INTERNATIONAL READ POETRY TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE DAY
I know it might sound hokey, but guys I promise you this: you take the time to read some poetry to the person you love, and you WILL be rewarded. (Besides, don't you want that special someone to be happy?)
But ladies, today is not just about sitting around as he reads poetry. You need to step up to the plate and do your part. To help I have assembled a few links of poems that might get you going. Read to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, parent or (if you're into that sort of thing), your pet!
Some things to remember:
It's not about reading each line perfectly, it's about you taking the time to do this for your loved one. If he/she/it loves you back, he/she/it will understand and appreciate your hard work.
However, it would be a good idea to read over the poem out loud to yourself once or twice before trying it for your sweetie. Poems have a certain cadence and rhythm to them that is just as impotant as the rhyme scheme and storyline. A poem is a living thing, and you want to not just get the words right, but the feel.
Speaking of Rhyme, guys, you might be able to get away with "free verse" to your women-folk, but ladies: stick to poems that rhyme for the guy. Otherwise he might get suspicious.
Most importantly: POETRY WAS MADE TO BE READ ALOUD!!!! Half the magic is hearing the words come out of someone's mouth. Do this right and you've created and awesome tradition!
But what to read?
Well, for husbands and wives, I recommend each of you Take a Browning and read to each other. Elizabeth Barret Browning wrote a slew of great poems, but he might like "A Man's Requirments." And for the guys, read her Robert Browning's "A Pretty Woman." (And if you really want to be cool follow that up with a spoken word version of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman." Pretend it's still Browning. You'll crack her up and get even more than you would have gotten.)
Maybe you have a son into The Lord of the Rings. How cool would it be if you suddenly recited the Song of Aragorn to him? It's short enough that I bet you could memorize it:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
But maybe your loved one isn't into traditional poetry. Not to worry. I found this site full of great Pirate Poetry (including one about a porno pirate).
Not to be outdone, here is a great Ninja Poem, and another one.
And if that's not enough for them, what about a day when aliens invade and zombies come up from the earth? (The cool thing is, this is actually a love poem by Neil Gaiman. Guys and girls will love this one.)
Maybe you have a daughter or girlfriend who is more into the melancholy and dark. Try something along the lines of Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night." (Here is the first stanza:)
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And if that doesn't sate her dark side, read her "The Vampire's Farewell."
Now, if you're ready for something a little more advanced I do have a couple for you, but beware: you will need to practice these a bit, for the poetry is difficul to read correctly (but in my opinion, the effect is all the greater).
Try Rudyard Kipling's "Ballad of the King's Jest." This poem is not for children, as reading it correctly requires a very fast pace with almost machine gun enunciation. However, you pull this off and you are a god. Here are just a few lines so you know what I'm talking about:
In a turquoise twilight, crisp and chill,
A kafila camped at the foot of the hill.
Then blue smoke-haze of the cooking rose,
And tent-peg answered to hammer-nose;
And the picketed ponies, shag and wild,
Strained at their ropes as the feed was piled;
And the bubbling camels beside the load
Sprawled for a furlong adown the road;
And the Persian pussy-cats, brought for sale,
Spat at the dogs from the camel-bale;
Another challenging but rewarding poem is "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. I myself have never mastered this one in recitation but am giving it a shot this year. [editor's note: since writing this post I have practiced THE HIGHWAYMAN several times. It is VERY hard to get the cadence right, but very very sexy if you do. Pretty much guaranteed smooches.] Here is the third stanza:
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
I hope these give you a few options. If you have others, by all means leave a comment! And remember, if all else fails, try a little Odgen Nash:
"Further Reflections on Parsley"
The Cow is of the bovine ilk
One end is moo, the other milk
"Ode to a Baby"
A bit of talcum
is always walcum
"What's the Use?"
Sure, deck your limbs in pants,
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance . . .
Have you seen yourself retreating?
Candy is Dandy
But Liquor is Quicker