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Poet Elizabeth Alexander Muses About Spring

Apr 15, 2013
Originally published on April 15, 2013 12:27 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Next, the latest in our series Muses and Metaphor. That's how we're celebrating National Poetry Month. We're hearing your Twitter poems of 140 characters or less. Today, we hear from renowned poet Elizabeth Alexander. You might remember her from President Obama's first Inauguration in 2009. She composed and read the poem, "Praise Song for the Day" for that occasion. Not only that, she's published six volumes of poetry. She's chair of the African-American Studies Department at Yale University.

The poem she tweeted for our series is called "First Housefly," and here it is.

ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: First housefly, first bee staggers in flight and falls on the windowsill. April redux, come spring, coming in.

MARTIN: Now, that went by pretty fast, so let's hear it again.

ALEXANDER: First housefly, first bee staggers in flight and falls on the windowsill. April redux, come spring, coming in.

MARTIN: That was a poetic tweet submitted by acclaimed poet Elizabeth Alexander. Now, we'd like to hear from you. If you'd like to help us celebrate National Poetry Month, tweet us your original poetry using fewer than 140 characters. If your poem is chosen, we will help you record it for us, and we will air it in the program this month. Tweet us using the hashtag #TMMPoetry. You can learn more at the TELL ME MORE website. Go to npr.org/TellMeMore. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.