April may have been ‘the cruellest month’ in Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” but it’s been pretty good to us here in Fulton County. We’ve had a string of pleasantly mild days; perhaps we’ve shaken off the drabness of winter a bit early this year. April also happens to be National Poetry Month, so I thought I would post a few things here about the subject. On Saturday, SAW — FMCC’s Society of Artists and Writers — will sponsor a Favorite Poem Project event beginning at 6:30 p.m. at SkyHeart Studio, upstairs at 51 S. Main St., Gloversville. It sounds like it will be a great event for those of us of a literary bent. Guests will be invited to read a few poems and enjoy coffee and desserts. Admission will be free, but reservations are required. Call 253-6244 or see www.skyheartstudio.com for more information. I realize poetry is not everybody’s cup of tea. However, if you’re still reading this and you haven’t moved on to the sports section, you might be thinking about your own favorite poem, or perhaps just a few memorable lines from Frost or Shakespeare? I don’t claim to have one single favorite poem, but I have long been partial to Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and several of Shakespeare’s sonnets (try this one: http://www.bartleby.com/40/117.html).
Emily Dickinson is extremely popular and rightly so, though I must admit I had not read her extensively until just a few years ago. Here's one of her poems that is itself a bright comment on the power of literature:
There is no frigate like a book To take us lands away, Nor any coursers like a page Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take Without oppress of toll; How frugal is the chariot That bears a human soul!