|Atlantis Books, Oia, Santorini, Greece|
April 30 this year is Poem in Your Pocket Day. It’s a day set aside, during National Poetry Month, for a special celebration of poetry.
Here’s how it works. You choose a poem -- or write one -- and carry a copy of it in your pocket. Throughout the day, take it out and read it aloud to random people. No, they won’t think you’re crazy. They will love it.
Poem in Your Pocket Day originated in 2002 in New York City by the mayor’s office. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took it national. Today, folks all across the country -- in parks, schools, libraries, offices, all over -- participate in this joyful celebration. Let’s face it. People enjoy sharing and hearing poems.
One year, I made extra copies of “Blessing the Boats” by Lucille Clifton. “Hello. It’s National Poetry Month and today’s Poem in Your Pocket Day. I’d like to share a poem with you.”
The answer was always, “Okay.”
blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
After reading the poem, I’d hand her or him the copy to keep. Their faces would break out in wide smiles. “Really? I can keep this?” I’d nod and smile back, my heart radiating warmth.
Look up your favorite poem online, read it aloud, and then copy it to share on April 30. Or, be creative and write your own poem. I have an appointment at the beauty salon that day. Boy, are they in for a treat.
Who is your favorite poet? What poem do you remember being read to you as a child? Poetry is a fabulous way to communicate.
~ xoA ~