Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poem in Your Pocket Day

Today, April 18, is Poem in Your Pocket Day, part of the celebration of National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets has a whole page dedicated to Poem in Your Pocket Day right HERE.

In past years, I have shared e.e. cumming's lovely "in Just--" which has long been one of my favorite poems. Who can deny the deliciousness of his portmanteau words "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful" when describing the childlike joy of an early spring day? (Despite the rather macabre "goat-footed balloonman" who "whistles far and wee.")

In honor of this day, I am tucking a poem in my pocket to share with at least one other person outside of my family.

This poem is by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins whom I was fortunate enough to meet at the Writer's Symposium by the Sea in February, and it's also a fitting poem for celebrating both poetry and spring.


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
Source: Poetry (April 2000).

So why don't you tuck a poem in your pocket today and share it? Here are some ideas for celebrating this day, taken from a flyer from 
  • Hand out poems in your school or workplace
  • Teachers: reward students "caught" with a poem in their pocket
  • Local businesses: offer discounts to those carrying poems
  • Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
  • Add a poem to your e-mail footer
  • Mail a poem to a friend
  • Post a poem on your blog or social networking site (use #pocketpoem on Twitter)
  • Check out the Academy's Poem in Your Pocket anthologies for adults and young people at

And my own idea, especially for homeschoolers (or any family, for that matter): try a Poetry Tea Time as celebrated weekly at Brave Writer (even if today isn't a Tuesday). Set up a lovely tea with real cups and saucers (or at least nice mugs), buy or make cookies or scones, and have your kids bring a favorite poem to the table to share with the family, with everyone sipping tea and enjoying the baked goodies while listening. 

So enjoy Poem in Your Pocket Day...and celebrate the beauty and majesty of poetry!!! 

Poetically yours,

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