Linda Broday Looks at National Poetry Month

national-poetry-mo-logoApril is National Poetry Month and I’m sure some are even aware of it, although it is steadily gaining in popularity they tell me.


The notion to set aside a special month was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way of increasing appreciation of poetry in the United States. Each April, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. One year, the post office designated a stamp for the poet who got the most public votes.


200px-el_doradoNow, I’m not a big poetry person but I do have an appreciation for those who can write it. I know it does take lots of talent and a love for vivid words, words that draw pictures in a reader’s mind. I’m just too darn long winded for writing poetry. It takes me 400 pages to tell a story. I’ve never been one to think short. That said, I’m going to share my favorite poem with you. It was used in the John Wayne movie El Dorado. A young James Caan, who played the character Mississippi, quoted part of it in the movie.



By Edgar Allen Poe


Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
land of Eldorado?’

But he grew old –
This knight so bold –
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell, as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow –
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be –

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied, –
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

Written in1849.

 Do you read poetry or have a favorite one? If you do, what draws you to it? Or maybe you saw El Dorado? What did you think about it?


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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!

28 thoughts on “Linda Broday Looks at National Poetry Month”

  1. YAY!!!!!!
    P & P is back up!!!!!!

    Linda I have always loved the moment in Eldorado when Jame Caan recited that poem. Not sure why, it’s just a great scene.

    I’ve written two poems in my life…it is NOT my usual mode of writing.
    One could be a country western song. It’s called:

    Bambi on my Hands (Ode to Buckskin Gloves)

    The other is a limerick I wrote long ago.
    I’m saving the Bambi poem planning to make a fortune on it sometime.
    The other, I’ll share it with you all here.

    A bartender called Master Rick
    Was surrounded by women quite thick
    They were shaken and stirred
    By the things they’d all heard
    About ways Rick could swizzle his stick

  2. Great subject, Linda! I had no idea that the poem was by Edgar Allen Poe…Eldorado. It’s been too many years since I saw the movie, and knowing me, probably slept through most of it. Like you, I’m not a poet but truly appreciate those who are so gifted. Hugs, Phyliss

  3. I like to read poetry. I don’t really have a favorite one. I like to read Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, to name a few. Poetry to me can be a quick way to feel better about something. You can poetry for different things like for courage, success, spiritual, and pet loss to name a few. I saw El Dorado when I was younger. I love watching any of John Wayne movies, especially his westerns.

  4. Hi Mary!

    I’m shocked, shocked I say, by your limerick! How funny. I have to say you show lots of talent. Lots more than I do. I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed that you make a fortune with your Bambi one. I’m intrigued. Must be something.

    Have a great day!

  5. Hi Phyliss!

    Glad to have you join us today. It’s always great to visit with you. Hope everything is going good in Amarillo. Looking forward to seeing you and Jodi on Saturday.

  6. Hi Becky!

    Glad you enjoyed my poem. It sounds like you are a poetry reader. Yes, poetry can make a person feel better in any given situation. Very good medicine for the soul. I love the emotion of poetry and can be quite moved by it. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of my favorite poets and also Walt Whitman.

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

  7. I’m a teacher by day and we always read Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
    I love that poem but I can’t get my students too excited about it.
    I think it’s just an age thing for me with a lot of writing. I appreciate stuff a lot more now than I did AND I also appreciate getting to choose it rather than being forced to read it. I remember my student days.

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    The caged bird sings with fearful trill
    of the things unknown but longed for still
    and it’s tune is heard on the distant hill
    for the caged bird sings of freedom

  8. Mary, what a neat poem. Thanks for sharing that! I think Maya Angelou writes some good poetry. It touches the heart. I like anything that can do that. I was reading a book on how to put emotion in fiction writing and it suggested reading poetry. It’s also a very good source for learning to write vivid description.

    I know your students love you!

  9. Hi Mary, as always you’ve got me laughing out loud! Great limerick.

    Linda, this is a wonderful post. I love that Poe poem; we studied it when I taught freshmen honors English as well as others of his. I love his work. His Annabelle Lee is very touching, a tad eerie. Duh, he’s Poe.

    Robert Frost does it for me every time, and I love Emerson. Right now I’ve got his “Concord Hymn” posted at my personal blog to honor the anniversary of “the shot heard round the world.” It’s a great poem if anyone wants to read it but too long to type out here.

    I don’t write much poetry, but for a workshop not long ago, I wrote three haiku. A haiku is only 17 syllables, Linda. You can do it!!


  10. Love this blog, Linda. The poem gave me goosebumps. Mary, your limerick had me on the floor. Also love the Maya Angelou. When it comes to poems I can only write doggerel (sp?). So i don’t try much. I love Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks. And some of Masefield’s sea poems.
    Who likes cowboy poetry? I adore it, it’s so corny and so much fun!

  11. Oh, cowboy poetry is so fun. But also heart-rending. The LA TImes had a big article on it recently. About 8,000 attend the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev. each year.

    Here’s a good one, written by Vess Quinlan of Alamosa Colorado who worked for a rancher losing his livelihood.

    The old man turns away, hurting,
    As the lasta cow is loaded.
    I hunt words to ease his pain
    But there is nothing to say.

  12. Hi Tanya!

    Glad you liked my topic today. It’s interesting to find out who the poetry people are. I just read Concord Hymn a few days ago. I like that one.

    Here is a favorite passage:
    Spirit, that made those heroes dare
    To die, and leave their children free,
    Bid Time and Nature gently spare
    The shaft we raise to them and thee.

    Me write haiku? Surely you jest! I don’t think so. But, my hat’s off to you though. Wow! That’s hard.

  13. Hi Elizabeth!

    Glad you liked Poe’s El Dorado today. It’s a favorite one. Yes, it’s a bit eerie all right. I like that it’s searching high and low for a place of respite for his soul. Poe was such an amazing man, but very weird.

    Cowboy poetry is something that speaks my language and that I can understand without having to wrack my brain. We have a lot of those poets in Texas.

    Have a great day!

  14. Tanya–

    Cowboy Poetry is very alive and well in Texas. Anywhere you have a gathering you’ll find Cowboy poets. I love reading and listening to their poems. I’d have loved to have been at the National Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. Wow! That’s a lot of people.

    That’s an emotional poem by Vess Quinlan! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hi Linda! Glad the site is up and running again!

    I love to write poems that rhyme. I’ve always written poetry in that form. I’ve studied various types of poems too. I love the EAP poem about El Dorado in 1849. I studied Poe and he’s a classic.
    One time I had to write a Shakespearan sonnet and I did it! I think that’s the proudest I’d been with any poetry I’d written.

  16. Hi Charlene,

    I’m glad you can relate to my blog. A lot of people could care less about poetry. I’m not real big on it but I do enjoy good poems when I run across them. Just like romance books, some are better than others.

    I’m impressed that you wrote a Shakespearan sonnet! Wow! That’s tough. Pat yourself on the back, girl!

  17. Hi Estella!

    I think Eldorado is one of the best western movies made. Loved the interaction between the characters. Sometimes they were funny and sometimes they brought a lump to my throat. I think the poem really set it off.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  18. Hi Linda, What a terrific poem! It’s been ages since I’ve seen El Dorado. I’d like to see it again just to hear the poem.

    Overall, I’d like to be more of a poetry person than I am. It’s amazing to me that poets can say so much in so few words.

  19. Love poetry. No particular favorite. I do enjoy Frost, Poe, Dickinson, Longfellow, Angelou, and Shel Silverstein. I like the poems for themselves, not the poet. Last year I finally managed to have a poetry slam at our library. We’ll have another one this year. Now that people realize what it is, they are looking forward to it. Had some really good original poetry read last year. Have had a display of poetry books out all month. Will be including a session on poetry in my summer reading program this year. Enjoyed your limerick, Mary. Will bring it to the library and share it – with my co-workers not my students!

  20. I’m not much of a poetry reader — I have problems interpreting them! But I do enjoy reading Poe and I love old westerns. I’ve seen El Dorado several times, in fact!

  21. Hi Linda! I can’t believe I never saw this movie! Now I’ll have to watch for it, just for the poetry. Or maybe I can rent it–will have to look. Poetry fascinates me. Great blog!

  22. My kind of poet – Ogden Nash.

    I never saw a purple cow
    I never hope to see one
    But I can tell you anyhow
    I’d rather see than be one.

    • Thanks, Nela and Abi, for stopping by today.

      Estella, is it thousands LOL? Besides being so useful, I actually like the look of them. Our favorite barbeque retaurant Wood Ranch uses them for drinking glasses. I am a restauranta iced tea junkie. It never tastes that good at home no matter what/how I try. Thanks for commenting.

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