Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Poetry Wednesday: Long Island Sound

Poem in your Pocket Day is April 24 — are you ready? Here's a poem that will fit in your pocket — and start looking for others!

Long Island Sound

I see it as it looked one afternoon

In August,—by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.

The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,

A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.

The shining waters with pale currents strewn,

The quiet fishing-smacks, the Eastern cove,

The semi-circle of its dark, green grove.

The luminous grasses, and the merry sun

In the grave sky; the sparkle far and wide,

Laughter of unseen children, cheerful chirp

Of crickets, and low lisp of rippling tide,

Light summer clouds fantastical as sleep

Changing unnoted while I gazed thereon.

All these fair sounds and sights I made my own.

— Emma Lazarus


Don't forget to submit your poem and win a poetry book!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Suggest a Poem for 2014 National Poetry Month, Win a Poetry Book

April is National Poetry Month. Are you ready?

Share a poem with your fellow enthusiasts and win a poetry book.

Yes, you read that right: send me your suggestion for a poem to be shared on Hedgehog Lover during National Poetry Month and I will send you a book of poetry.

One lucky book recipient also will receive a copy of the 2014 National Poetry Month (pictured, left). Oh, perhaps there are other ways to obtain a copy, but this way nets you both a book and a poster. Double win.

Where do you find your poetry? The Academy of American Poets, The Writer's Almanac, The Poetry Foundation all come to mind. Can you name others? Which is your favorite?

Have you tried any of the poetry apps available? The Poetry Foundation has one that is particularly fun.

If you write your own poetry, which is very cool, please feel free to share it as well, whether it is published or unpublished.

Ready, set — poem!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Century in Stories: American Decameron

Take a stroll through the twentieth century courtesy of Mark Dunn and his brilliant short story collection, American Decameron.

Based on Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, Dunn tells a story for every year of the century. Every state is represented, as well as at least one location outside the country.

The author suggests only the first and last stories be read in order, and the rest could be read in any order.

I read the stories in chronological order, and I am glad I did. The stories progressed linguistically and tonally: the formality of the language and story tone evolved with the century, as did subjects, which also were very enjoyable.

On the whole, the stories were successful. Some were steeped in history, others were absolutely original. Many were rooted in fact (I plan to search for clues on the more obscure stories). Not all are stories in the traditional sense, and the imaginative approach to storytelling was revolutionary, entertaining and, at times, completely unexpected. A few of the stories seemed a little contrived and token (1982, I'm looking at you).

More than a few of the stories made me cry. A couple of them required me to compose myself after reading them, particularly the post-war stories. I read American Decameron with Carole, and we called each other to see which stories we had read. ("Have you gotten to 1930?" "Oh, my stars, 1948!")

And for the record, 1948 was one of the most moving stories I've ever read. 1903 was imaginative and touching, 1907 had the most delicious twist. 1916 was profoundly heartwarming, 1954 nearly broke my heart.  1926 actually did break my heart.

I also am slowly making my way through the original Decameron. In fact, I plan to re-read American Decameron while reading the Italian story collection. Then, I'll read American Decameron again and again. It's the kind of collection that gives readers something new at every reading. If you are like me, you'll gorge on the stories for as long as your eyes will stay open, then a little longer after that.

I strongly recommend this book, and I can't wait to find out what you think.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Poetry Wednesday: After Love

After Love

Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.
These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.
Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.
The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar
and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.
Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when
the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self
lay lightly down, and slept.

 by Maxine W. Kumin

from Selected Poems, 1960-1990. Copyright © 1970 by Maxine Kumin. 
Courtesy Poetry Foundation