Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.
To celebrate here at the Museum, next Tuesday's Tenement Talk will feature readings from Stephen Wolf's I Speak of the City, a collection of odes to the Big Apple by Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, and over a hundred others.
This week we'll post some of our favorite pieces from Wolf's anothology, starting with a poem by William Carlos Williams (1883 - 1963), a pediatrician who penned poems between appointments in his Hell's Kitchen office (hey, note that alliteration! looks like we're poets, too). It's one of the shortest in the book and inspired a Charles Demuth painting on display at the Met.
The Great Figure
Among the rain
I saw the figure 5
on a red
to gong clangs
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.
"I saw the figure five in gold" by Charles Deluth