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Excerpt:
The following is from the April 9, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News.


Academy of American Poets claim
the entire month of April as its own.
And why not?

By TOM MAYO
Special Contributor


Tom Mayo

National Poetry Month, reflecting the best efforts of book publishers, the Academy of American Poets and countless well-meaning librarians, audaciously claims the entire month of April as its own. Inexplicably, it lacks a Hallmark card section, a fate that similarly befalls National Kite Month, National Foot Health Month and National Toilet Repair Month.

Still, there are those of us who enjoy NPM, and what better way to celebrate it than with a quiz (even though National Puzzle Month was in January)? Name that poet:

  1. Seventy-four years before National Poetry Month was invented, he began his best-known poem with the words "April is the cruellest month."
     
  2. First poet to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1901).
     
  3. Ohio-born high-school dropout whose father invented candy Life-Savers.
     
  4. She wrote that a poem "makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, ... I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off."
     
  5. The last poet to win a Nobel Prize for Literature (1996), she wrote "in the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone's existence in this world."
     
  6. Singer-songwriter who is the current Poet Laureate of Texas.
     
  7. Dublin-born and now Stanford-based, this poet's work expands on the confessional tradition of Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich.
     
  8. He said (to an annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association): "If more politicians knew poetry, and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place to live."
     
  9. Irish poet who wrote, "Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry."
     
  10. U.S. senator (R-Maine, 1979-97), Defense secretary (1997-2001), novelist and poet.
     
  11. He described poets as "the unacknowledged legislators of the world."
     
  12. In his elegy to Yeats, he wrote "poetry makes nothing happen."
     
  13. Her four titles in the top 10 have been on the poetry best-sellers list for a combined 180 weeks.
     
  14. This San Francisco-born professional New Englander wrote, "Poetry is what is lost in translation. It is also what is lost in interpretation."
     
  15. Physician-poet who wrote: "It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there."
     
  16. This Seattle-based poet-performer has won the National Poetry Slam individual title for the past two years.
     
  17. Chilean Nobel Laureate who wrote "peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread."
     
  18. The first woman and only American to win the Neustadt Prize for Literature, she split her time between Cambridge and Brazil and was described by James Merrill in a dedication as "our principal national treasure."
     
  19. The daughter of a Palestinian father and American mother, this San Antonio poet writes about the details of daily life, her experiences and perspective as an Arab-American, and the tragedy of the Middle East.
     
  20. His poem "Trivia" (1716) advises about coping with the hazards of walking the mean streets of 18th century London.

Tom Mayo teaches "Law, Literature & Medicine" at SMU's Dedman School of Law and at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas.


The answers: 1) T.S. Eliot; 2) Sully Prudhomme; 3 Hart Crane; 4) Emily Dickinson; 5) Wislawa Szymborska; 6) Red Steagall; 7) Eavan Boland; 8) John F. Kennedy; 9) William Butler Yeats; 10) William Cohen; 11) Percy Byshe Shelley; 12) W.H. Auden; 13) Mary Oliver; 14) Robert Frost; 15) William Carlos Williams; 16) Anis Mojgani; 17) Pablo Neruda; 18) Elizabeth Bishop; 19) Naomi Shihab Nye; 20) John Gay.

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