Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April is National Poetry Month

Dr. Maya Angelou said: “Poetry is music written for the human voice.” April is National Poetry Month and was first celebrated in 1996. It was created to promote attention to the literary form and history of poetry. How can you celebrate National Poetry Month? The Academy of American Poets has a list of thirty ways to celebrate poetry in April:

Read a poem a day – books of poetry can be found at your local library, or there are websites dedicated to poetry by certain authors or on certain subjects. One of my favorites is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.

Write a poem of your own – use free verse, make a haiku, write a sonnet, the style doesn’t matter just the attempt. Writing a poem is not as complicated as some people might think, the most important part is being uninhibited and turning off your internal editor. Just write everything that comes to mind, you can edit it later. Choose a style of poetry that fits your subject, research rhyme scheme and meter standards to find out if your poem is a Couplet, Villanelle, or Shakespearian Sonnet.

Add a verse of poetry to your personal email signature – if you stumble across a line you enjoy while reading, share it with others. Make it short and to the point, and always site the source of the line.

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day – on April 17, 2009 carry a poem in your pocket and share it as you see fit with those around you.

Kay Ryan, the current Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2008-2009, said: "Poems are transmissions from the depths of whoever wrote them to the depths of the reader. To a greater extent than with any other kind of reading, the reader of a poem is making that poem, is inhabiting those words in the most personal sort of way. That doesn’t mean that you read a poem and make it whatever you want it to be, but that it’s operating so deeply in you, that it is the most special kind of reading."

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