Editorial: Painting with poetry

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A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but poetry can paint a picture.

Poetry is art, where words evoke mental images for the reader or listener—of seas and mountains, of giants and galaxies, of love and pain.

It’s form is architecture on the page.

Poetry is music, with rhythm, cadence and a beat.

April is National Poetry Month and SOMOS, Taos’ own Society of the Muse of the Southwest, is celebrating in a big way. The group has events, workshops and some unusual readings planned throughout the month.

The events begin with a free one Sunday (April 1) when nine local actors read and perform works by nine local poets at the Taos Art Museum. Then April 6-8, Taos’ first poet laureate and Amigos Bravos co-founder Sawnie Morris along with Olivia Romo and friends from the Paseo Project will host a free “Water is Community” event of poetry, storytelling and performance at the Taos Center for the Arts. 

SOMOS collaborated with the Taos Arts Council to bring poetry by 25 Taos poets to your favorite local coffee shops. Look for these works as you sip your favorite cup of ambition at Taos Cow, KOKO, Coffee Spot, Elevation Coffee, Gutiz, Manzanita Market and several town of Taos venues. Poetry by Langston Hughes, illustrated by fourth-graders at Taos Integrated School for the Arts, will be displayed at the Taos Public Library.

Find more on the events in Tempo and a full calendar of SOMOS poetry happenings is available at somostaos.org.

April also is National Child Abuse and National Sexual Awareness Month.

What does that have to do with poetry?

Everything.

Art of any kind is a way to explore our feelings, to celebrate our joys, and in the case of abuse, to process grief and pain.

Poetry is one way abuse survivors can put their experiences and emotions into context, paint a picture of what they’ve been through and how they’ve survived. Poems can raise awareness of the changes needed in our families and our communities.

Or as SOMOS believes, “words matter—because words can change worlds.”

On Saturday, April 7, Youth Heartline will host an evening with survivors of abuse, child advocates and judges who’ve worked with abuse cases. This free event at the Taos Center for the Arts won’t all be poetry, but the words will still be powerful.

We urge Taoseños to attend as many of these events throughout April as you can.

You may find yourself changed by what you hear and read.

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