Autumn Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

A crisp breeze drifted through our neighborhood last weekend, scouting the path ahead, perhaps, for autumn’s approach. Somehow this summer has seemed both endless and fleeting, and the thought of cooler temperatures, burnished sunlight, and—dare we say it?—long sleeves is at the forefront of our minds on humid afternoons. Though the heat lingers here in Bas Bleu’s hometown of Atlanta, our editors have turned the calendar page to September…and selected a dozen of our favorite autumn poems with which to beckon the new season. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

Spring Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

In Atlanta, the birthplace of Bas Bleu, pear trees and redbuds are blooming, tulips and irises are unfurling their brilliant petals, and birds are singing on dogwood branches. But we know not all of our readers have witnessed these signs of spring this year; let’s see if we can call them forth for you! April is National Poetry Month, so our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite spring poems with which to surrender yourselves to the season…and maybe, just maybe, coax it into your backyard. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

Famous Poems Read by Famous People

Audiobooks gain fans every day, helping readers while away long commutes, road trips, workouts, and more. Even bibliophiles who prefer the printed page value those bookish recordings as a way to squeeze extra reading into busy days. How do you think the Bas Bleu editors tackle so many books?) But sometimes what we need most is to stop what we’re doing—if only for a few minutes—and concentrate on nothing but the words. Poetry is ideal on those occasions: Its concise form demands that every word count. And because the only thing better than reading poetry is listening to people read poetry to us, we’re celebrating World Read Aloud Day with seven famous poems read by famous people. Continue reading

Summer Poems: 12 Verses for the Season

excerpt from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Throstle"

On a hot summer day, we love nothing more than to settle down in a cool corner with an engrossing novel. But while perusing A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year, from Bas Bleu’s Summer 2019 edition, we began thinking about how the intensity of the season—the blanket of heat, the endless symphony of insects, gardens bursting with fresh produce, the long days that somehow add up to much-too-short months—is perhaps best captured in summer poems. Today, as the furnace blast that is July in Georgia engulfs our editorial office in Atlanta, our editors have selected a dozen of our favorite summer poems with which to surrender yourself to the season. (To read each poem in full, click on the title or image.) Continue reading

14 Poems for Valentine’s Day

With its origins in the religious feast day of a martyred Roman saint, we’re a little fuzzy on how exactly Valentine’s Day evolved over the centuries into a popular secular celebration of love, romance, and chocolate. But no matter if you embrace the day with gusto or scoff at the oversized expectations it brings, devoted Bas Bleu readers can’t deny the power of a great love poem! Whether you’re looking to restore your faith in love, searching for the perfect words to inscribe in your sweetheart’s valentine, or turning your focus inward after a relationship ends, these fourteen poems for Valentine’s Day will make your literature-lovin’ heart beat a little faster. As always, feel free to share your favorite love poems in the comments section below. (To read each poem in full, click on the graphic.) Continue reading

Why Read Poetry?

If you, like Bas Bleu’s reviewers, were an English major in college, chances are good you owned at least one poetry anthology the size of a large brick. Some of us still have one, lugging it from dorm to apartment to house as time passed and our personal libraries grew. But how many of us crack it open on a regular basis, poring over the tissue-thin pages to soak up the words of William Shakespeare, Christina Rossetti, Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, Rumi, Pablo Neruda, e. e. Cummings, Anne Sexton, and Audre Lorde? And how many of us count World Poetry Day among our favorite holidays? Continue reading

Banned Poetry

This week marks Banned Books Week, the American Library Association’s annual event designed to draw attention to the censorship challenges that some books and authors continue to face even in the twenty-first century. From time-honored classics (Lolita, The Bluest Eye, The Catcher in the Rye, Lady Chatterley’s Lover) to modern young-adult bestsellers (Speak, Two Boys Kissing, Looking for Alaska), novels have born the overwhelming brunt of censorship efforts in this country.

But censors and strict parents aren’t immune to the powerful effects of poetry on impressionable souls. Today on the blog, the Bas Bleu editors are taking a quick look at just a handful of poems that have drawn the ire of school districts, governments, and parents over the years.

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