Celebrate Poetry Month with WLT

April 1, 2013

April is National Poetry Month, and WLT will be celebrating. The Academy of American Poets began the month-long event in 1996. The Academy’s website suggests several ways to participate, ranging from attending a celebrity event at Lincoln Center to carrying a poem in your pocket on April 18. And if you need help finding a pocket-sized poem, the Academy’s website has an excellent selection ready for printing and clipping. WLT will join with others around the country by hosting an open mic event on April 18. Which poem will you carry in your pocket? If you’re in the Norman, Oklahoma area, will you come and share it with others?  

Be watching the WLT blog for more event details, which poems we’re carrying in our pockets, and online celebrations of poets worldwide.

In the meantime, here’s one of our favorite poems by Nicholas Samaras, whose work was featured in our September 2011 issue devoted to "Poetry Untethered." (You can listen to his audio recording of the poem here, which appeared as a supplement to his four poems in the print edition).


Inventing Peace

Nicholas Samaras

I make this room 
a country of peace.

Within these walls, I am the harmony of an individual
with no nationalism, claims or agenda,

no chorus of discord, 
no borders but redwood wainscotting.

I invent this gold light
by noticing and appreciating the light.

I am every human in this room
and I make this parlour a canton of peace.

It starts with one, so I invent 
a space of calm –

the furniture relaxed, the walls tranquil, 
russets and golds threading the woodgrain.

I invent this chair 
by sitting on it.

I create a curved bay-window
with a cushioned garden seat to lie on, gaze out from.

In the glassy view, the horizon line of willows 
diminishes into the blue blur of water and sky.

The only smoke there is 
ascends the fireplace and the flue,

wafting its beloved fragrance into 
the distance of the world.

I make this room peaceful
whose threshold holds the rosined light.

I craft a participation of one.
I make this room a country of peace.