A Celebration of Poetry: April is National Poetry Month!

In the midst of declining cultural values (Kardashians, anyone?), it seems that the art of poetry is being buried under layers of stupidity. More often, it seems that people are more willing to turn on their television sets to receive a dose of “enlightenment” than open a book of poetry. Although it seems that poetry falls under the label of ‘dying art,’ it is clear that it still remains an important medium because of the way poems concisely capture an array of philosophical and experiential truths. I see the poem as a living entity, something that enters the tissues of the human mind to promote internal reflection and imagination—something that watching television just cannot do.

Although I would love poetry to be celebrated all the time, April marks National Poetry Month, a month-long recognition of the aesthetic and cultural significance of poetry. This initiative was created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a means to promote poetry in our society. The month of April was a strategic choice for when to celebrate National Poetry Month—it follows the observance of both Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March). Personally, I believe this initiative is a wonderful way to encourage the public’s attention of poetry’s continuing legacy in our cultural history, as well as to fuel the creation of new poems by individuals who otherwise may not have considered it. This month-long celebration is also a means to further integrate poetry into American classrooms, and to get young students excited about both the study and creation of poetry.

There is an array of events promoting the celebration of poetry this month. One of the events this month that I feel the most enthusiastic towards is “Poem in Your Pocket Day” (PIYP), which will occur on April 26 this year. On this day, people will carry a poem in their pocket—either a poem written by an established poet or a poem written by the person who carries it—and will thus be able to share it with whoever they come into contact with, like family, friends, co-workers—even a kind stranger!

I would personally love to write out a series of poems that I love and paste them around the St. Lawrence campus so that these poems would be exposed to many pairs of human eyes. I believe it is possible for everyone, even someone not well acquainted with poetry, to feel SOMETHING after reading.

So, this month, turn off your televisions and wander outside! Write some poetry, read poems, and most important of all, share them. Dare to share your poems and spread the love.

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