April’s Poetry Month 2015 – A Celebration of Words

cauldronNational Poetry Month is celebrating it’s 17th anniversary in Canada, which started with a humble beginnings in 1998. It was established by the League of Canadian Poets (LCP), and brings together publishers, libraries, booksellers, schools, literary organizations and poets to celebrate and publicize poetry, language and Canadian culture. Each year a theme is chosen as a touchstone and in 2015, the focus is an exploration of the relationship of Food and Poetry.

Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Rachel Rose introduced the campaign with the following words, ” food is personal, political, sensual and powerful. Food nourishes, grounds and connects us, much like poetry. Without food, as without poetry, we go hungry.”

Every year during the month of April, we celebrate the art of poetry and the beauty of the word. April is the perfect month in which to look toward new beginnings or fresh starts.  In the past, we have shared staff and public suggestions on best loved existing poems and have published new poetry.

For the month of April, TBPL Off the Shelf will observe National Poetry Month with a poem a day. So take a moment and feast on each morsel of sound, symbol and symmetry and let it fill and sustain you.  While each poem will not be food related, each will be a smorgasbord of savory delights.

While it’s not to my personal taste, Shakespeare’s lesson on soup-making by the witches in Macbeth (ie the Scottish play) is our inaugural selection.

1ST WITCH: Round about the cauldron go.
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thiry-one
Sweltered venom sleeping got
Boil thou first i’ the charmèd pot.
ALL: Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
2ND WITCH: Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake.
Eye of net and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
ALL: Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
3RD WITCH: Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tatar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.
ALL: Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
2ND WITCH: Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
Macbeth, IV, 1

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