National Poetry Month was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.
Each Monday, we’ll reveal our poet and poem of the week starting on April 4! National Poetry Month content will be available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so follow along on your favorite platform.
This week we welcome Anne Yarbrough, 2023 Individual Artist Fellow, Literature: Poetry, as she recites her poem, “After Peak Oil.”
This week we welcome Chris Penna, 2023 Individual Artist Fellow, Literature: Poetry, as he recites his poem, “Snapshot.”
This week we welcome Nathan Zhao, senior at the Charter School of Wilmington, and a 2023 Gold Key winner for his poetry portfolio in the Delaware Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Nathan, what does poetry mean to you?
To me, poetry takes advantage of language’s innate connotations, crafting metaphors and ideas that cannot be replaced by any other art form. Because unlike movies, music, or painting, poetry allows the reader to fully imagine every scene and create meanings upon their own experiences. Writing poetry, poets express an abstract, distilled version of themselves that no one can judge.
After waking, I readily managed
to write the last few remembered
moments of one night’s dream.
Like any other accident
on the TV, a single pure-white
car perfectly upturned and smoking
in its glorious nature. & before
anyone else came, enveloped
by fog and a ring
of suburban townhouses
and opened windows, I finally
reached the middle of the railroad tracks
to witness: a man, perfectly
lifeless, with his body neatly torn
open and presenting his delicate
and almost-living innards –
mannequin. He was aged as if
he were my father’s father,
or at least similar to any other
Chinese fatherly figure
I met once
or a few times
in a childhood
I cannot exactly remember.
& I reached between two slices
of his fragmented half
of a rib cage
to hold a shard
of a side-view
mirror placed upon his heart.
I stared at it.
Not because of a self
-obsession, but because I
felt convinced it was necessary.
Until I woke, my face
deformed into a flesh
I could not recognize.
Like the childish
impression of a brightest sun.
Yet before waking, I spotted
in the corner of my vision.
How his head was crushed
by some God’s grand temple.
Many times, I think of this dream
and often need to set my head
down. I try to remember
how everything appeared,
but nothing can replace
the intricate architecture
of the man inside. The anatomy
at the front of biology
class, the photographs I’ve searched
of car-accident casualties,
and the surgical measurements
I imagine real scientists possess
fall short of the faded
memory of the man inside.
It is all so static now. Still,
I am forever lucky
since I wrote a few descriptions
the morning I awoke, since
by reviewing, I deduce the details
that I may have missed,
& read them
This week we welcome Maiss Hussein, senior at the Charter School of Wilmington, and a 2023 Gold Key winner for his poetry portfolio in the Delaware Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Maiss Hussein is a junior at Hodgson Vo-Tech, where she is a part of the dental assistant program. Maiss plans to major in and pursue a career in dental hygiene. She is passionate about her field of study and has competed in the Health Occupations Students of America competition. She is active in her school community and is a leader and board member of multiple diversity & equity groups.
Watch 2023’s Poetry Out Loud competition below!
Check out DelawareScene.com for additional literary and poetry events now, soon, and near you.