Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Poetry Month-Common Threads

Mass Poetry has once again put together Common 
 the state with nine poets from the 17th century to the present. There is a pdf volume with the poems and study guides as well as videos of poets reading and information on facilitating a poetry group based around the series of poems. The Reader's Guide can also be purchased through Harvard Book Store which supports Student Day of Poetry/Louder than a Bomb Festival at MIT in Cambridge, and the upcoming Mass Poetry Festival on April 20-22 in Salem, Massachusetts.

Visit Common Threads to explore the offerings.

Here is the first poem of the series by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672):

The Author To Her Book
by Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did'st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, exposed to public view,
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call.
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
The visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could.
I washed thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet.
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun cloth i' th' house I find.
In this array, 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam.
In critic's hands beware thou dost not come,
And take thy way where yet thou art not known.
If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none;
And for thy mother, she alas is poor,
Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.

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