By Ida Tomshinsky
National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students and teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.
While we celebrate poets and poetry year-round, this year the Academy of American Poets was inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, and founded National Poetry Month in April 1996 with an aim to: * highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of poets, * encourage the reading of poems, * assist faculty in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
* increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media, * encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and * encourage support for poets and poetry.
We all love poetry for the figurative language, metaphors and symbolism. By rhyming or not, poetry is an exercise of words a literacy form of self-expression in a concise way of engagement.
People say: “APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS.”
Poetic means powerful, powerful enough to touch hearts and change minds as long as people read. The two great subjects for poets are love and nature; and in total quantity, poems about nature win out. Nature is a huge, huge word too, which can include everything in the universe, everything not made-man, because as one man said: “I met with birds bees trees flowers all talked to me louder than the busy hum of men.” (John Clare) As D. H. Lawrence puts it: there is nothing more soothing than a walk in a good wood; it is fascinated to see nature’s phenomena. Give me small majesties that I can feel as my own – the tiny perfect wild-flowers on the forest floor, the surprise of birds, the way a tree announces rain.
“Look! Look! The spring is come:
O feel the gentle air,
That wanders thro’ the boughs to burst
The thick buds everywhere!
The birds are glad to see
The high unclouded sun:
Winter is fled away, they sing,
The great time is begun.”
“The sky rises above the rooftop
So blue, so calm!
A palm tree rises above the rooftop
Rocking it fronds
The bell in the sky up there
Is softy ringing.
The bird on that branch up tree
Is tenderly singing.
My God, my God, life is there
Simple and good.
That peaceful hum out there
Come from your neighborhood.”
(Paul Verlaine, French, 1844-1896) Poem in Your Pocket Day of the 2019 is on Thursday, April 18 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, if you like poetry, select a poem of any language, carry it with you, and share it with others at the FNU Library, at 2: 00 pm, and we will make sure that the first five poems will be posted on the FNU social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.