Tell Me More Wants Your Poetry!

Listeners are invited to submit short poems on Twitter to celebrate National Poetry Month. Curator and poet Holly Bass gives an update on recent tweets about tragedy in Boston, and other topics.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now we want to do a check-in on our poetry series Muses and Metaphor. If you've been following us this month, then you know that we've been gathering your poetic tweets. Those are poems of 140 characters or less. You've been telling us about events in your own lives - from the cherry blossoms in Washington to parenting in Philadelphia, playing poker in Atlantic City, and recently you've been gathering your thoughts about the events in Boston.

Our series curator, Holly Bass, stopped by recently to give us an update. And here she is.

HOLLY BASS: Hi, this is Holly Bass. I'm the curator of Muses and Metaphor, the Twitter poetry series here on TELL ME MORE and I'm so excited to be back. We have been getting so many tweets, like over a thousand tweets so it's really, really incredible. Of course April, we've been getting a lot of poems about spring, and even some poems about cherry blossoms and things like that, love is in the air, all of those subjects that you would naturally expect.

And then now, with the bombing during the Boston Marathon, there have also been a number of Twitter poems that are addressing that in different ways. And I really like how poets are often the ones that help us process the emotions around a difficult or challenging event. So while obviously NPR is treating Boston as the news story that is, I still think the poets are addressing that sort of human need that happens when there is a crisis.

I'd actually like to read one of the Twitter poems. This came in from John Schuler from Kildeer, Illinois.

Must it always be the flesh of the innocent to awaken us from time's seduction and bring us vividly to the grace of the present?

And I'll read that one more time.

Must it always be the flesh of the innocent to awaken us from time's seduction and bring us vividly to the grace of the present?

And that poem is triggered by Boston, but it actually applies to so many moments. It often is, you know, a sort of crisis and loss of innocence that makes us remember who we are and come together as a community. So I really appreciate, you know, having poems like that come in on the Twitter feed. It's like a community consolation.

MARTIN: That was a poet Holly Bass, the curator of our Twitter poetry series, Muses and Metaphor. We'd like to hear from you as we continue to celebrate National Poetry Month. You can read the poems and tweet us your own throughout April. Just use the hashtag #TMMPoetry on Twitter. If your poem is chosen, we will help you record it for us, and we will air it in the program this month. You can learn more at the TELL ME MORE website. Go to npr.org/TellMeMore.

And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and you've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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