Friday, April 12, 2013

In Celebration of Poetry

April Fool's continues for us

this is the view from the balcony today

I usually welcome all of Nature's whimsies,

it just feels a bit confusing....I am almost tempted to pull out the holiday lights again!

I have to admit, it is pretty...
and I'll be dreaming of this weather when it's August and 95 degrees...

Ok, on to the POETRY!

April is National Poetry Month in the U.S.

  Poster by Jessica Helfand

"National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established (in 1996) by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated."

My love of poetry began at a very early age, when my Grandmother read Pushkin's fairy tales to me every evening before bed...
 Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) is considered the greatest poet, novelist, and playwright Russia has ever known...


 My favorite of his fairy tales was, and still is, 
"The Fisherman and the Fish"
...sounds simple enough...except this brilliant story, written in verse, teaches a most beautiful lesson....if you are not familiar with this tale, I highly recommend the translation here.

Please keep in mind that the language is of the early to mid-1800's


As I grew older, poetry continued to be a cherished companion...


I have been blessed by several people close and dear to me, 
who were or are gifted poets....


Do you enjoy poetry? Have you tried writing a poem? 
Who are some of your favorite poets?

What is poetry?


There are countless ways to describe this most soul-elevating art....

I love this poem by Marianne Moore

Upon reading it, even those who do not find poetry enchanting or essential, may begin to understand what the fuss is all about:


I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all
this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are

useful. When they become so derivative as to become
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat

holding on upside down or in quest of something to

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf
a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that
feels a
flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician--
nor is it valid
to discriminate against 'business documents and

school-books'; all these phenomena are important. One must
make a distinction
however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be
'literalists of
the imagination'--above
insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them', shall
we have
it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry. 

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I would like to invite you all to visit a most talented poet, artist, and friend...
Anita Rivera at Castles Crowns and Cottages 
as she takes us on a beautiful, poetic journey of her own....



  1. What can I say this morning my sister, but that I am very excited about celebrating this most wonderful art with YOU? YOU, who has shown me what poetry is in flesh and blood.

    These photos (the silly bunny whose name IS April Fools! teehe) to the Pushkin story (must read the translation today) and all of the quotes are fuel for the fire to keep me reading, writing and teaching the necessity to express oneself. THANK YOU for you wonderful comment that I saw about 1:00am but was unable to comment...I had to go to bed after a week of teaching again each day! WOW, how one must be FIT mentally and physically to teach!

    Hugs and much love for all that you do for your friends. Your life is that "Masterpiece."


  2. Dear Irina,
    Thank you for such an encouraging and useful post on poetry. I can truly say that poetry saved my life, and this in no small part due to having married the great dame of Castles, Crowns and Cottages.

  3. Oh....I see what my king has written here! Oh Irina, this celebration is so special because YOU are also in the spirit of it all! THANK YOU again for coming to visit my post and for giving me such positive feedback! That particular line you quoted gave me the biggest challenge, for TIME is not always on our side when we are posting a blog post. I could have worked on this poem even more, but there is a point at which you just have to be finished. But to gather all the sights and sounds, smells and textures in one line? Difficult, but not impossible. It takes POETRY to at least start finding the ways to express so much in such little space, and "Kneading our place in the world...and gift-wrapping tradition into corn husks" just about sums up my current recollection of that experience. Thank you for being able to see it and comment on its effect.

    I LOVED THE FISHERMAN AND THE FISH. There are so many different cultural and linguistic perspectives to take life lessons in order to teach and reteach. This is what the celebration is all about. BEAUTIFUL MY DEAR HEART!

  4. Dear Irina -
    You are such a good friend :) That's why we all love you!! I immediately thought of you and Anita when I heard on the radio April is National Poetry month. Thanks for sharing your gift with us. And the snow = :( So sorry about that. It is just beautiful in DC....sending you some spring sunshine!
    Have a wonderful weekend ~
    PS -

  5. Ooops forgot my PS above! Thanks for suggesting The Fisherman and the Fish. Will look forward to enjoying it :)

  6. My dear, did you see Loi's comment on my post? He came after you...I LOVE HIS IDEA! Let's talk about it!

  7. Isn't he just a prince, Loi?

    We have to discuss his idea. I have one already and I think you just may enjoy the possibilities. We are up and running to go to the Hoppy Hour; I hope you are there. If not, can we talk this week? I am off for the next three days!

  8. HI Irina,

    Love your blog post And the poster promoting Poetry month! What a great way to take our minds off inclement weather - of which we've all had plenty. You seem to be able to find a way to put a positive and cheerful spin on that too ..... I think that YOU are a national treasure! Thanks for your continued great energy and comments over at Zendoll workshop!! xoxo

  9. Oh Irina I really hadn't given poetry too much thought until lately....I went to a 'Carerfest' and there was a 'printed' poetress giving a Writing Workshop which I took...OMG she was absolutely brilliant....The Workshop was Writing for Therapy and there are almost no truer words than this....It was a simply beautiful experience....tears and all!!!

    I just flipped over to my mail....the big day is Wednesday...and I will be 30 (again)....gulp...where does the time go???? I reeally hope the sun comes and start to shine in your corner of the world...she was here earlier but now it is cloudy! Have a beautiful week....Much Love, Dzintra xoxo

  10. I have a son who wants to be a poet...

  11. Irina, this is such a lovely post for Poetry Month. I did go visit your friend and enjoyed her poem very much. I also read The Fisherman and the Fish. I loved it! The pictures you've posted here of the story are wonderful too. laurie

  12. Good morning dear one. Thank you so much for your support with my writing. It means so much to me. LOVE YOU! Anita

  13. Dear Irina,
    I don't know how I missed this beautiful post for Poetry Month..
    Thank you so much for your visit this morning and your kind thoughts about my humble little poem.. Well, I am not a poet, but it was fun.. I do however, just love that little hummingbird that inspired the words.
    You will have an entire ROW of lilacs soon? Oh happy day! Roses, lilacs and lavender are my favorites.. I only have two lilac bushes, planted 3 years ago.. This is the first year I have had more than one or two blooms, so I am cutting as many as I can for the house..
    Wishing you a wonderful week, and thank you again for this beautiful post.

  14. Thanks SO much for sweet words on my blog:) I love your to.

    If you want some fashion inspiration..check out my new post:)

    have a great weekend dear

    LOVE Maria

  15. Precious sister, THANK YOU for coming to visit my post. I want to celebrate all of YOU, always! LOVE TO YOU! Anita


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