Enquirer Herald

Poetry Month worth celebrating

In the beginning was the Word.

Gautuma Buddha said, "Let your words improve the silence."

When Confucious was asked what he would do were he Emperor of the World, he replied,"I would call things by their rightful names."

Ayn Rand said:"Define your terms." and "Check your premises".

Words are the only alternatives to brute force. Without words there would be no civilization.

Except for peace-keeping, there is no better use for words than poetry, and often poetry helps maintain peace.

When Carl Sandburg was asked to define poetry he answered, "Poetry is the stuff that poets write".

April is National Poetry Month. I cannot think of poetry without thinking of the late, great Dorothy Perry Thompson. She was a poet.........in every sense of the word. Her life was poetry in action.

She was a teacher first and foremost, as well as being a singer and a dancer. She taught English, Poetry-writing, Literature, Black Studies and...LIFE at Winthrop University. She would recite a poem at the drop of a hat.....and perhaps sing it and or dance to it.

She passed too soon ......in 2002 at 58.

I was fortunate to have participated in some poetry seminars with Dorothy at Winthrop, as well as some Charlotte schools. I could never match her energy and excitement when she held her audience in her hands.

Her critiques of my poetry attempts were kind, but honest.

She was most passionate about human rights issues and a genius when race was involved. She was what a teacher should be.

When Dorothy died Barnes & Noble arranged for the publication of a poetry anthology dedicated to Dorothy's memory and to celebrate her life and contributions.

I was fortunate in having Barnes & Noble choose my submission for the publication: "CELEBRATING LIFE." All of the poems chosen are outstanding and are mostly written by local poets. Here's mine:


Dorothy Thompson.........Ah

What a lovely light!

So soon taken




Not her with her song of Life

Her sermon to a new generation.

Her candle has burned out

But its light is with us forever

Where ever poets meet

Where ever a word can change a life

Where ever a new dawn comes

With anticipation; with expectation

Dorothy's flame will be there.

Her instrument is no more

But her music remains forever.