Since 1996 in the United States and 1998 in Canada, April has been deemed by poets, librarians, booksellers and teachers as the best month to celebrate poetry, as it has been recorded as the time of year when it can garner the most participation. Although the celebration of poetry in April started as national events in US and Canada, the Bardo Group is celebrating the month as International Poetry Month, since we are a multi-country, multicultural collaborative. Here is some history on how and why poetry month started and some ideas for ways in which you might celebrate with your friends and family.
It was started by the Academy of American Poets as “an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.” – Source HERE is a great page and resource for what it’s all about. You can even receive daily poems by e-mail, if you like! THIS page has a list of thirty ways to celebrate. My three favorites among these suggestions are: * Put poetry in an unexpected place. I love this idea because the surprise element adds something extra – the very fact of it being unexpected may make more of an impact upon the person who sees/reads the poem, and perhaps will leave more of a lasting impression. 🙂 I’m already scouting out unexpected places to leave a poem or two! * Play the Exquisite Corpse game. (Rules can be found here) Simply put, it’s a game where the participants agree beforehand on what sentence structure to use, then provide one word and pass it along to the next person who has no idea what the word before is…and then that person passes along their word, and so on. It could be just a simple line of poetry or an entire poem, depending on how many people participate and/or how many times each person submits a word. What a fantastic idea to get people to have fun and collaborate, creating a unique poem in the process. I need to find some people willing to play, and if it turns out to be a success, I’ll post the results. 😀
* Take a poem out to lunch. My “lunch-time” normally falls between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. because I work the night shift, so I don’t often have company with me. However, this is the perfect excuse to take someone to lunch with me on one of my days off and bring a poem! Maybe the person I take can bring one, too, for twice the enjoyment and twice the discussion. 🙂
However you decide to celebrate, I hope you DO decide to at least read or write one new poem and help spread the appreciation to others. One of my favorite ways to enjoy poetry is by searching and finding the perfect picture for a poetic verse or quote. It can be a lot more challenging than you might think, and the image/poetry combination is often times far more striking and memorable to the reader/viewer than a simple line of type. Of course, always be sure to give proper credit for both picture and poem.
Though on The Bardo Group blog we won’t exclusively post poems everyday this month, we’ll certainly celebrate with many poems and poets from different times and many places. Along with the Academy of American Poets, we’ll celebrate A Poem in Your Pocket on Thursday, April 24, when everyone is invited to share a poem here and/or a piece about a favorite poet no matter the poet’s time or place. Mister Linky will go up and you can link in your own work or share a URL to work you admire. Or, if you prefer, you can share a poem or comment on a poet in the comment section of that day’s post. Mister Linky will open at 12:01 a.m. on the 24th. We look forward to seeing what you have to share then.
In closing, here are a few of my favorite quotes about poetry from some of my favorite poets. How about you? Any celebration ideas? Favorite poems or poets to share?
“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.” ~ Khalil Gibran
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” ~ Robert Frost
“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” ~ Carl Sandburg
“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” ~ T.S. Eliot
© 2014, essay, Corina Ravenscraft All rights reserved