Saturday, March 30, 2013

Poetry in Your Pocket

April is National Poetry Month, according to the Academy of American Poets, and they’d like us to celebrate by carrying a “Poem in Your Pocket.” It’s a fun idea to energize a flagging spirit. You find a cherished poem from childhood or write one yourself, keep it in your pocket or purse, and gift it to someone. If you’re a teacher, it’s suggested you make class more exciting in April by giving extra credit if someone can produce a poem from their pocket.
I took a Leisure Learning class at McNeese State University in February. Our lovely instructor, Connie McDonald, inspired us with her enthusiasm and knowledge, dragging our winter weary minds into spring with some fun poetry exercises. My middle-aged mind hesitated at first, then grabbed the rope and took a step. Swinging out over the river of imagination, I let go and enjoyed the metaphor and mechanism that poetry embraces. When our four weeks were over, I wished it could have been a few nights longer.
For the next few months, I’m committing to blog about different types of poetry and encourage you to carry in your pocket that Shell Silverstein poem you read your kids a million times, or the Langston Hughes or E. B. Browning poem that gave you goose-bumps the first time you heard it.  When you see a long face at the grocery store, or that special person at work who makes you laugh, gift them with a poem. Let’s celebrate. Happy Easter.

       The Swing                                                             
       by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
    Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
    Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
    Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
    Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green
     Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again,
     Up in the air and down!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris
    Robert Lee Brewer has a blog called Poetic Asides and during the month of April he has a Poem a Day Challenge. Every day he gives a prompt for a poem. I've been doing it for a couple of years, but I've never hung in for a whole month. I'm going to try again this year and see how far I go. Some people post their poems, but it's not a requirement. I never have. Have a look.