"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Pen & Prosper Celebrates National Poetry Month

First loves.
It's no secret that in life, we often "revert" back to them in thought or association. We remember their initial magic. How they made us feel.We marvel at the way they allowed us to discover new heights and broaden our horizons. Such is the case for me and poetry.

Allow me to elaborate...In my literary career, I have been blessed to wear many hats.
At some point or another, I have dabbled in just about every genre imaginable.
From being a relationship columnist, to a pro blogger, to an essayist, to an editor.
And I have loved them all. But my first love? Poetry. Hands down. Way before
I fancied myself a "professional writer," poetry fueled my passion for words.
It allowed me to express myself without grammatical or structural restrictions.

And, I believe that it has gained greater acceptance and awareness in today's times. With this being said, I am happy, no, absolutely elated to celebrate National Poetry Month. N.P.M. was first introduced in 1996, by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness of this important art form. Each year, it is celebrated by publishers, poets, teachers, and businesses through workshops, literature, poetry readings, and discussions.

In keeping, I'd like to honor and acknowledge poets' contributions to our literary landscape--from the greats like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Maya Angelou, Jeanne Towns, Sonia Sanchez, to spoken word artists of today. Happy National Poetry Month. Who's your favorite poet past or present?
Do you dabble? Do tell...


  1. The last official bit of poetry I wrote was a limerick. I was tutoring a 6th grader and we were working on various projects to help stretch her skills. We wrote limericks about sharks, and I must admit, it was rather fun. I appreciate poetry, but never thought of myself as a poet. I wonder if there is a market for shark limericks? :)

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM


    You never know! Right? How about using the idea as the basis for some type of greeting card? :-) Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love good poetry, particularly from the Romantic period, but though I do dabble it's largely a private experiment, because I do NOT seem to write good poetry!

    I do love to 'wax poetic' though. :-)

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 23, 2012 at 2:58 PM


    I agree that the Romantic works are awesome. And I bet you're probably better than you give yourself credit for being. :-)

    Thanks for adding to the mix here.

  5. I love poetry! Some of my favorite poets are Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Frost -to name a few. When I was in my twenties, I wrote poetry constantly. That age was a dark time for me, so I had plenty to write about! Believe me! I still write poetry now, but not as often.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 24, 2012 at 3:35 AM


      ...Wow, a blast from the past! LOL
      Where you been, girl? :-) Seems you and I dig some of the same poets. How cool. Glad you have fewer "dark days". It was great to "chat" with you again!

  6. Robert Louis Stevenson,Rudyard Kipling,and Joyce Kilmer get my vote for poets of the past. I do dabble and have sold many poems, but I sure don't think I'm a poet. And you're spot on, Jennifer, when you say poetry fuels the passion for words. I couldn't agree more!

  7. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 24, 2012 at 5:08 PM


    I beg to differ. You are a poet--especially If your works have been marketable. :-) Poetry is not that easy to sell; I know from experience. I appreciate your time and input. Keep writing!

    1. I've reached the point where I can't not write. Know the feeling?

    2. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 25, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      You betcha'! Susan, I can definitely relate...

  8. Jennifer, thanks for this post. I too love poetry. I have so many favorite poets but the ones whose writings are dear to me are Lorna Goodison, Maya Angelou and Claude McKay. I love this quote from Shelley: "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world"

    1. Yasmin,

      I love that quote. Thanks for introducing me to it. Never heard of Lorna. Will check her out.

      I appreciate the input!