A Poem for World Poetry Day 2021

World Poetry Day, March 21, was adopted in 1999, during UNESCO’s 30th session in Paris. It encourages a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, promotes the teaching of poetry, supports small publishers, and helps poetry to regain its popularity, reversing the misconception that poetry is an outdated art form. It also supports linguistic diversity.

Beyond UNESCO’s lofty goals, it’s a day to ENJOY POETRY!

Shinkichi Takahashi (1901–1987) Japanese poet who was a pioneer in the Dadaist movement in Japan. He was a master of expressing large ideas in the smallest number of words. His Collected Poems won the Japanese Ministry of Education Prize for Art.

To read Shinkichi Takahashi’s untitled poem click:

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A Poem by Wilfred Owen on His Natal Day

Wilfred Owen was born on March 18, 1893. He was an English poet and a soldier, one of the most memorable and powerful poets of WWI, whose poems depicted the horrors of the trenches and gas warfare. Most of his poems which are now best-known were published posthumously. He suffered shell shock after being caught in the blast of a trench mortar shell, lying unconscious on an embankment among the grisly remains of a fellow officer for days. He was sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital  in Edinburgh for treatment. While there, Owen met poet Siegfried Sassoon, who became his friend and mentor as a poet. After further recuperation on light duty in North Yorkshire, he returned to active service in France in July, 1918, and was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery and leadership during an attack in October. He was killed in action on November 4, 1918, exactly one week before the Armistice ended the war. His mother received the notice of his death on the day of the Armistice.

His best-known poems are full of the daily horrors of war, but this poem laments the terrible waste: all the young dead, including Wilfred Owen.

To read Wilfred Owen’s poem “Futility” click

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TCS: World Speech Day – Say to the Down-Keepers and the Sun-Slappers

. Good Morning!

______________________________

Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

______________________________

If you want to tell people the truth,
make them laugh, otherwise
they’ll kill you.

– Oscar Wilde

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A Poem for Worship of Tools Day

March 11 is Worship of Tools Day.

 Dave Bonta, self-described ‘digital poet’ says he often suffers from imposter syndrome, but not in a bad way — more like some kind of flower-breathing dragon, pot-bellied and igneous. He is the author of Mountain: An Elegy; Breakdown: Banjo Poems; Words on the Street: An Inaction Comic; and Odes to Tools. Bonta is also the editor and publisher of Moving Poems, a webzine showcasing poetry videos.

To read Dave Bonta’s poem, “Ode to a Claw Hammer” click:

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TCS: International Women’s Day – The Day the Mountains Move

 . . . . Good Morning!

 ______________________________

Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

______________________________

What would happen if one woman told
the truth about her life? The world would
split open.

 – Muriel Rukeyser

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A Poem for Absinthe Day

March 5th is Absinthe Day. In 2013, Pernod Fils approved the label design for the return of their pre-ban Absinthe original recipe, and the first Absinthe Day was celebrated.

Absinthe gained quite an unsavory reputation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its high alcohol content (90 proof or higher) combined with its popularity among adherents of bohemianism, especially artists and writers in Paris, led to its condemnation by social conservatives and prohibitionists.

When a doctor reported that concentrations of thujone, a chemical compound present in absinthe only in trace amounts, caused seizures in lab rats, many countries in Europe banned absinthe. The United States banned it in 1912, and didn’t lift the ban until 2007.  More recent studies have proved that absinthe is not more hazardous than any other high-alcohol-content spirit, and the trace amounts of thujone it contains will not cause hallucinations or seizures in humans.

Marie Corelli (1855 – 1924), was an English novelist, poet and Christian mystic. Some of her books outsold Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling. Her first novel, A Romance of Two Worlds, was a fantasy with elements of science fiction, including an evolution vs. creationism debate and galactic travel. Today’s featured poem “I am the green fairy” is from her novel published in 1890, Wormwood: A Drama of Paris. While it was produced in the traditional Victorian three-volume format, it is considered an early proto-modernist work. Much of the book is about the supposed effects of absinthe on the denizens of fin-de-siècle Paris. The poem represents the view of absinthe at the end of the 19th century as a dangerous hallucinogenic drug, ‘the green fairy’ leading those who imbibe its sweet green poison to their destruction.

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To read Marie Corelli’s poem, “I am the green fairy”, please click

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Marguerite Taos Amrouche Was Born March 4th

On March 4, 1913, Marguerite Taos Amrouche was born. She was an Algerian author and singer, one of the first Algerian women to publish a novel in French. She also collected and interpreted Kabylie Berber songs. She was born after her family had moved to Tunisia to escape persecution when they converted to Roman Catholicism, but she and her brother Jean returned to Algeria for extended visits, and she became interested in the rich oral traditions of the Kabyle Berber people. Amrouche’s first novel, Jacinthe noire (1947; “Black Hyacinth”), recounts the story of an “uncivilized” young Tunisian girl who is sent to a French pension for studies, reflecting her own days as a student in Tunisia and later in France. Taos Amrouche recorded several phonograph albums, and produced a number of programs for French radio and television, including Chants sauvés de l’oubli (“Songs Saved from Oblivion”) and Hommage au chant profond (“Homage to a Profound Song”).


To hear Marguerite Taos Amrouche singing,  click:

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A Poem for Sun Day


March 3 was designated as Sun Day by U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1978, at the suggestion of Denis Hayes, who coordinated the first Earth Day in 1970. It is a day for advocacy of solar power. For the first Sun Day, there were events on the Mall in Washington DC, including speeches by environmental activist Barry Commoner and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, and a concert by Jackson Browne. Events were also planned in 22 other countries.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American’s best-known woman poet and one of the nation’s greatest and most original authors, lived the life of a recluse in Amherst Massachusetts. She wrote nearly 1800 poems, ignoring the traditional poetic forms prevailing among most of the other poets of her day. The extent of her work wasn’t known until after her death, when her younger sister Lavinia discovered her cache of poems.

To read Emily Dickinson’s poem, “I’ll Tell You How the Sun Rose” click

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TCS: Poems for Black Women in Jazz & the Arts Day

Good Morning!

______________________________

Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

______________________________

I walked into the palaces of kings and queens
and into the houses of presidents. And much more.
But I could not walk into a hotel in America and
get a cup of coffee, and that made me mad.

– Josephine Baker

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International Polar Bear Day 2021

February 27th is International Polar Bear Day, and polar bears are under threat because of the melting ice caps. But they are far from the only animals we are in danger of losing.

Jackie Kay (1961 – ) is a Scottish poet, playwright, and novelist, known for Other Lovers, Trumpet, and Red Dust Road. She was Scot Makar, the poet laureate of Scotland, from 2016 to 2020.

To read Jackie Kay’s poem “Extinction” please click:

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