Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Sure enough. I have no idea how it got that way, but I looked it up, and someone has proclaimed it thusly.
I think it may have to do with spring being upon us and all the flowers are blooming, the weather is rather nice and fellows with names like “Percy” sit on wrought iron benches in gardens and pour their souls out right there in front of the lilacs.
I’ve never been a big reader of poetry. I do, however, like country music, which in many respects is blue-collar poetry with three chords attached. I can appreciate the written word in most any genre, which includes conventional poetry, but I prefer a more direct style of writing if I’m going to read it – that way I don’t have to interpret what the writer intended. In other words, I prefer essays and novels over poetry.
One of my favorite novels of my high school days is “The Old Man and The Sea,” by Ernest Hemingway. An old man goes out to sea alone and battles a very large fish. He gets really tired, and eventually sharks eat the big fish.
Now if that story had been put to verse, my American literature teacher would have asked what the shark represented, what the old man represented and what the sea represented. And after all of the analysis, it might not have been about going fishing at all but rather man’s eternal struggle to keep the wolves away from the door. Or given that sharks are a vital part of this story, to keep his wife’s lawyers away from the door. I’m just glad there was no element in this story that could depict the media.
I saw the movie rendition of this novel as well. Spencer Tracy, back in 1958, did a great job of portraying Santiago, the old Cuban who wanted to impress his peers by catching a really big fish. And although he did not bring home the big fish, he did have strapped to the boat what was left of its carcass. His peers could fill in the blanks. But there would be no fish fry which parallels what my dad used to say, “You can’t make soup out of deer tracks.”
But enough about poetry. April is also a lot of other things. It’s also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Day of Silence Month, National County Government Month, Table Tennis Month, Autism Awareness Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Dig Safely Month, Cesarean Awareness Month, Environmental Education Month, Occupational Therapy Month, Stop Violence Month, National Landscape Month, Barbershop Harmony Month, etc., etc., etc.
I got to thinking about all of these proclamations and jokingly remarked that everything is recognized except “National Pork Rind Month.” But on a hunch, I Googled it – and guess what, there is an effort under way to name a month in this honor. It appears they (whoever they are) would like February to be this special month.
That’s rather poetic in itself, given that February is the celebration of Valentine’s Day, and the heart is probably where the pork rinds will leave their skid marks.
I’m not sure how one goes about having a month declared special. I think in some states, the legislature does this when they aren’t doing anything else. And given the number of declarations for April ... well, you draw your own conclusion about time well spent.
So now, in recognition of National Day of Silence Month, I will end this scribbling.
Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.