In case you didn’t know, National Poetry Month is April! The Academy of American Poets founded the celebration in 1996 and since them it has become one of the biggest literary celebrations in the world. Authors, libraries, schools, booksellers, and yes even bloggers, all share their love for poetry during the month of April and help to continue to bring awareness and exposure into a very sophisticated and yet completely accessible and fun form of literature. Since its inception, National Poetry Month and the Academy of American Poets has focused on highlighting the legacies and achievements of poets, encouraging the reading of poems, helping teachers bring more poetry into their classrooms, increase the attention to poetry in media, increasing the publication and distribution of poetry, and encouraging more support for poetry and poets.
I would by no means ever consider myself a poet, nor do I think anyone would ever say as such about me. So, you know, this is a good place to start. From a place of very low, low expectations. If you’d like to see my first attempt in a very, very long time, you can read Day 65 Supplemental, in which I respond to a challenge from a fellow blogger with a poem. Even though I would never consider myself a poet, I do appreciate other poets and poetry in general. It is a beautiful form of literature and writing that requires a truly demanding mastery of imagery and subtlety to deliver as clear a message in five words what I usually do in ten. And when that’s done well, that’s really really cool. Poetry is one of those fascinating forms that can be exciting in the writing, reading, and even reading/performing of it. It can be visually stunning as well with certain poems formatted or written or just typed a certain way.
I’m not as exposed as much these days to poetry as I used to be when I was a child. One of my favorite childhood authors was the poet Shel Silverstein. You may have read his book The Giving Tree but I remember him best for his whimsical poetry collections A Light in the Attic and Falling Up. In high school I took poetry electives and considered myself somewhat of a poet, but most of my poems were angst-ridden lamentations on love. High school drama. I still cringe. In university I took a poetry class (required for English Education majors) and this was my first real opportunity to explore and investigate poetry purely from an observational and analytical perspective. It was kind of nice to know I didn’t have to write a poem at any time, and could just really dive into the nuances and subtleties and hidden meanings. When you only have so many words and lines to work with, you really have to dig deep to the full meaning, but its often very surprising as you start to unravel it all, just how much can be packed into a few lines.
This upcoming month-long celebration of poetry will be a great opportunity for me to go back and bring up old favorite poems of mine, learn about forms of poetry and poets from all around the world, and yes, even (very very sparingly) attempt to try and write poems in forms or on subjects that interest me. Throughout April this blog will transform from an ordinary day to day reflections and musings collection to poetry central. Mostly sharing some personal favorites of mine from childhood up til now, including a few that were recently shared with me from other fellow bloggers. I’ll also want to look into poetry around the world, especially Asian poets and poetry. The biggest stretch will be me trying to actually write poetry, but I think taking a few leaps and dives outside of your comfort zone is a healthy thing to help improve the things you are comfortable with.
If you’d like to participate in any way during Poetry Month, there are various things you can do. Of course, sharing poetry or writing poetry would be great. And if you use the #npm17 to draw attention to National Poetry Month, that would help as well. April 27th is Poem in Your Pocket Day, where you are encouraged to print out a poem of your choosing and keep it in your pocket to share with family, friends, coworkers, or even just random strangers you happen to meet during the day. If you go to the Academy of American Poet’s official website, poets.org, you can also sign up to receive a poem a day in your invoice. I’ve always commented that WordPress seems to be a thriving community of poets and poetry so it’s definitely encouraging to see poetry so strong here.
Man: 226 Loneliness: 33