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March 23, 2017

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14 Year Old Child Bride Facing Death Penalty for Murdering Husband -

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

National Poetry Month: Poetri’s “Money”

Every month since 1996, April has been National Poetry Month, introduced by the Academy of American Poets. That year on April 1st, President Bill Clinton wrote a letter to the academy in honor of the very first National Poetry Month. In this letter Clinton wrote: “Throughout history, America has been blessed by the powerful voices of our poets. Dedicated artists, innovators, and stewards of our language, they tell us not only who we are, but also who we can become. They distill our emotions, clarify our thoughts, and renew our spirits with the vigor of their words and the freshness of their perspective.”

2013 National Poetry Month Poster

2013 National Poetry Month Poster

As President Clinton stated, America’s history has had powerful voices from our poets throughout our history into our present. Now there were many great poets before the nation was founded, but I would like to start with Philip Freneau, who was known as the “Poet of the American Revolution” with his poems such as “A Political Litany” in 1775, shortly before the Declaration of Independence and “American Liberty” celebrating America’s freedom.

In the 1700s there was also Phyillis Wheatley, who was the first African-American poet to publish a book, and in 1775 she wrote a poem to George Washington, and he responded by inviting her to meet with him, which they did so in March of the following year.

In the 1800s the popular poets were of course Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. We also had two Presidents from this century were  known to write poems; our 6th President, John Quincy Adams and our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.

Going into the 1900s, there was Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot, then in the 1950s Alen Ginsberg was the leading poet of the Beat Generation. And going into the new century we had poets such as Saul Williams, who blended poetry with hip-hop.

In 21st century, thanks to technology, we have access to all of the rich poems of our history with just a click of a button, or maybe I should say a tap of a finger, if using a smart phone or tablet. HBO from 2002-2007 ran Def Poetry, every episode having different poets of the day recite one of their poems.

While writing this article I watched many clips of these poets, trying to find just the right one to use. I decided on Poetri’s “Money”, for many reasons. But mainly because I think a lot of people have the pre-notion that poems either have to rhyme every other word, or that they are long and boring. And with the humor that Peotri used to write this and how entertaining he is when he recites it, I think it is the perfect one to show.

Now there are many poets who I did not mention in this brief article. So I will end my article with a few more notable poets and a link to one of their most famous poems:

Maya Angelou: “Alone”
Elizabeth Bishop: ”One Art”
Gwendolyn Brooks: “We Real Cool”
E.E. Cummings: “anyone lived in a pretty how town”
Langston Hughes: “Let America Be America Again”
Jack Kerouac: “One Flower”
Anne Sexton: “The Truth The Dead Know”
Shel Silverstein: “The World Was Crazy”
Edgar Allan Poe: “The Raven”
James Whitcomb Riley: “Little Orphan Annie”

Image credit: www.alamy.com

Ben Irvin-Howard (4 Posts)