A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound
Just about a month ago, we introduced a simple idea. And we did it simply. With just a tweet or two, All Things Considered called on listeners to help us celebrate National Poetry Month (April, in case you didn't know). We'd supply the hashtag, or so this simple idea went, and all of you would supply the good stuff — the lines, the lyrics, the sweeping odes and potent gut punches.
O, our beloved Twitterati! #NationalPoetryMonth is nearly upon us. And we want to read YOUR poems. Just tweet your lines with #nprpoetry— All Things Considered (@npratc) March 27, 2016
Simple at the outset, sure — but your response contained multitudes.
Haiku. Tanka. Tributes to parents balding, or overbearing (and bears, too). Matters of bone and spirit, food and fulsome politics. Poems in at least three languages, poems from at least four different classrooms across the country (including even a third grade class). And a single lost feather, borne to earth on an idle breeze.
Of course, we can't hope to name all the poems that moved us. Please, instead, accept just a few of our favorites from this fruitful month of poetry, read aloud often by the very poets themselves. In one case, Whiting Award-winning poet Ocean Vuong picked his own favorite to read for us.
Read and listen to them below — divided imperfectly into two categories, the latter of which you can skip to with the following link — or just head here to wade deeply into all the thousands of miniature works of art our listeners wrote.
The Funny Stuff
#NPRpoetry #LilyThe8yroldPoet Dad has a bald spot / It's shiny like the big moon / So I can find him— Jennifer (@JennCascio) April 3, 2016
Short-lived quietude.— Heather Kohser (@CultivateWhimsy) April 12, 2016
Squirrel sneaks down budding tree.
One white dog watches.#haiku #poetrymonth #one-eyedeskiemissesnothing
Your English teacher / Wants you to write a haiku. / Try your best, or else... #NPRpoetry #BoehmPoem— Shelby Boehm (@TeamBoehm) April 12, 2016
you’re wrong about scars / they’re not where you got hurt, they’re / the places you healed #NPRpoetry #haiku— Mike Cecconi (@Cecconi140) April 18, 2016
#NPRpoetry— Kathleen (@everettpoetry) April 7, 2016
a single feather
falls from the sky
I scan the clouds
@npratc Count all of my bones. Softly lay them side by side. Believe I mattered. #NPRpoetry— prinsing (@prinsing) March 28, 2016
Love is a Rube Goldberg Machine— Your old pal Tommy (@tommywelty) April 4, 2016
bits & pieces knock together
push down a chute
pins pop & strike
matches & ignite small flames#NPRpoetry
#NPRpoetry— Boiarski (@Boiarski) April 20, 2016
We follow the sound
of the frog in the wetland.
As footsteps approach
it stops, having
led us to silence. pic.twitter.com/KX2ECpCUI0
Bodies are like poems -— Yahia Lababidi (@YahiaLababidi) April 14, 2016
a fraction of their power
is found in their skin,
the remainder belongs
to the spirit that swims
Another day growing dim/Jeopardy's on the set again/ Can still hear Granny/ Voice smoked thin/ Who is.../ What is... #NPRpoetry #jeopardy— Kat Wedmore (@heyheyMamaKat) April 5, 2016
Honey & apricot & hands like old maps./She died (oh thank god, I would think in 2 months)/that summer before/the towers fell down.#NPRpoetry— Tia Shearer (@SuperFamousTia) April 3, 2016
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@npratc #NPRpoetry— Sherri Drake (@Shizra41) March 30, 2016
I want to build a song for you.
But my words are dry
Like sawmills in summer.
Pile and jam.