National Poetry Month

Next month is National Poetry Month! Yay! (But hey, come there isn’t a National Fiction Month or National Short Stories month? Is there?)

I hope you’ll be celebrating like me: knocking down athletes at sporting events with potato-gun propelled poetry books; prank-calling people at 2 a.m. to recite some e. e. cummings; and passing out drunk after “poetry and pizza” parties where poetry is incessantly read aloud, sometimes multiple poems read at once, for an inhuman twelve or thirteen hours at a time.

Another way I might celebrate is to post a poem a day from a published poet, and then to comment on it. (I could challenge myself to write a poem a day, but I already did this in January with Angele.) You can get daily poems from the Writers Alamanc, but that would be too easy, and I don’t always like the poems in there, anyway. You can also get a poem e-mailed to you every day in April by the Academy of American Poets. The Academy suggests other ideas, including the “poem in your pocket” project. You carry around a poem (or poems) in your pocket, and spontaneously read them in a public place.

You can also leave poems at restaurants, bookstores, bus stations, etc. I think I might do this one, too.

The Poet’s Market Poetic Asides blog also offers good posts and weekly poem prompts (on Wednesdays), so if you don’t want to try the demanding challenge of writing a poem a day, maybe one a week will still be pretty hyper-productive for you.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Let me know if anyone has any other ideas.


2 Responses to National Poetry Month

  1. Angele Ellis says:

    An idea for National Poetry Month: Friendship is supposed to be getting a dozen new, improved bulletin boards by month’s end. We could post poems on them in April, with the heading “April Is National Poetry Month.”

    And now, a poem about poetry…


    Pablo Neruda

    And it was at that age … Poetry arrived
    in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
    it came from, from winter or a river.
    I don’t know how or when,
    no they were not voices, they were not
    words, nor silence,
    but from a street I was summoned,
    from the branches of night,
    abruptly from the others,
    among violent fires
    or returning alone,
    there I was without a face
    and it touched me.

    I did not know what to say, my mouth
    had no way
    with names,
    my eyes were blind,
    and something started in my soul,
    fever or forgotten wings,
    and I made my own way,
    that fire,
    and I wrote the first faint line,
    faint, without substance, pure
    pure wisdom
    of someone who knows nothing,
    and suddenly I saw
    the heavens
    and open,
    palpitating plantations,
    shadow perforated,
    with arrows, fire and flowers,
    the winding night, the universe.

    And I, infinitesimal being,
    drunk with the great starry
    likeness, image of
    felt myself a pure part
    of the abyss,
    I wheeled with the stars,
    my heart broke loose on the wind.

  2. kimada says:

    I love Angele’s suggestion. Our we could just hang a local poet from the billboards.

    In response to the idea of an impromptu public readings, I’ve been trying to get Che and Bill to stand on a busy intersection somewhere and perform Che’s collection Death Poems a la Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues.

    Miles and Melissa also suggested a poetry crawl, or poet’s crawl. Something along the lines of meeting at one’s persons place, eating, writing, then meandering to the next poet’s place, eating, writing, and so on. I think that would be a lot of fun and imagine all the opportunity to collects observations and material along the way, passing by Baum Grove, through west Penn Hospital, over Friendship Park and down into the cemetery on the way to Lawrenceville.

    I’d be game for any of the above mentioned suggestions.

    I’m liking this trend Angele proposed. And, thus, a poem by Susan Howe, from her book Singularities.

    Home in a human knowing

    Stretched out at the thresh
    of beginning

    Sphere of sound

    Body of articulation chattering

    an Assassin
    shabby halo-helmet

    hideout haystack hunter chamois

    History of seedling and seduction
    Kinship of infinite separation

    Sight of thought

    Crooked erratic perception
    shoal ruin abyssal veil veiling

    Braggart expert
    discourse on dice

    Face to visible sense gathers moss

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