National Poetry Month began in April 1996 and was established to encourage Americans in schools, businesses and homes to celebrate and recognize the importance of poetry in American culture.
There are many ways you can join in the celebration.
1. Reading poetry is one of the most obvious. The library has many books of poetry, both old and new for all ages, that you are encouraged to check out. Three that are highly recommended are:
100 Essential Modern Poems by Women
Red Bird: Poems by Mary Oliver
God’s Silence: Poems by Franz Wright
2. The Borzoi Press division of Random House has arranged for anyone who signs up to receive a Poem-A-Day in their e-mail during the month of April.
3. April 30th is Carry a Poem in Your Pocket Day. Find a poem that you like, make a copy of it and carry it in your pocket that Thursday. Share your poem with friends and family.
4. Make a comment for this blog and tell us about your favorite poem or poet.
5. Or – read the following poem by Lisa Starr, Rhode Island's Poet Laureate.
I went back to the sandpipers today –
it’s been a while.
Six of them, or
was it twenty? Never matters;
somehow we all know when a meeting has been called,
somehow we all know
exactly when the surf
will start tossing back
its wild silver hair.
One time I was astonished
to find them waiting for me on the beach in Newport.
It was so quiet it was like rain
without the rain.
I wasn’t planning it
my car just brought me there,
a most uncommon thing – it’s not that kind of car –
but there we were, alone on a beach.
It almost made me giddy,
I’d forgotten how much
I need them.
Like me they were laughing and
sputtering about the beauty.
A few of them couldn’t help it
and just kept throwing their small bodies
again and again
into the wild, white water.
[Lisa Starr's poem was published in the Bryant Literary Review, 2005, and The Providence Journal, April 2005]