Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April is National Poetry Month! Let's have fun #poetrymonth

Welcome to National Poetry Month! Throughout the month, I'll be sharing some of my favorite poems along with my favorite poets and poems from several authors including Linda Swift, Melissa Keir, and Joan Leotta, so sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy the poetic word play!

Robert Frost

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. He's mainly known for setting his writings in rural New England (and that's why he appeals to me), but he was born in San Francisco, California on 26 March 1874. When Robert was 11, his father died of tuberculosis and his family moved to Massachusetts.

He attended college on and off, never earning a degree. In 1894, he sold his first poem, "My Butterfly, An Elegy" for $15.00.
Frost as a young man
He married Elinor Miriam White in 1895. Tragedy stalked Frost and his family. His younger sister, Jeannie, was committed to a mental hospital in 1920. In 1947, his daughter, Irma, was also committed to a mental hospital. Frost often suffered from depression. He had six kids, but only 2 outlived him. In 1940, one of his sons (Carol) committed suicide. His wife developed breast cancer and died in 1938.

Yet in the face of all this heartbreak, Frost developed his poetic style and became an accomplished poet, winning his first Pulitzer Prize in 1924. He went on to win four Pulitzers during his lifetime.

Robert Frost spoke to his readers using an honest voice as he depicted the actions of ordinary men. He could write about a wide range of human experiences, capturing a conversational style that appealed to many. My favorite is "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

I love how his words paint a very visual scene and growing up in New England, I can close my eyes and use my other senses to depict the poem. I especially liked his use of repletion to drive home his themes.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
By: Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

Question for you: Who is your favorite poet?  Why?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She's published with Desert Breeze, 4RV, and Victory Tales Press. She loves coffee, adores chocolate, and writing poetry.

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