ON THIS DAY: April 14, 2019

April 14th is

Look Up at the Sky Day

National Pecan Day

National Dolphin Day

Pan American Day *

International Moment of Laughter Day *

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ON THIS DAY: April 13, 2019

April 13th is

Make Lunch Count Day *

Peach Cobbler Day

Scrabble Day *

Thomas Jefferson Day *

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MORE! Nella Larsen, Samuel Beckett and Eudora Welty, click

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ON THIS DAY: April 12, 2019

April 12th is

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument Day *

D.E.A.R. Day *

Polio Vaccine Day *

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

International Day for Street Children *

International Day of Human Space Flight *

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Word Cloud: EXTRAVAGANT (Redux for Poetry Month)

by NONA BLYTH CLOUD

There is just a breath of Purtianism lurking in most American poetry. We admire the winnowing of excess words, the spareness of poets like Frost and Sandburg and the prose of Hemingway and Steinbeck. American poets who proclaim themselves as Poets or Artists are a little embarrassing, regarded as juvenile or pretentious. No question, the American style has power – these lean poems can build to thunderclaps that blow our minds wide open – but it’s far from the only way to make poetry.

In the Middle East, there is a much older and very different tradition in poetry, which favors a lushness of language and an unabashed proclamation that Here is The Poet.

“It’s too bad if a heart lacks fire,
and is deprived of the light
of a heart ablaze.
The day on which you are
without passionate love
is the most wasted day of your life.”
. . . . . . . . . . . .― Omar Khayyám

American poets should take note of something else that’s different: poets in Arabic-speaking countries are taken a lot more seriously than poets are in America. As Thomas Gray warns in his famous Elegy, there’s a danger in being self-effacing:

“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its fragrance on the desert air.”

This week’s Syrian poet was never in danger of wasting his talent on the desert air. Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) has been both revered and reviled in the Middle East for his erotic romantic verse, and his biting political poems. His work, often banned by authoritarian regimes in Muslim countries, even gained some popularity in Israel, in spite of his anti-Israeli stance, because he also criticized Arab policies and military failures. And lovers from all over the world have found his romantic poetry moving and inspirational.

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In the Summer 

In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
Its shells,
Its fish,
And followed me

 

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Maritime Poem

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Blow rains of melodious lights,
Dizzy suns and sails
Painting their voyage to endlessness.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Is an open sea window,
And birds appear in the distance
Searching for islands still unborn.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Snow falls in July.
Ships laden with turquoise
Spill over the sea and are not drowned.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
I run on the scattered rocks like a child
Breathing the fragrance of the sea
And return an exhausted bird.

In the blue harbor of your eyes
Stones sing in the night.
Who has hidden a thousand poems
In the closed book of your eyes?

If only, if only I were a sailor,
If only somebody’d give me a boat,
I would furl my sails each evening
In the blue harbor of your eyes.

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ON THIS DAY: April 11, 2019

April 11th is

Barbershop Quartet Day

International “Louie Louie” Day *

Cheese Fondue Day

U.S. Submarine Day *

World Parkinson’s Disease Day *

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ON THIS DAY: April 10, 2019

April 10th is

Encourage a Young Writer Day *

ASPCA Day *

Golfer’s Day *

International Safety Pin Day *

International Siblings Day *

National Farm Animals Day *

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ON THIS DAY: April 9, 2019

April 9th is

Appomattox Day *

Jenkin’s Ear Day *

Winston Churchill Day *

Chinese Almond Cookie Day

Cherish an Antique Day

Chicken Little Awareness Day

National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day *

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MORE! Emily Hobhouse, Paul Robeson and Cynthia Nixon, click

Warning –  1835 entry has disturbing pictures from the Congo Free State 

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