why do i love national poetry month?

21Apr10

April is National Poetry Month!  I considered posting at the beginning of the month, but I figured that, if you’re reading a blog like mine, you’d probably heard about it from millions of other sources.

Now that we’re three weeks in, let me remind you:

April is National Poetry Month!

The best part about this is that, every year, my favorite issue of American Libraries arrives in my mailbox.  The April issue is my favorite because it comes with a cool poster to promote National Poetry Month.  Last year was my favorite: it featured a line from Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

Of course, I also dig this celebration because poetry should be honored for what it is: an art that everyone can connect to in one form or another.  One of my most cherished moments of undergrad was the day that I understood that anyone can write poetry.  Anyone can write poetry, and I can prove it.

My evidence is pretty embarrassing.  You see, I am not a poet.  I know poets, and I know that I’m not one of them.  Even though I would never consider myself a member of this revered group of wordsmiths, I’ve written in verse on sparse occasion, mainly for classes.

One day, way back in the great yesteryear 2006, I wrote one of these poems.  It came to me suddenly, each syllable of the limerick flowing smoothly out after the one before.  When I was finished, I read it.  Then I laughed, and then I handed it in to my professor.

When she read it, she laughed, and then she said, “I’m sorry!  I hope it’s supposed to be funny, because it is.”

I thought it was especially funny, because I’m really not a poet.  And me, this non-poet, had that limerick published in The Angle, my college’s literary magazine.

Here, in all of its embarrassment glory, is my poem:

There you have it, friends.  I love National Poetry Month because everyone really is a poet, even non-poets like me.  So, before the month is through, take a few minutes to write something: sonnet, haiku, limerick, even prose poetry.  Stop your busy life for a moment and enjoy creating something!

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