Friday, April 2, 2010

Poetry Friday: National Poetry Month 50 State Tour -- PA



Ah, Pennyslvania. The second state (12/12/1787).

I'm still burned up from my Jersey days, when I'd drive to my cousin's house in the Philly suburbs and see this sign: "Welcome to Pennsylvania, America Starts Here." Excuse me? Are you dissin' my home state?

So, Pennsylvania, while I love the smell of chocolate in the air when I'm riding the coasters at Hershey Park, I am *not* surprised at your lack of a poet laureate.

And that whole thing about, "Every poet is our poet laureate?" Not buying it. That's as lazy as not looking out your window and noticing there is a WHOLE STATE between you and the Atlantic Ocean.

You had one poet laureate, Samuel Hazo. Then you booted him. No explanation. No replacement. That's like breaking up with your first boyfriend and deciding to be celibate for the rest of your life.

And what's not to like? Here's a beautiful poem by Samuel Hazo -- former and only Poet Laureate of Pennsylvania. (You're going on my Wall of Shame, PA, you and your road sign.)

TO WAIT AS A WAY OF LIFE
Samuel Hazo
 
                 Waiting to act is where
                    the drama waits.
                                     Act,
                    and it's over.
                                   Bad gospel
                    for the overdoers of this world,
                    but irrefuteable…
                                       Hamlet pensive
                    is Hamlet at his truest.
                                             A cobra,
                    coiled on its coils, is totally
                    cobra.
                           The mountain snow
                    that keeps its avalanche a secret
                    threatens the deadliest with white
                    restraint.
                                Never are brides
                    more beautiful than in their veils.
                 Sprinters at the starting blocks
                    with all their muscles primed
                    and flexed look equally supreme
                    before defeat or victory
                    undoes them.

Read the rest of the poem at Poetry Magazine.
 
Moving on... It's just a short drive to New Jersey
-- my home state. But it's not going to be a
pleasant visit. You thought the housewives
were bad? Get ready for "The Real Poets
of New Jersey."
 
Until we get there, please visit Book Aunt. She is hosting the
Poetry Friday round-up today. 

5 comments:

Mary Lee said...

I LOVE this series! I can't wait to come back and visit for all the rest of the states. Hopefully none disappoint you as much as PA has!!

Author Amok said...

Thanks, ML! Glad you visited.

New Jersey was the biggest disappointment of the 50 states. Oh, the drama!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

You did pick a good poem to represent us, but... Hiding my face in shame. There is no excuse for us PAinians. So sorry.

diannewrites said...

Great series. Great poem. Loved your riff on PA!

Author Amok said...

Andromeda -- those of us let down by our home states will hurt together. Maybe we should write protest poems.