National Poetry Month: Ruminations

by Stephanie Lovegrove April 29, 2009

As you probably know by now, April is National Poetry Month, and as it draws to a close, I thought it might be nice to reflect on some of the fun happenings and share a few poems. Much like with Earth Day, I wish we could have every month set aside to appreciate poetry in its many manifestations. I find poetry to be such a quiet and powerful mode of reflection, solace, and joy.

As part of the celebration this month, I signed up to receive Knopf’s Poem-A-Day, and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great way to start each morning. Here's a few lines from one of my favorites:

Touch-Me-Nots by Jill Bialosky

She brought a little of the country into the city
in the pots of impatiens she had planted.
The petals white, pure, the opposite of color.
She had transferred the impatiens from the garden,
digging her hands into soil two parts fibrous loam,
one part leaf mold and peat moss and pushing
the roots into the earth.

At the bookstore where I work, I set up an Open Mic Poetry Night, and despite the fact that it took place on the eve of an awful blizzard, some people still braved the weather to join us. We had a great time. I read a poem of Mark Doty's called "House of Beauty," which I recently heard him read when he was at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in March. Here's a sample stanza:

In the dark recess beside the sink
–where heads lay back to be laved
under the perfected heads rowed along the walls–
the hopeful photographs of possibility darken,
now that the House of Beauty is burning.

At our Poetry Bookclub this month, we discussed Seamus Heaney’s Spirit Level, which I loved, but which required more of me as a reader than I am used to. He packs so much into each phrase that a quick read just won’t suffice. I was thrilled when, at the end of the night, we picked two titles for upcoming meetings: Body Clock by Eleni Sikelianos, and For Love of Common Words by Steve Scafidi. Scafidi is one of my all-time favorite poets. Here are a few stanzas:

The Egg Suckers

To the snakes and the rats and the weasels
who skulk and tunnel and dig underneath
the moon and the earth to find the shiny
white ovum of their dreams laying there

warmed under the hen who coughs a little
moving away in the darkness of the gold
hay and the dust of my chicken coop
I say hello now from about fifty feet away

in my writing room at the beginning of Spring
for you are the egg suckers, the midnight
takers-away, the despised and slinky
snoopers, the geniuses of the world who

will be here when we are no more–
you who move with such deliberation,
what you want eventually you get, hauling
the precious cargo gently between your jaws

And don’t forget, tomorrow is Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day (sponsored by The Academy of American Poets), so put a poem in your pocket, share it with a friend or stranger, and spread some poetry love! Let’s squeeze the last drops of poetry appreciation from these last couple days!

Stephanie Lovegrove
Stephanie Lovegrove


Stephanie Lovegrove had two poems featured in Ruminate's Issue #04, and was so impressed with the magazine that she volunteered to work for them. She served as Ruminate's poetry editor from 2007-2014. Since 2002, she has worked in the book business--at literary magazines, publishers, and bookstores, and as a freelance copyeditor. She holds degrees in English (with a focus on creative writing), classics, and linguistics. She currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she works in marketing for the University of Virginia Press. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Cream City Review, and Poet Lore, among other journals.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.

Also in Ruminate Blog

Faith and Femininity
Faith and Femininity

by Ananda-mayi dasi December 13, 2018

When I watched my ponytail fall to the floor, I was surprised by the lurch in my stomach. The definite markings of my femininity would soon be swept into the forest, leaving uncertainty: How would I embody femininity now that I had chosen to withdraw from traditional feminine expectations? 

Read More

The Grace of Waiting and Its End
The Grace of Waiting and Its End

by Sophfronia Scott December 11, 2018 1 Comment

There’s a magic that comes of waiting and watching—a magic only apparent when the waiting is over. Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Queen of Waiting. I have no problem waiting out anything, even if it takes years. I have a patience born of soap operas.

Read More

Small Miracles & Happy Dances
Small Miracles & Happy Dances

by Brianna Van Dyke December 07, 2018

With each order that comes through we seriously do a happy dance knowing that the good work of our contributors will be seen and held by more hearts and our little nonprofit is earning the funds that will help us start the new year strong. Our staff is deeply encouraged as we witness each intimate act of one human sharing something they love with another. 

Read More