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Poetry Month in the United States

For those who don't know, this month was "Poetry Month" in the United States. It actually isn't a holiday that we get time off from work for but is rather just a designation on the calendar to celebrate poetry and promote it, I guess. Anyhow, since I work for an American-English dictionary company, the company I work for actually takes it pretty seriously and every year we have an actual company luncheon for it. Employees are encouraged to submit poems that either they or someone else has written to win a prize.


Everyone else gets a prize for submitting a poem too, although they are tchotchkes. Tchotchke are small gifts or prizes which have no particular value. So for instance, a dictionary, a coffee mug, a hat, a pen, a magnet for your refridgerator, a t-shirt, etc. are all examples of tchotchkes. The word tchotchke itself comes from the Yiddish word טשאַטשקע which in turn comes from the obsolete Polish word czaczko. The Russian word цацка is somewhat related. Tchotchke first appeared in American English as a word around 1964.


I did not submit a poem this year. I had far too much going on. However, Amherst, Massachusetts is the next town over from where I live and is also the birthplace of Emily Dickinson who is considered the Mother of American Poetry, Walt Whitman being the Father of American Poetry. Robert Frost is another American poet, although his works were actually published in the UK before they came to the States. Both his and Emily Dickison's sillhouettes can be seen at one of the parks in Amherst. Robert Frost's sillhouette is included there because he taught in Amherst, Massachusetts for a period of time. Emily Dickinson's family's homestead is also open to the public for tour and if you are ever in Western Massachusetts, I highly recommend that you take a tour of the building and the grounds. There may be some Emily Dickinson "touristy" things to do 20 minutes away at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts where she went to college as well. I am not sure. I will check into it and let you know on this discussion sometime soon.


Anyways, Emily Dickison is by far my favorite poet. Emily Brontë, a British poet, is a second favorite of mine and her poerty actually was a source of inspiration for Emily Dickinson's work. Who are your favorite poets? I'll leave you with one of Emily Dickinson's poems. Feel free to post any from your countries on this discussion as well. It would be fun to try to read and understand them. :)


The following is a photo of one of the buildings on the Emily Dickinson homestead:


Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson


HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,


And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.


I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Apr 30, 2014 7:18 PM
Comments · 2

Thank you for sharing it. I like the poem that you were sharing :D

"HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all"

Wow, what a beautiful pieces of word! Yes, never stop hoping!

I don't know much about mordern American poet, but I like this one, here is Sarah Kay's talk in TED.

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April 30, 2014
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