Saturday, May 25, 2019
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Celebrating Florida poet with a little haiku action

April is the National Poetry Month, which is quite significant for Florida. We already had some rhymin simons using Florida as either a muse or a haven or both.

Among the visiting poets was Sidney Lanier, who in 1875 wrote a touristic guide to the state while working on the payroll of the state's main railroad. Robert Frost, who called his winter home "Pencil Pines" and wrote a poem with this name; and Wallace Stevens, who loved Key West himself after Ernest Hemingway, who fumbled his watch in combat. (I am Stevens impartial because one of his poems is titled O Florida, venereal soil.)

Many poets live and work in Florida today, including Campbell McGrath, who received a genius grant from MacArthur for his work. Yolanda Franklin, whose book Blood vinyls involves an imaginary dialogue with Zora Neale Hurston; and Richard Blanco, who has not only read one of his poems during President Obama's term, but is also a licensed civil engineer. I think constructing a stanza is no different than constructing a bridge.

I can see why Florida produces so much poetry. I often turn to poetry when I try to express my feelings about my home state – and especially the form known as "haiku". For example:

Sunrise: humid, hot

Incident with the rage in traffic went awry

I ran over me

If I get stuck in a jumble of cars and trucks, I have plenty of time to compose a Florida poem, and also a good topic:

Traffic on I-4

Secured like a bad toilet

Where is Disney's FastPass?

Recent legal maneuvers from the case involving the owner of the New England Patriots and efforts to suppress the video of his visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa inspired this:

Some lawyers in force-y

Cry foul over Sunshine Law

Reveal dark deeds

I encourage everyone in Florida to write poetry. Read the Tallahassee news on how the legislature wants to change the rules to make it harder to get a citizens' petition for the ballot, and see how inspiring this can be:

Here in Florida

Lawmakers squeal with fear

When voters take responsibility

Or you can just skip the feelings that Florida regularly gives us:

Gorgeous sunset

Rosalöffler rises high

Need my machete

Why haiku, you ask? Have you ever tried to find a rhyme for "Sopchoppy"?

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