Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
National Poetry Month
As a lover of poetry and a poet of sorts, I am very interested in April, set aside as National Poetry Month, thirty whole days to celebrate poetry. With your indulgence, I want to depart from my usual history column and write about poetry.
April as National Poetry Month was inaugurated in 1996 by the
We have but to examine
1. To highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets.
2. To introduce more Americans to the pleasure of poetry.
3. To bring poets and poetry to the attention of the public in immediate and innovative ways.
4. To make poetry a more important part of the school curriculum.
5. To increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media.
6. To encourage increased publication, distribution and sales of poetry books.
7. To increase public and private philanthropic support for poetry and poets.
Even though the
month of April 2006 is in its last two weeks, it is still not too late
to make poetry more visible and accessible to citizens.
Just now, with the writing of this column, and your reading it,
we are fulfilling Goal 5 above. If you are
a teacher reading this column, I hope you will think of ways you can
increase your students’ appreciation of poetry in the days remaining of
April, 2006. Your local book store has
poetry books for sale. Buy one and read it
with joy and pleasure. If you have the
capability of going online, you may access the
And, being a great fan of Union County’s Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958), poet extraordinary, I can plead for you to fulfill Goal 7 listed above by supporting the Byron Herbert Reece Society’s aim of making the Reece Farm into a cultural center to honor the poet and his poetry, and to aid future poets who might be inspired as they visit the place where Reece thought so deeply and wrote so admirably.
I cannot close this article without sharing some personal thoughts of how I have celebrated April, National Poetry Month, to this date. I have sent my original poems to several people in letters and sympathy cards already during this month, and I will continue to do so until the end of April, and, indeed, all year long. To dear friends and relatives who have lost loved ones during the month of April, I sent them my sonnet entitled “Death at Times Is Kind.”
For my first great grandchild, born April 12, 2006, I printed and framed my poem entitled “This Clay to Mold – A Mother to Her Child,” which I hope my dear granddaughter Paula will take to heart and use as a sort of idealistic guide for motherhood as she rears the precious baby, Gavin Ernesto Berenguer-Aguirre, entrusted to her and Ernesto for rearing.<> A dear younger friend of mine, Beverly Michelle Denmark, has published during this month of April her first book of poems entitled “Sipping Coffee.” I received my copy of the book from her, signed by the author, with the notation that through Georgia Poetry Society I had inspired her to write. I will write a book review of
I thought how I would like to go into the schools and teach
poetry workshops as I once did, or teach my own classes (as I did prior
to my retirement) the beauty of poetry and how students can write their
own. Just now, my circumstances of
care-giving for my husband do not permit me to engage in this
much-loved activity. But I can appreciate
all the teachers from my past who made me a
lover of poetry from elementary school through college and graduate
I will end this appeal for you to celebrate and enjoy poetry during April, National Poetry Month, by ending with Byron Herbert Reece’s quatrain that says so much about the love of poetry and how it is written. His aim certainly has come true:
“From chips and chards in idle times,
I made these stories, shaped these rhymes;
May they engage some friendly tongue
When I am past the reach of song.”
c2006 by Ethelene
Dyer Jones; published
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]
Updated September 27, 2009