Take a break and read a poem today…

Today is National Poetry Day in Britain. Here in the US we have National Poetry Month in April, and as part of that there’s a Poem in Your Pocket Day – April 18th next year, and I’ll try to remind you…

The theme for this year’s National Poetry Day is stars, which I like, because one of my sons has turned out to be an astrophysicist – nothing to do with me, needless to say. I’m all about the liberal arts, so poems about stars are perfect.

There are poetry events all over, including a big one in London where they’ll give people a chance to visit one of the Poetry Peace Camp inspired by Deborah Warner’s commission for London 2012 Festival: Artichoke’s Peace Camp. There’s a rolling programme of free readings by top poets, including Dannie Abse, Christopher Reid and Helen Mort.

Kelly Grovier

They’re not being parochial about this either, and are including American poets in their recommendations. You can hear Kelly Grovier reading his poem, The Stars, by clicking here. (I’d reprint it, but I don’t want to infringe on copyright.) So here’s my out-of-copyright choice about stars:

In The Train

By James Thomson

                                                                 As we rush, as we rush in the Train,

                                                                 The trees and houses go wheeling back,

                                                                 But the Starry heavens above the plain

                                                                 Come flying on our track.

                                                                All the beautiful stars of the sky,

                                                                 The silver doves of the forest of Night,

                                                                 Over the dull earth swarm and fly,

                                                                 Companions of our flight.

                                                                 He will rush ever on without fear;

                                                                Let the goal be far, the flight be fleet!

                                                                While the earth slips from our feet!

It’s an old poem – the poet died in 1886, but it still resonates for me. Well, perhaps not when I’m on the train to New York City 🙂

Do you have a favorite?

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