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Poetry is alive and well all over the world

by Camincha

In the United States we have Nicholas Sanz Gould, who when he was six years old, won first place in the Environmental Poetry and Art Contest in the 5 to 7 age group. He wrote:

Oh sun. Oh sun
Oh sun. How does
it feel to be
blocked by the dark
dark clouds?

Oh child
it doesn’t really
feel bad at all
not at all not at
all not at all.

Asked by a reporter why he decided to quote the sun saying, not at all? three times–not two or four–Nicholas said it was the rhythm. Saying it three times meant it could be read as a high note, a medium note and a low note, almost the way one reads music, he said.

As for why the poem had two stanzas, not more, not less, that was because he wrote it on construction paper that was folded in thirds. Since one column was saved for the artwork, he wrote on the other two skinny columns and simply stopped when he filled the page.

Nicholas, besides loving poetry which his father has been
reading to him since he was three, is partial to two kinds of ice
cream: chocolate and Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

Nicholas flew to Washington, DC where he read his poem
at an Earth Day celebration sharing the stage with poet laureate Robert Hass who selected Nicholas’ poem from over 1000 others because, he said: it’s so pure.? Nicholas, since winning the contest now believes, I have a good future.?

Also in the United States, in San Francisco, Allen Ginsberg said, This city is to poetry what Paris is to fashion or Nashville to country music, the world capital.

In New York Stanley Kurts, sounded a major three day conference of writers, artists, scholars saying: old myths, old gods, old heroes have never died…they live in our poetry.

Albert Goldberg, in Chicago, in receiving first prize for his book of poems HEAVEN OF EARTH, A COSMOLOGY urged us to promise to read more poetry not so much fiction, to love all poets and poetesses.

South of the United States, in Mexico, Octavio Paz received the Nobel Prize and described poetry as a task, a mystery, a meteor, a passion. The poem he said, is a model of what human society should be like.

In Perú, South America, Lizardo Cruzado is a fifteen year old poet. A loyal follower of the literary current that he calls funny realism.? Why do you think poetry has to be funny? Because, says Lizardo, we have to revitalize. It should at least make us smile.

So what is funny realism?? My poems he says, and reads:

AI lov the time that passes
AI lov the ether where the angels
are happy and polygamous
love the manner in which the
dogs crow at dawn
lov the drunk soles of your shoes
pregnant of dust and urban sun
lov my fellow men
lov the ONU the OEA the OTAN
all the anonymous societies
lov the unicorn and the four leaf
clover lov the sun lov life
lov antidandruff shampoo that
doesn’t irritate the eyes.

Lundero magazine has awarded him first prize three years in a row.

Lizardo believes we are all poets, [poetesses], it’s just that we
don’t all write poetry.

And, I say we all have a good future being poets and [poetesses] because poetry is alive and well all over the world.

Posted in Poetry

12 Responses to “Poetry is alive and well all over the world”

  1. Neal Whitman says:


    Thank you for helping to promote the universal voice of poetry that lives in each of us as readers and writers. But, in paraphrasing a 15-year old boy, why do you add in brackets, “poetesses,” and repeat the diminutive feminization of the word, poet, in your concluding “alive and well” declaration. Was this his word choice or yours? Your young poet says he likes “funny realism,” so do you also like to call funny women, “comediennes”? I am no scholar of ancient Greek, but long ago learned that “poet” is derived from the word for “maker.” Please do not make a mess of language. Of course, I am ready and willing to reconsider my resistance if British Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, first woman chosen after 341 years, asks to be called, “Poetess Laureate.”

    Neal Whitman, GSR’s monthly Poetry Prof

  2. Camincha says:

    Neal, thank you for your comments. Yes. Brackets mean, poetesses, was my choice. I also use comediennes and waitresses and aviatress/aviatrix, etc. They are all in the dictionary. I’m a lover of semantics and appreciate the variety of choices offered by all languages, including English. Also love being a woman and use the feminine form in all languages I know.
    &, going alng w/pte trend wrte lik ths mst of th time. & U knw? I lv it & hv lts of fun dong it, & or readng messags writn lik ths.
    Again, thnk U, Neal.

  3. Kristina Baer says:

    French has a different solution–of course! You have “le poete” (m) and “la poete” (f), where only the article signs gender. (Note: GSR doesn’t support diacriticals; there is a grave accent over the first “e”). But then again, you have “le romancier” (m) and “la romanciere” (f)–here, too, there’s a grave accent over the first -e- in the “feminine” form. Much ado about nothing? Not at all. I agree with Camincha–use it, or lose it.

    So much for ars poetica and lingua franca!

  4. Kristina Baer says:

    Usage update: Once considered pejorative (!!), the French noun “poetesse” (acute accent over the first -e-) no longer is. Vive la France! Latin also had both m and f forms: poeta, -ae (m); poetria, -ae (f).

  5. S. Dale Knight says:

    Kristina, It’s not us! Whether one can type diacriticals (grave è) (acute é) in GSR depends mostly on your browser, your keyboard or your operating system. And how lazy the webmaster is feeling on any given day.


  6. Kristina Baer says:

    Hi Dale… This takes me back to my glory days with Nota Bene software (a user not a creator!). But that’s another story…

    I have a Toshiba laptop; OS= Windows XP, browser = Firefox or Explorer (no luck with either in GSR). No problem with diacriticals when I use Outlook Express. Isn’t life complicated enough? (Diacriticals are disappearing anyway, after much debate among French Academy members.) I see a Mac in my future…which would solve the keyboard problem, I believe.

  7. Neal Whitman says:

    Well, I still do not “get” it. Yes, the French language requires a feminine or masculine article in front of a noun|

    (I’m no linguist and Kristina already knows I got a C in high school French. Did no better in Latin. But, never took ancient Greek, so it may be my lack of knowledge in thinking its origin of “poet” is “maker” with no gender affixed.)

    … so they put le or la in front of THE SAME WORD, “poete.” But, why fight city hall? People should be called why they want to be called. Okay: Now its Poetess Emily Dickinson. Poetess Amy Lowell. Poetess Gertrude Stein. Poetess Sylvia Plath. Poetess Camincha. Poetess Kristina. I can get used to it. Hmmm… how would we have felt about Presidentette Hillary Clinton? Viva la difference!

    Amicus poeticae,


  8. Camincha says:

    Beautfl people of GSR: I’m reading & rereading Ur comments. I’m thoroughly enjoying them. So much so, just wrote about it in & I’ll b honored if U also ck & would lv Ur comments, please.

  9. sin pepas... says:

    well… I just read the original poem and Lizardo actually wrote “pederasts” not “polygamous”, may I know the word is different here? are you actually editing the translation of the poem or what? and as for the word “poets” in Spanish “poetas” (I assume he said like that) includes both, male and female althogh -like in French- it is “el poeta” (m) and “la poeta” (f).

  10. sin pepas... says:

    What I meant to ask was, “may I know why the word is different here?”

  11. Camincha says:

    Hola sin pepas: Thnk U 4 taking da time 2 e-m me. In Spanish there is both, poeta & poetisa. & in French is poèt & poétesse. 2 answer Ur ?: I translated not edited. The word is polygamous. Bst of da bst 2 U.

  12. To put Nicholas Sanz-Gould’s poem in proper contest–He was the Grand Prize winner of the very first River of Words Contest, a program founded in 1995 by then-US Poet Laureate Robert Hass and Pamela Michael (me). River of Words has grown to the largest children’s poetry and art program in the world. Next year we celebrate our 20th anniversary. To view more wonderful poetry and art from children around the world visit our website:

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