Treasured Poems from a Treasured Volume

famous poemsIn the introduction to a treasured book of the past, A Treasury of the World’s Best Loved Poems (1961), readers are asked to ponder the question: “What is poetry?”

The introduction’s writer recalls the many and varied attempts at definition throughout the ages, citing poetry as:

  • “the music of the soul” (Voltaire)
  • “the art of uniting pleasure with truth” (Samuel Johnson)
  • “the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself” (William Hazlitt)
  • that which “makes me feel as if the top of my head were taken off” (Emily Dickinson)
  • “not the assertion of truth, but the making of that truth more fully real to us” (T.S. Eliot)
  • Or as Albert Einstein said of truth, perhaps great poetry is “that which stands the test of experience.”

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Digging Deep in the Garden of Poetry

Dog digging in woods picture

T.S. Eliot once wrote in the opening line of his great poem, The Waste Land, that “April is the cruelest month.” How keenly and acutely we felt that cruelty this spring after such a long, hard winter.

On this last day of April, however, we prefer to enter Merry May on a warm, gentle note, “digging into” an assortment of poetry in celebration and recognition of April as the official “National Month of Poetry.” Read more