In celebration of National Poetry Month, every day we're posting a new poem from the spoken-word album Poetic License, a three-CD set that features one hundred performers of stage and screen reading one hundred poems selected by the actors themselves. From Shakespeare and Dickinson to Lucille Clifton and Allen Ginsberg, the lineup spans contemporary American poetry and classics of the Western canon.
Jane Hirshfield is the author of six poetry collections, most recently After (HarperCollins, 2006), and a book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (HarperCollins, 1997). She has also translated, along with Robert Bly, the poems of the fifteenth-century ecstatic poet Mirabai, who was born a princess in Rajasthan, India, but left her family to become a wandering poet-saint.
Brenda Wehle has appeared in film and television programs, including Malcolm in the Middle and Party of Five, as well as in stage performances of Pygmalion and Come Back, Little Sheba.
"Lake and Maple" by Jane Hirshfield, from Poetic License produced by Glen Roven. Copyright © 2010 by GPR Records. Used with permission of GPR Records.
Spread the word about debut poets and their work with this Pass-Along Poems chapbook. Print, assemble, and bind several handcrafted, saddle-stitched editions. Add your recommendations for first-time poets on the back pages, and while you’re at it, paste in your own polished, unpublished work or that of others you admire.
Need a dose of inspiration for your writing routine this April? Take our Poetry Challenge and try out a new writing prompt or poetry-related assignment every day during National Poetry Month.
The video poem may be ushering a whole new demographic to poetry. Here are six that have been made available to a wide audience on YouTube.