Monday, April 21, 2014

Subway Poems by New Yorkers and National Poetry Month

I hope you've popped over to Hedgehog Lover, my other blog, for a poem a day during National Poetry Month. 

Here is a poem from 365 Days Subway: Poems by New Yorkers. Be sure to visit that website — it's amazing.

An Unexpected Poem: Jeremy S
4/5 to 42nd Street from Fulton, Aug. 1st, 2013
My daughter pointed out that he was eating something strange. I could see a food book tucked behind him. What an enthusiastic and kind person — a social worker for World Trade Center workers who have become ill.

An unexpected poem
In the morning
Eating the husk cherries
I bought the day before.

Reading a book
Expecting no one to notice
Tuning out the crowds
A moment – or a few –
Of imagined quiet.

Who knows where this will go?
An unexpected poem,
A chance to think.

Courtesy  365 Day Subway: Poems by New Yorkers

Note: In 365 Days Subway: Poems by New Yorkers, the blogger Madeliene who, whenever she rides the subway, asks a stranger to write a poem. Go there now. It's wonderful. Thanks to PBS NewsHour for leading me to this treasure.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

National Poetry Month: The Naming of Cats, Audibly

Welcome to National Poetry Month — and what better way than to start with poetry and cats? Here is an audio recording of T.S. Eliot reading one of his most famous and beloved poems: The Naming of Cats. (Read along with the poem included below.)

Be sure to visit my other blog, Hedgehog Lover, for your daily dose of poetry in April. 

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

- by T.S. Eliot
Courtesy All Poetry