I never saw a purple cow. I never hope to see one. But I can tell you anyhow, I'd rather see than be one.

by kiya@evpl on Friday, February 20 2009, 1:44pm. Viewed 1,390 times.

That poem by Frank G. Burgess might be the first one I ever learned, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. At least until I turned 8 or so.

I don't think of myself as much interested in poetry, and certainly don't write any. (Well, except for when I write new words for familiar tunes and drive my kids crazy with them. But that's hereditary. My mom used to do that to me.) Every now and then, though, some poem or poet really catches my interest, and for a little while, I'm really into poetry, or that poet, or performance poetry. And then I forget until next time.

So while I'm thinking about it - here are some of the poets, poetry, and links that have caught my fancy in the last couple of years.

1. Bryan Owen, who will be here, in Evansville, at Central Library, on Sunday, March 8th. He will be presenting a poetry workshop at no charge to the participants. More info here! Below is one of his poems that I really like:

She said I'm like an onion -
I had so many hidden layers.
I told her that
if she stopped peeling
she wouldn't cry so much.

© Bryan Owen 2006

"Onions" was recently published in chicago writer Sean Chercover's novel Trigger City in which Bryan's collection Blue daffodils and other poems becomes part of the plot.

2. Taylor Mali writes and performs poems. For many years, he also taught school, and while I enjoy nearly all of his poems, the school poems are really terrific.

"Like Lilly Like Wilson", about a recovering "like" addict, was the poem that brought Mali to my attention.

"Labeling Keys" is funny and poignant.

"How To Write A Political Poem" is just one of Mali's poems that you can read on his website. I had a hard time choosing one to post...

3. The power of Audre Lorde's poetry always resonates with me.

4. Ted Kooser and Billy Collins, both former poet-laureates, intrigue me.

I had a teacher who made us memorize Robert Frost's poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay," swearing it would come to mind each and every spring for the rest of our lives. She was right. I wish now I had memorized more poetry when I was younger, and could learn it easier. I guess it's not too late.

What's your favorite poem?

Comments (2)

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Meditatinglibrarian@evpl wrote
on Wednesday, March 4 2009, 9:10am

I don't read a lot of poetry, but I recently read "Ballistics: Poems", by Billy Collins.  I enjoyed those poems a lot - funny, witty, understandable, human.

bjeanr wrote
on Monday, June 8 2009, 3:00pm

Did you know that Mr. Burgess wrote a sequel to that poem?

Ah, yes, I wrote the "Purple Cow" - I'm sorry now I wrote it!

But I can tell you anyhow, I'll kill you if you quote it.