April 14, 2011
For those of you who don’t already know, April is National Poetry Month.
And, in my opinion, the timing is perfect. Although it can be a month of weather extremes here in New England, for the most part, April is a time of great beauty and renewal. With spring in full bloom—the smell of hyacinths on the wind, the sound of cardinals singing for their mate, the sight of buds on the long-dormant trees—how can you help but wax poetic?
Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States, National Poetry Month is a time to join fellow lovers of verse and celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.
How, you ask? Well here are some suggestions from the Academy:
Put some poetry in an unexpected place
Why not leave a copy of a poem at your favorite coffee shop or a book of poetry in your doctor’s waiting room? Patients are sure to appreciate it more than last year’s magazines.
Attend a poetry reading
There’s bound to be one happening at your local bookstore, café, or college.
Put a poem in your (or someone else’s) lunchbox
What a nice break from reading the paper or checking email at lunchtime!
Recite a poem to loved ones
Try it at the table before dinner or in bed before falling asleep. I’ve been reading my daughter poems at bedtime; her favorites are the month poems by John Updike in “A Child’s Calendar,” beautifully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.
And I’ll leave you with this simple yet profound verse:
“Happy Thought” by Robert Louis Stevenson
The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.