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SharingPoets@StPaul - April 2021

As it is put at the beginning of this month's discussion starter, "April is the right month to celebrate poetry. It is the season of transformation." Read along below to get a taste of what this month's conversation will be about!

Sharing Poets for April 2021

April is the right month to celebrate poetry. It is the season of transformation. William Wordsworth is the poet we love to bring out this time of year. His wandering “lonely as a cloud” was more shocking when he wrote it than it is now. In 1798, Wordsworth published “Lyrical Ballads.” He called the poems “experiments” since the subjects were not about the usual classical gods and mighty nobles, but about ordinary experiences and people from the lower classes. This month we celebrate the ushering in of the Romantic spirit and the fresh approaches that it brought to poetry writing. Consider the oddly named “Old Man Travelling; Animal Tranquillity and Decay, A Sketch,” from the first edition of “Lyrical Ballads.”

The little hedge-row birds,

That peck along the road, regard him not.

He travels on, and in his face, his step,

His gait, is one expression; every limb,

His look and bending figure, all bespeak

A man who does not move with pain, but moves

With thought—He is insensibly subdued

To settled quiet: he is one by whom

All effort seems forgotten, one to whom

Long patience has such mild composure given,

That patience now doth seem a thing, of which

He hath no need. He is by nature led

To peace so perfect, that the young behold

With envy, what the old man hardly feels.

—I asked him whither he was bound, and what

The object of his journey; he replied

"Sir! I am going many miles to take

"A last leave of my son, a mariner,

"Who from a sea-fight has been brought to Falmouth,

And there is dying in an hospital."

Not only are the most common things elevated, but the old traveler possessed a revelation for the poet: the quiet, humble man was walking to the hospital to see his dying son.


See the document attached below for the rest of our monthly discussion starter. And make sure to send your name and email to Fr. Tom Holahan, CSP at to be included in the discussion group if you haven't already done so!

SharingPoets discussion starter Apr 2021
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