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?
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:
- Seventy-four years before National Poetry Month was
invented, he began his best-known poem with the words
"April is the cruellest month."
- First poet to win the Nobel Prize for Literature
- Ohio-born high-school dropout whose father invented
- 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."
- 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."
- Singer-songwriter who is the current Poet Laureate
- Dublin-born and now Stanford-based, this poet's
work expands on the confessional tradition of Sylvia
Plath and Adrienne Rich.
- 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."
- Irish poet who wrote, "Out of the quarrel with
others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with
ourselves we make poetry."
- U.S. senator (R-Maine, 1979-97), Defense secretary
(1997-2001), novelist and poet.
- He described poets as "the unacknowledged
legislators of the world."
- In his elegy to Yeats, he wrote "poetry makes
- Her four titles in the top 10 have been on the
poetry best-sellers list for a combined 180 weeks.
- This San Francisco-born professional New Englander
wrote, "Poetry is what is lost in translation. It is also
what is lost in interpretation."
- 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."
- This Seattle-based poet-performer has won the
National Poetry Slam individual title for the past two
- Chilean Nobel Laureate who wrote "peace goes into
the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of
- 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."
- 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.
- His poem "Trivia" (1716) advises about coping with
the hazards of walking the mean streets of 18th century
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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