Remembering National Poetry Month

HAPPY POETRY MONTH. I can’t let the opening of this month go by without mentioning this happy month (although T.S. Eliot did call it the cruellest month).

The Academy of American Poets partnered with award-winning designer Chip Kidd to commission this poster to celebrate National Poetry Month.  This year’s poster was designed by National Book Award finalist Roz Chast and inspired by Mark Strand. Even Pear Blossom likes it (or is it the crinkle sound?).

With so much on my mind lately, I haven’t organized a list of what I wanted to do for poetry month this year, so for now I think I will read at least one new poem every day. If you like that idea, here is an easy way to do it. Sign up for Poem-A-Day through here.

Here is a new one for me by “America’s favorite poet”:

Billy Collins history of weather

I love that this poem begins with spring since spring is breaking open the ground now. I love how the poem goes back farther and farther in time and ends with a realization that the speaker who is trying to get his mind around all this is lying outside with “his jacket bunched into a pillow, an open book on his chest.”

What do you plan to do for National Poetry Month?



Filed under Art and Music, Poetry, Writing

40 responses to “Remembering National Poetry Month

  1. Looks like your furry friend appreciates poetry too huh! Didn’t even know there was such a month, Thank you 🙂

  2. Windy Mama

    I signed up for the Poem a day to accompany my word of the day. Along with my cup of coffee in the morning, it’s pretty much a perfect start to the day. Billy Collins is nothing short of amazing the way he speaks so simply and yet, not.

    • It’s a great start to the day, WM! What an easy way to slip poetry into our lives without having to think, “Oh, yeah, I haven’t read any poetry lately.” Collins is a phenomenal poet, sort of along the lines of Robert Frost, IMO.

  3. Thanks for the link to sign up for poem-a-day. What a great way to celebrate the month.

  4. That’s a lovely poem, and thank you for alerting us to this month’s celebration. I love April . Do you know why T.S. Eliot called “the cruelest?”

    • Why yes I do, thank you for asking ;)! He opens his poem “The Wasteland” like this:
      APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
      Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
      Memory and desire, stirring
      Dull roots with spring rain.
      Winter kept us warm, covering 5
      Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
      A little life with dried tubers.
      Now that it is spring we are no longer hibernating, but forced to confront life as it reawakens us to the longings and pain of our memories and to the torture of our desires. Sammy, do you get lilacs where you are? I LOVE lilacs and miss them so much b/c the only ones I’ve ever seen out here were in Whole Foods!

      • Thank you, Luanne. T.S. Eliot can turn a phrase, that’s for sure!

        We do have lilacs here and there, but no one oohs and ahhs over them except we transplants 😊. And we have to get a ‘true’ spring for them to bloom at all and for longer than a week. True spring only comes about every 5 years. The rest of the time a late heavy snowstorm shocks those tender, lusciously scented blooms into turning brown overnight.

  5. I’ll be reading Doll God!

  6. Reading more poetry written in English since I’m more familiar with French poetry. Great reminder!

  7. I’ll probably take some pictures for poetry month, does that count? LOL. And yes, I have always loved Poem-a-Day. Can’t wait to see you on there!

  8. Poetry for me is different from all other genres of writing. It’s a genre to be sipped and not gulped at one sitting.
    I have been reading Doll God in the evenings as if I were sipping a fine brandy.
    Yesterday I read YouTube Interview of the Life-Sized Toddler Doll. It brought up such happy memories for me, especially this line: “She dressed me in flower-edged socks.” It’s amazing how one line can catapult me to a time in the past where I linger and linger as if living it again. 🙂
    Thank you for the memory, Luanne.

  9. This is your month, Luanne! What do I plan to do? Well, I’ll be reading your posts on poetry. 🙂 I hope your father is doing well. xo

  10. We celebrate National Poetry Month in our libraries Luanne, but personally what will I do, well Doll God is sitting on my bedside table, so that seems like a good place to begin 🙂

  11. Excellent post, Luanne, and I love your cat’s “help” with the picture. 🙂

  12. Well, I signed up for a free online poetry writing class through the University of Iowa. I’m not sure if I really will be able to “attend,” but it starts April 13 so I should find out soon what the exact schedule is and whether I actually need to be in attendance. But it’s FREE so it’s worth the risk … lol 😉

    • They have free courses? At Iowa?! Wow! It starts tomorrow? Let me know how it goes and all? That’s so exciting, Marie!

      • This is the link to the course: My understanding is that a video (I assume, lecture) will go live about 1 pm CDT. I have no idea if I’ll get an email about it or what. But there is a Facebook group for the course and one of the members said you can view the video anytime, just ideally within the week. There’s also supposed to be a way to participate in a discussion. It’s the third free online writing course that Univ. of Iowa has offered. I got that from the course website. I’m a bit nervous because I’ve taken online courses and usually there’s more detail about the logistics. I guess I’ll just know more after Monday 😉

        • This looks so cool! I wonder why they are offering free courses? That is so unique since these courses are so often so expensive. I hope you’re having fun!

          • I’m having a hard time keeping up, but that’s because of my own schedule (and lack of discipline). From what I can tell, they’ve offered this same course and a fiction course for free before. The platforms they are using (Canvas and Piazza) are rather difficult to navigate and a lot of students have complained. But the platforms are free and the support team for the course are awesome. And, geez, it’s free. I once taught an online class that used a very expensive platform to deliver the course and it had plenty of glitches. Anyway, I don’t know if perhaps this is some kind of long-term marketing plan (to attract people to eventually pay $$ for a course), but they seem sincerely interested in being open and enabling as many writers as possible to participate. If you complete all the assignments, you can get a certificate and that does cost $50. Small change I think for everything a person could get out of the course 🙂 Oh, and if you are ever interested, some people have said that they are just going to watch the videos and do the writing exercises as they can. You can do as little as you want in this course. So far, the videos alone are worth the effort, even if I don’t get a certificate.

            • This is all great info, Marie. They must have some kind of rhyme to their reasoning of offering free courses. It can’t be out of the goodness of their hearts–or can it?

              • As far as I can tell, it is out of the goodness of their hearts. Perhaps they are getting some kind of funding to underwrite the effort. And perhaps they are thinking of eventually offered degreed programs online. We don’t have direct contact with the poets as far as I can tell. I think it’s mostly, if not all, grad students who work the discussion boards. But for a newbie like me, it’s a great introduction. And, like I said, there’s no certification unless you fulfill certain requirements and then pay $50. One support staff did note the certificate fee was necessary to offset some of the costs of implementing the course. If I can discipline myself well enough to take full advantage of the course, I plan to sign up for more 🙂

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