I took another week off from posting. This past week I returned from two weeks in Wisconsin for an Army Officer development school. The Command and General Staff Officer’s Course (CGSOC) is the next level of education for my promotion to Lieutenant Colonel! I met some great Officers, made friends, and learned a great deal. The course itself isn’t difficult with everyone working together, but the reading was intense, lasting until past midnight most days. I needed a break from posting and it has taken me just about an entire week to recuperate.
This blog isn’t about my experiences in the military, but it is a large part of who I am. Not that I feel I need to explain myself. It was a great two weeks. And now – on to the poeming!
Poetry in Motion: 100 Poems From the Subways & buses, W. W. Norton & Company, 1996 was one of the first poetry books I remember buying in my youth. Back then I didn’t know Poetry in Motion was a larger scale project from Poetry Society of America. I saw a cool little book sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and flipped through it. As far as short anthologies go, it’s a great introduction to poetry for beginners. It features poets from Dante Alighieri to Langston Hughes to Shel Silverstein and more! Every poem is accessible for any level poet.
The poems from this book appeared only in New York City as a collaboration between the Poetry Society of America and MTA New York City Transit. There is a second book called Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast: 120 poems from the subways and the buses which includes poems in subways, buses, and even billboards in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Fort Collins, Houston, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pioneer Valley, and Washington, D.C. I love that this program has made a lasting impact on so many lives around the country! In the introduction to the second book, they quote from a letter written to MTA New York City Transit which has received hundreds of correspondence about the program, “I look forward to riding the subway because I know I’m going to discover a very special poem that will add meaning to my life.”
I have not been fortunate enough to live in a city that takes poetry seriously enough to post poems in public transportation. This past year, I successfully petitioned Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to sign a proclamation for National Poetry Month, but I’m still working on poetry events. Jacksonville is a huge city with a bustling art scene! We should be able to band together in our common interests and even get other people interested in poetry!