National Poetry Month, April 20, 2014

NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti

NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti

How, today, could one not think of “Easter, 1916,” by Irish Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats – praised as “One of the most powerful political poems of the 20thcentury …” ?

William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

Passover concludes on April 22. This is “Akiba,” a Passover poem by Muriel Rukeyser.

The following poem is from my book, Anson County (from Press 53, Winston-Salem, NC).


They stand like shades
against the skyline:
in resurrection suits
and second-day dresses;
waiting to be gathered and burned
by the first fires of dawn
they have come to believe
will perfect their two-days-planted fruit.
Now like the rush of souls
it leaps across the sky
shredding fog with cerise flames
sudden as tongues.
And there can be no denial
of this white light
that carves fields rife
with wheat and corn,
sculpts holy men behind plows,
draws the harrow and martingale –
nor the flash and raiment of seeds
above the red river mouth.


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