, The World's Wife, Carol Ann Duffy has written a whole
series of poems by the wives of famous men, some of which are
hilarious. I recommend Mrs. Darwin, which you can read here:]


Thanks to Anna Louise for posting this over at her blog


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