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It is April 30, which means it is the last day of National Poetry Month. I shared some poems I’ve written, and now I’d like to share some of my favorite poems by other people.

“This Be the Verse” by Phillip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

This poem is exceedingly relevant in my life.

“maggie and milly and molly and may” by ee cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

I really love the rhythm and rhyme in this poem.

“Afternoon on a Hill” by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing
   Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
   And not pick one.
 
I will look at cliffs and clouds
   With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
   And the grass rise.
 
And when lights begin to show
   Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
   And then start down!
Here is this poem in choral form: Afternoon on a Hill I performed this piece many years ago, and it still holds a dear place in my heart. I love the poem’s simplicity and its concrete images.
I do not read nearly as much poetry as I should. I might start doing a “Poem of the Month” kind of thing where I present one poem each month to talk about. We’ll see.
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