National Poetry Month

Inspired by Black History month, The Academy of American Poets  worked with a variety of interested parties including teachers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and of course poets to figure out the many ways poetry could be celebrated.  They concluded April was a great month for the celebration, and on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton proclaimed April to be National Poetry Month. 

 

Following the Academy’s lead, Writers’ Morning Out has posted a poem-a-day during April since WMO’s inception in 2010.

“Sugaring” by Linda Blotzer

 

From the tradition of Indigenous peoples
in early spring when the temperatures are right
my great grandfather on his farm in New Hampshire
collects sap from sugar maple trees
filled with nutrients from the dark rich soil
pours it into a metal vat on the sledge pulled by yoked oxen
“Haw” he commands his gentle animals
“Whoa” near the sugar house in the forest
wood fire boils 40 gallons sap to one gallon syrup

 

From the blood of these deciduous trees
sweet life of precious water and sugar
calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron
from the earth to the roots to the leaves of the trees
through xylem channels a ring for each year of life
osmosis, transpiration, photosynthesis
provide food for the trees clean air for us
thank you trees

 

From grandmother’s kitchen sugarless doughnuts
homemade dill pickles
great grandfather brings the liquid gold
four generations sit around the table with giant bowls of snow
we celebrate the sugar on snow
we celebrate the sugarless doughnuts and dill pickles
we celebrate the soil and trees
we celebrate life

 

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