National Poetry Month, April 3, 2014

NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti

NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti

By Joseph Bathanti

Today is the poet George Herbert’s birthday. He was born in 1593 and lived a mere forty years.  His poem, “The Collar,” is also embedded in the site above. There are also links to a number of Herbert’s other poems that you can check out, if you get that far.

What I did stumble upon, in investigating Herbert – solely because his birthday is April 3, and April is National Poetry Month – are two essays that proved way more interesting than Herbert or his poems, and plenty germane to where I stand well over a decade into the 21st Century. Their titles, if nothing else, drew me to

George Herbert

George Herbert

them. The first is “Herbert Sucks. Donne Is a Pimp. Why High School Students Are the Best Poetry Critics,” by Brian Stavely. The other is: “Third Eye Ode to Chicken Nugget and other Delights: A ‘Real Poet’ Learns New Tricks by Teaching Poetry to Kids,” by Rachel Zucker. Since I’m fresh out of two days of teaching poetry to high school sophomores at Watauga High in Boone – very talented students taught by a very talented teacher – these two essays carry a particular valence.

I’ll pick up the thread of this discussion tomorrow and throw in my own two cents – as well as birthday greetings to three well-known North Carolina poets.


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