Thursday, April 1, 2010


Woohoo! It's April! Which means National Poetry Month is finally here!!

For some quick links to blogosphere celebrations, see the side bar. For an amazing, more complete resource page, visit Laura Evans at So much to do!

Here, I'm celebrating by having a GIVEAWAY!

Yep. Every Friday this month I will share one of my most favorite poems of all time... and give away one of my most favorite anthologies of all time. (What, you say? Today's not Friday? Never fear, I am not completely off my rocker. Yet. I've just been SO EXCITED, I didn't think it would hurt to get a jumpstart.)

First up: GOOD POEMS, edited by Garrison Keillor.

Just leave me a comment on this post, and you're entered to win! I'll announce this week's winner when we do it all over again NEXT Friday. Meanwhile, I will be writing a brand-spanking new poem every day this month. Yep, it's happening, folks. Starting TO-DAY.

Now for today's poem:

A Secret Life

Why you need to have one
is not much more mysterious than
why you don't say what you think
at the birth of an ugly baby.
Or, you've just made love
and feel you'd rather have been
in a dark booth where your partner
was nodding, whispering yes, yes,
you're brilliant. The secret life
begins early, is kept alive
by all that's unpopular
in you, all that you know
a Baptist, say, or some other
accountant would object to.
It becomes what you'd most protect
if the government said you can protect
one thing, all else is ours.
When you write late at night
it's like a small fire
in a clearing, it's what
radiates and what can hurt
if you get too close to it.
It's why your silence is a kind of truth.
Even when you speak to your best friend,
the one who'll never betray you,
you always leave out one thing;
a secret life is that important.

- Stephen Dunn

For Poetry Friday, check out Book Aunt who's got Roundup!


  1. A Secret Life is a beautiful poem and oh so true, I so look forward to this month of poetry!

  2. An excellent selection to start April. I dare say you'll outshine Knopf's selection this year. For my taste anyway. Expectations are high.

  3. This has to be good. For years, I'd listen to The Writer's Almanac on the way to school. Something about hearing Garrison Kellior read poety is very soothing. I'm sure anything he selects would be wonderful.

  4. Writing a poem every day for a month! Wow that's awesome. I couldn't do that. I would have a writers block every other day. Also having show chior and homework everyday doesn't help. Right now working on a short story :)

  5. Wishing you great inspiration every single day! Do we get to read the results?

  6. Happy National Poetry Month, Irene!

    I linked to your blog in my post today:

    Have a wonderful, inspiring April -

  7. I will continue to check your blog everyday. Really enjoy poetry and A Secret Life gave me reason to pause and think about things most dear to me. Looking forward to it.

  8. Love poetry! Love that you're giving away a poetry anthology EVERY Friday in April! In fact, I'm so filled with love, I may have to write a poem about it :-)

    Thanks for the inspiration, Irene!

  9. I'll look forward to reading the poems but it will be hard to give your prize to an unknown.

  10. I love that anthology. Good choice for today.

  11. Oh I love that poem which is new to me. I'm adding it to my Commonplace book. Thank you.

  12. I'm looking forward to your poetry month entries. I would love to win Good Poems. We are having a poetry contest this month in our school library.


  13. Irene, I'm inspired by your quest for a poem a day! Thanks for putting out the challenge!

  14. Hi Irene,

    Thanks for the link! Also, I'm a Garrison Keiller fan--Prairie Home Companion, etc.

    Thanks for entering me into the giveaway.

    My hat is off to all you folks who are writing a poem a day!!!

    Laura Evans
    all things poetry

  15. What a great opening line. So honest and most of all, true! Thanks for sharing this poem.

  16. Interesting theme to this poem. I've been getting up way before dawn to write -- secret life indeed!

  17. Hello beautiful lady! Just popping in to wish you a very happy Easter!

    Love and hugs,

  18. I absolutely adore listening to Garrison Keillor. I listened to him on NPR and bought several CDs of his good poems. I would love to win this book.


  19. Oh, I'd love to win this. Lovely Dunn poem, too. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I'm having a wonderful time during National Poetry Month. I've been collecting poems and activities to share with my students. Just wanted to say thanks for the posts.


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