"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Monday, April 9, 2018

Pen & Prosper Honors National Poetry Month

"How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways..."

There are many reasons to love poetry. From the depths and heights that we experience from reading the works of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, to the powerful thoughts penned by Maya Angelou.
Poetry feeds the mind, soul and spirit.
As a wise man once wrote: "

"I believe the world is beautiful, and poetry, like bread, is for everyone."

-Roque Dalton

But for me, there's even more. Poetry was my "first love."
Long before I became a blogger, decades before I began my career as a relationship columnist for both online and print publications, I wrote poems.
As a teenager, poetry helped me to cope during an awkward and confusing period; it allowed me to have a "voice."  An added bonus here, is that I have also met and made many lovely friends as a result of our mutual interest in this ancient art form.
In the evolving years, I've even published several poetry books and won various writing awards along the way. 
Today, in honor of National Poetry Month, (read more here): 
I'd like to share a few personal pieces that I have written.
I hope that you enjoy them. Feel free to share your thoughts by way of the comments section.
Have a great week ahead! Thanks for reading.


Despite the crime,
Despite the grit and grime,
Despite the rhetoric
Challenging his citizenship,
Let the records show
For all the nation to know
For future generations,
And history’s preservation,
That the 1st Black President lived here,
The home of Home Run Inn Pizza,
Buildings tall enough to kiss God,
Frigid winters,
And hot Jazz spots,
Notorious politicians,
The backdrop of fabulously famous writers,
Oprah’s former stomping ground,
More than a “toddlin’ town”
It’s called home for millions,
Where greatness hangs its hat,
A mecca for movers and shakers,
A great source of pride…


Don’t think twice,

Love yourself


Confidence breeds


Never settle for less,

You deserve the best.

Life is long,

Marry smart,

Pray strong,

Life is short,

Cherish the moments…


(4 the Singer formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson)

He left the party early,
In purple wings and glitter,
Causing time to stand still,
Like 1999...
Then the music stopped
For all of us,
Leaving hearts
Of purple tears,
Purple Rain
Purple Rain…

(C) Jennifer Brown Banks

Thoughts? Comments?

Image Credits: Pixabay.com


  1. Your poetry speaks. I love the Chi town poem (my birthplace), and Relationship Wisdom should be required reading for teens. The Prince poetry is moving. The purple image enhances it. I enjoy poetry that speaks, not the ambiguous kind that has to be deciphered. Great work, Jen.

  2. Lin,
    All these years I didn't know you were born in Chi town. No wonder you're so cool! Glad you liked my pieces. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing, dear.

  3. Thanks for sharing your poetry with us, Jen! It's a great way to celebrate this happy month. :)

  4. Thanks for the feedback, Karen.
    Have a great week ahead.

  5. This was a beautiful way to start my day. Love your site.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 16, 2018 at 6:26 PM

      Great to hear. Thanks, Cary!

  6. LOVE your homage to Prince. Purple tears, purple rain. You left out all the words nobody reads and left us with the best. Mind pictures. Lovely.

  7. Sue,
    Glad it resonated with you.
    I was a HUGE Prince fan.
    Appreciate your thoughts here today.