© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Less than 2 hours remaining till we pick the next prize winner of our final $2,000 in gas or electric vehicle charging. Purchase your tickets now for a chance to win!

Don't Put Yourself In A Box, Unless It's On Twitter: Detroit Poet Reads #NPRpoetry

Poet Jessica Care Moore performs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014.
Stephen Lovekin
Getty Images for Brooklyn Academy of Music
Poet Jessica Care Moore performs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014.

We're going big on National Poetry Month by going small: We invite our readers to dabble in the literary genre with original Twitter-length poems.

This week, we enlisted the Detroit poet, playwright and performance artist Jessica Care Moore to pick her favorites from the #NPRpoetry feed. From San Francisco, Moore spoke to NPR about which verses stopped her scrolling thumb.

For the most part, she compiled a heartfelt bunch.

But Moore says when it comes to poetry, she also gravitates toward the honest and the complex. So naturally, Leigh's poem caught her eye. "Because I think everyone's mother has secrets," she says. "I'm a mom. I might have a couple of my own, and you keep things from your children sometimes just for their own safety."

JoyAnne O'Donnell's juxtaposition of dandelions to a lion also stuck out to Moore. "I think the metaphor she's using is that dandelions are strong. You know, despite everything, you still see a dandelion. Your rose bush might go away, but the dandelions seem to live forever, you know."

Speaking from rainy San Francisco, Moore also connected to a "simple and soft" offering from Clyde The Poet; she notes pretty lines like "doors percuss." We can only speculate what or who "Storm Tonight" is about, but Moore takes a stab: "He's clearly talking about somebody he loves with almond eyes. And maybe they're inside because it's raining. And the rain is sideways because maybe they're comfortable."

As our poets flock to Twitter to pour their thoughts into a box, the performance artist has some advice for tweeters who may want to translate their work to the stage.

"Don't limit yourself with boxes and labels," Moore says. "There's a lot of great poets who know how to rock a mic. So I would say absolutely study your craft, and read everything."

And read everybody. "Read indigenous poets. Read Asian poets. Read African-American, poets of the African diaspora. Read European, American poets. Read the greats in all genres from different cultures and in different languages. If you've got a grasp on another language, do that."

NPR's Elizabeth Baker and Natalie Winston produced and edited this story for broadcast.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.
Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.