#PoetryMonth – Story Time Friday with Walt Whitman

Poetry Month FB Banner

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New Year Story Time Friday Banner

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I’ve asked my friend Walt Whitman onto the blog today to help finish off Poetry Month.

…ok, I’m not friends with Whitman. And no, I didn’t ask him to be on the blog. But maybe he would like to be on the blog if he were still alive today. Who knows. Either way, this is the last Story Time Friday for the 2016 National Poetry Month celebration here on A Life Among the Pages. I wanted to wind things down with a poem I’ve been holding onto since March when I read it at our open mic night here in Colorado. I debated starting the month off with the poem instead, but it felt better to hold off. It’s a good send-off poem and hopefully inspiration for people who’ve newly discovered the craft to work at it and come back for 2017’s Poetry Month.

There’s a lot to take in from this poem, as with all of Whitman’s work. I hope you read it over a few times, at the very least. If you’d like to start a discussion in the comments about it, that’d be great too. It’s fun to talk about Whitman.

And if this wasn’t enough of “the father of modern poetry” (as some call him) for you, you’ll find a link below to download his entire collection, Leaves of Grass, from Project Gutenberg. It’s along read, but it’s worth it, even if only in small chunks here and there.

Thanks for sticking with me for 29 days so far! It’s been a long but rewarding journey. Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow, too. It’s the last day of Poetry Month and you don’t want to miss it!
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Poets to Come

by Walt Whitman

Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,
Arouse! Arouse—for you must justify me—you must answer.

I myself but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry back in the darkness.

I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you, and then averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.

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Download Leaves of Grass from Project Gutenberg

#NationalPoetryMonth Challange!

That’s right: I’m CHALLENGING YOU! As we all know, April is National Poetry Month (international if you want to say. It’s spread pretty far by now.) I like to celebrate it on A Life Among the Pages, and this year is no different. Bringing awareness to poetry and new poetry to readers is always a great goal, even if just one more person gets into poetry. It’ll still be a win. So let’s kick this month off by bringing back a graphic you may remember from last year…

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Poetry Month FB Banner

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Remember that? Either way, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it this month.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’m challenging everyone reading this to do: Read a book of poetry. Simple enough right?

I challenge each and every one of you to go out and find a book of poetry that you think you’ll enjoy. Then read it. It could be a single poet collection. It could be a multi-poetry anthology. And if that’s a little too much for you, maybe try easing yourself in with some single poems you find online. As long as there’s an attempt to try to read more poetry, that’s all that really matters.

I know many of my readers read poetry even if it’s occasional. But maybe some of you would like a few suggestions. I’m not sure if I’m good at suggestions, but I’ll try by listing some of my favorite collections that I’ve read and some poets, as well.

A few verse novel suggestions might help those not ready to dive right in.

And here is a list of Indie poets you might have seen on the blog in the past. They’re definitely worth checking out. I’ll link a collection into each name.

I don’t really know where to steer anyone looking for an anthology. I own so many and many have overlapping selections. You can’t really go wrong with one. Read a few poems from them and if it seems like it’ll click with you, that’d probably be a great choice.

ALSO, as a little self-promotion and a help for you (maybe), you may notice the prices on my ebooks have dropped. For the month of April, on Amazon (since 99.9999999999% of my five sales each year come from there)…

From Where I Stand is only $1.23

and

Winter’s Homecoming and other Poems is only $0.99

AND, because I want to be generous, if anyone would like to read one of these collections/chapbooks but can’t afford to buy one…let me know. If you’re serious about reading it (and hopefully leaving an honest review when you’re done), send me a message and I’ll hook you up. I can give out Smashwords coupons for you to grab it for free. You can get it in any format through them. I’m here to spread poetry and that’s what I’ll do my best to do!

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Have I tired your eyes out yet with all this reading? One most big of housekeeping to do and then you can run off.

STORY TIME FRIDAY and PROSE VERSE BABEL…let’s get them going this month! A lot of poetry has been featured on STF so far, but we’ll keep that going if we can this month. PVB hasn’t been alive in a LONG time. Let’s fix that.

So I’m asking for you all to help by contributing. Find out more on how to submit work to each here:

Story Time Friday

Prose Verse Babel

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Ok folks. That’s all for now. Help spread the poetic word and come back often to the blog for most poetry fun all month!