Language is one thing that can bring all people together, and sometimes words are strung together in such a way that it moves people. It makes them smile, laugh, or cry. Words can inspire and be so powerful. One way to honor the art of language is through poetry. Poetry impacts many people in different ways and eventually they may find a poem that becomes their favorite.
Last April, on the twentieth anniversary of National Poetry Month, Marist decided to celebrate poetry and asked students, faculty, and administrators to submit their favorite poem along with a summary of what that poem meant to them. Students, professors, and even President Dennis J. Murray submitted their favorite poems! The project received two dozen poems along with each person’s story expressing the attachment they had to the poem.
This year the project continues, but Marist decided to add some more aspects to the fun! Alumni have been invited to share their poems and special stories to the Marist community. Also, there will be video segments posted where certain people will be reading the poem they submitted in different spots on campus. So for the whole month of April the Marist website will be sharing about a dozen of the submissions a week along with the videos.
Thomas Zurhellen, an English professor at Marist is in charge of the poetry project. He explained that his favorite part of the project is seeing all the different people from campus come together. He loves being able to collect the various poem submissions and see the unique personal stories attached to each one. The whole project is very inspiring. When I asked what his favorite poem was he answered, “Beowulf! Because it is a classic and for the dragons of course!” He explained it is the one poem he could read for the rest of his life.
Make sure to keep an eye out for all the poems and stories from various Red Foxes this April on the Marist website, and become inspired to try to find a favorite poem of your own!
For more information on poetry and writing opportunities at Marist, visit the English Department webpage or contact the Chair of the English Department, Professor Tommy Zurhellen.