April is National Poetry Month. I was going to tell you that I don’t read poetry, put my head down in shame and admit to the fact that I don’t know much about poetry at all. I’ve never been good at posturing, impressing others with obscure quotes. Ask me my favorite anything: poem, painter, band, etc., and I panic. My mind goes blank. The doubt crawls in and I’m definitely feeling uncool. But then I realized poetry is an inextricable part of my life, always present. Poetry is in the everyday and the momentous occasions. Kind of like cotton, it’s the fabric of our lives.
I learned that April is National Poetry Month because I read the blog Eat This Poem. Okay, so I do read poetry. Nicole announced National Poetry Month and asked readers to share their favorite poem. For once, my answer came to mind immediately. I grew up reading Shel Silverstein, famous for his illustrations and poetry. I’ve carried a tattered, coverless copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends with me since I was a little kid. Silverstein’s writing is a mix of ridiculous silliness balanced by loving guidance and a dash of melancholy. As a kid I turned to Where the Sidewalk Ends for comfort and respite from the anxiety of living in a world I couldn’t predict. I’ve always walked to the beat of my own drum, and reading Shel Silverstein’s poetry reassured me that my music was worth playing. My favorite Shel Silverstein poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends:
LISTEN TO THE MUSTN’TS
Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DONT’S
Listen to the SHOULDN’T’S
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
To this day I still don’t believe in NO. Thank you for that, Uncle Shelby.
Each week I contribute a column to the Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder website expanding on one of my 10 Ways Tuesday ideas. In celebration of Easter, and spring, I’ve cooked up a simple hors d’oeuvres, boiled quail eggs served with Heidi Swanson’s citrus sea salt (I used floral Meyer lemon zest) and a sprinkling of fresh chive. For more on the recipe, click on the link below.
Do you have a treasured poem or poet? Share your story in the comments section. Click Here.