How to beat the winter blues? Write a poem

The Edmonds Arts Commission is sponsoring “Poet’s Perspective,” a project that is intended to get people thinking and writing about this place we call home. The commission is looking for short poems (no more than 100 words) that will make people pause while on their errands to the library or the new City of Edmonds satellite offices off Highway 99. This is a great opportunity to play with words and share your thoughts with the community.

Three of the six selected poems will be placed on the old, unused library drop box, a spot that definitely needs beautification. The other three poems will be seen by community members on their way to our city offices outside the Edmonds Bowl. More information is available here.

April is National Poetry month (perhaps in honor of T.S. Eliot who said “April is the cruelest month”) so send your submissions by Feb. 24.

Poems do not have to rhyme or follow a specific form like haiku or the sonnet. But thinking about the rhythm of each line makes poetry a special use of language.

For example, here is Shakespeare’s banished Duke in As You Like It, describing the hardships of winter in the forest of Arden:

Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile….

As You Like It act 2, sc. 1.

No rhyme but the elegant blank verse (5 iambic beats to a line) turns the misery of cold into a smile.  I think anyone out and about in Edmonds these last two months will have felt the bite and blows of winter, and also smiled at our good fortune to be in this place rather than any other.

— Submitted by Patricia O’Neill
Committee member for Poet’s Perspective Project
Edmonds Arts Commission

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