NATIONAL POETRY DAY! #thinkofapoem

October 8, 2015 Book Event, Bookish Fun 18

According to National Day Calendar today is National Poetry Day.  I know most of these national day celebrations are a joke as there is day for everything from Angel Food Cake day to Vodka day (the 4th, damn it we missed it!).  But a day that celebrates words and creativity and expression is one that I want to join in on.

national poetry day



For years I didn’t ‘get’ poetry.  It was something I had to memorise and interpret for school.  But beyond that poetry had no great meaning for me.  Until I just felt inspired to spill all my own feels one day by trying to write my own.  I had words that I needed to get out and doing so was just so  cathartic.  I read my words out aloud, put all my feelings in to them and then I clicked with poetry.

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” – Mary Oliver

I was hooked and from there I was eagerly revisiting poetry from the greats and trying to find meaning in them.  If you think poetry is boring; read it out loud, perform them ala Slam Poetry and you might just surprise yourself with what you can get from it.  I’d highly recommend reading Slammed by Colleen Hoover as that is a book that inspired me all over again about the power of poetry and just how it can be exciting and how words can evoke ALL THE EMOTIONS.

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”.  – Robert Frost

My favourite poem that I want to feature today is Digging by the late Seamus Heaney.  I love how he sees his pen as his work tool, how words flow just like the sound of digging and how his pen can be a deadly as a gun.  I also love the rural setting as I can identify with it and the theme of how we all have to find our way in life even if it’s not what our parents have done.


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.


Talk to Trish:  Do you like poetry?  Do you experiment with writing it?  What is your favourite poem?

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18 Responses to “NATIONAL POETRY DAY! #thinkofapoem”

    • trish

      I don’t read poetry all the time either Rita, just when the mood hits. And I prefer listening rather than reading as that way, I hear the rhythm of the words and seem to take it in more.
      I’m the same with song lyrics, I love them! I actually have a blog post coming soon on a song whose lyrics really mean something special to me!

  1. Lola

    While back in high school I used to write poetry to express my feelings, I never really liked reading poetry. It always feels like I am missing something. Like there is some message or more behind it that I fail to grasp. Or maybe that’s because during literature in high school we always had to search for those hidding meanings in poems and it feels like that mostly ruined my interest in them.
    There are some poems that are really good though and I like it when I can feel the emotions behind the words while reading them.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: What Characters do You Like to Read About?

    • trish

      Like I just said to Maureen above, I think listening to poetry is the best. And I don’t really worry about finding meaning, when I click with one, it’s usually because something in it just means something to me and the more I listen the more I seem to understand.

  2. Maureen Beatrice

    I’ve never really been a fan of poetry.. Not because I didn’t want to but most of the time I just don’t get what they are talking about. But I keep trying because I really WANT to get it.. And I want to like poetry. I know there are some great poems out there, and I will not rest until I get them!! I think this is the read-everything-there-is-and-get-it side of me! 🙂
    I read ‘Slammed’ a couple of years ago and I really loved it. It definitely is a book that makes you want to give poetry a try.
    Maureen Beatrice recently posted…Blitz Tour ‘What If’ by Rita Szollos

  3. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    Yay I had no idea that was today! I like poetry too. Lately I have been really liking Robert Frost. So it was good to see him on your post 😉 I got an old paperback of his poems, which was nice. I have been thumbing though that lately just at random times a poem here and there and that’s what I love about poetry! You can do that. 😀

    Great post, Trish.

    • trish

      It has been a long time since I read Robert Frost so I might go look some up later. I like flicking through poetry books too as you can just read a page and put it down. What I really love to do is listen to them on podcasts or Youtube though as I like to hear them performed. That is how I fell in love with The Raven (which I know you love), as hearing the words gave me shivers that just reading it never had.

    • trish

      If you liked them then, you should give them another go. Or even try listening to some on line. It can be very relaxing.

    • trish

      I never appreciated them in school! I do now though but I never try too hard to understand them, either I click with them or I don’t!

    • trish

      I never felt in school at all that poetry was something that it was even possible to enjoy! No one ever mentioned that! Like you it has grown on me.

    • trish

      I love Emily Dickinson too, her poem Hope is the thing with feathers is one of my all time favourites. I haven’t read much Sylvia Plath but I will do so after your recommendation, so thanks for that! I find the more I read and listen to the less daunting it becomes.

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