Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poem In Your Pocket Day

 Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day which is only one part of celebrating National Poetry Month.

National Poetry Month Poster for 2016

The idea behind the Poem in Your Pocket Day is to get people to share poetry with others.  Hopefully, many teachers will promote this day with a class project to allow children to select a favorite poem and read it to others in the class through the day. It might be a simple project or one layered with many possibilities. 

I love the idea of having that slip of paper with the poem in you pocket. It's kind of like you're saying I've got a secret. The best part is that you want to share that secret with someone else. When I was in a Brownie troop in second grade, we sang a song about having a secret in a pocket. In that song, the secret turned out to be ...a great big Brownie smile but why not make yours a favorite poem today? 

I also am pleased that the American Academy of Poets established the celebration of poetry in 1996 by choosing April of each year to spread the word about poetry. This, then, is its twentieth year--more cause for celebration. 

We recognize poets of old and contemporary poets, as well. Maya Angelou wrote a special poem which she read at President Clinton's 1993 inauguration. Read her poem On The Pulse of the Morning. Who are your favorite poets--both from history and those who write poetry today? 

In my community, there will be a Poetry Reading session in the Rose Garden at our City Park this next Saturday afternoon. All are invited to read a poem or to just come and listen to those who do. It's an annual event here and, I must admit, I have never attended. Maybe I'll give it a try this year, might even slip a poem I've written into my pocket before I go. 

If you do nothing else to celebrate National Poetry Month, spend some time reading a book of poems. If you're like me, you'll find something new when you read multiple times. Poems have far fewer words than prose pieces but they can say every bit as much, and sometimes more. 

Whatever you do, don't say I hate poetry! Maybe you did when you had to memorize poems for English class. Maybe you did when you were far more into playing football or soccer. Maybe you did when you weren't exposed to different kinds of poems. Maybe now is the time to find out if you can read and enjoy poetry and maybe even write some yourself. We change in many ways as we journey through life. It's possible poetry may suddenly have a great appeal for you. 

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