The writers are aflutter.
It's National Poetry Month, an April of fever, fervor, pressure and pleasure. As part of the celebration, challenges are served: Write a poem each day, read a poem, share a poem, be a poem.
It's like prom for writers. Everyone trying so hard. I'm both dizzy with delight and queasy from overload. In this spirit, the other day I was happy to find Mint Snowball, a collection of paragraphs by Naomi Shihab Nye.
"I think of these pieces as being simple paragraphs rather than prose poems . . ." she explains. "The paragraph, standing by itself, has a lovely pocket-size quality. It garnishes the page, as mint garnishes a plate. Many people say (foolishly, of course), they don't like poetry, but I've never heard anyone say that they don't like paragraphs. It would be like disliking five-minute increments on the clock."
I Was Thinking of Poems
In the fields our eyes whirled inside a blur of green. Before I
wore glasses I came here. Thought the world was soft at the
far edges for real. Green rim of trees alongside anyone's life.
Stalk. Pod. Tendril. Blossom. On a farm you had time. Your
mind on words. Turned over gently and longly inside your
head. Damp dirt under dry surface.
He said "Rain" or "Easy." Said "String" or "Yellow." A boy
said "Yes sir" but meant "I don't get it." A phrase dangled.
Strip of cloud. Wide angle. Line breaks. Where the asparagus
row turned into the beets.
- Naomi Shihab Nye, from Mint Snowball