While the letter P offers a plethora of choices as far as poetic forms and terms, I found I did not want to write about any of them. For one, I am trying to avoid writing about poetic forms in this potpourril. And second, given I am playing catch up, I wanted to write a ‘P’ post that can help me do just that. I first thought of pun poems (but then maybe it is a poetic form too, kind of). But googling for pun in(tended) poetry led me to Kenn Nesbitt’s truly punny poems. Read them for yourself if you need some smile, giggles, and laughs. Anyway, my quest led me to Poem in Your Pocket Day.
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A Ticket? A Locket? A Wonderful Poem in Your Pocket
I know that trying to think of headlines like these do not serve much purpose for SEO or other such things. But it makes me happy!! And I suddenly remembered the rhyme ‘a tisket, a tasket’ (maybe because of my Nursery Rhymes post) which made me write this one replacing those words with what you might find in a pocket (?) of a jacket or coat you haven’t worn for some time.
A ticket (but at this time, maybe it was one from over a year ago at the least!), a locket that you put in there for safekeeping and forgot about it until you finally wore it again.
So What is Poem in Your Pocket Day?
Poem in Your Pocket Day was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to participate. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada. [Source: Poets.org] The website also suggests a list of activities for the day here
Each year, the Academy of American Poets selects a day during National Poetry Month (April) to celebrate as Poem in Your Pocket Day (or #PocketPoem Day!); in 2021, it is on the 29th of April.
So on that day (or any other day for that matter), pick a poem, print it out or write it down, fold the paper and put it in your pocket! Simple, right. And at various times during the day, take your “pocket poem” out, read it – for yourself or share it with others, and if you wish, you could give it to someone else to make it their #PocketPoem too.
Activities For Poem In Your Pocket Day
Here are a few fun suggestions for how you can celebrate this cool day (April 29 this year)
- Pick a poem and share it via social media and/or email. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #PocketPoem. You could share it in various ways. A photo of the poem: print/hand-written and/or illustrated; an audio and/or video recording of yourself reading the poem; a poem in your email footer; or have a shared poetry reading session (online obviously still). [ideas from Poets.org] [Websites for poems linked in section below]
- The Emily Dickinson Museum offers suggestions for the day at their website (note that this is from their 2020 list)
- Write a poem and share it as your #PocketPoem. You can check out all the poetic forms as part of my #PoeticSunday posts here. I also shared templates for a couple of forms here.
h/t, References, and Further Reading
- Download the Academy of American Poets’ Poem in Your Pocket Day PDF for 2021 and print out the poem of your choice from there.
- Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day! – I love all the activities and resources for students at ReadWriteThink. There is something for everyone there.
- Billy Collins’ Poetry 180 Project: The List of All 180 Poems: Billy Collins has selected this list of poems with high school students in mind; but of course, everyone can find something to read and enjoy here. He even talks about how to read a poem out loud here.
- Favorite Poem Project: I discovered this website when I was researching poetry related stuff for the letter ‘F’. And I am so glad I did. It is like a treasure chest that will reveal new treasures each time you open it. As the website states, this is people reading their favorite poems.
- Find more delightful and wondrous poems to read over at PoetryArchive
- AllPoetry is another wonderful place to find poems to read and be inspired by.
- The Library of Congress‘ Poetry and Literature pages are a rich resource for all to explore.
Title: Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women
Author: Maya Angelou
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Poetry by Women/Black and African American Poetry
Publisher: Random House (October 5th 2011; first published January 17th 1995)
Source: Library copy
Description: A collection of beloved poems about women from the iconic Maya Angelou. These four poems, “Phenomenal Woman,” “Still I Rise,” “Weekend Glory,” and “Our Grandmothers,” are among the most remembered and acclaimed of Maya Angelou’s poems. They celebrate women with a majesty that has inspired and touched the hearts of millions.
This might be one of the shortest books I have read this past month (excluding the picture book type books for children); but it is certainly one of the most impactful books as well. While I have read a few of Maya Angelou’s poems before, and snippets of “Still I Rise”, I had not read the poems (in entirety for “Still..”) included in this powerful collection.
Each one makes it crystal clear why Angelou is the acclaimed poet and writer she is. The titular poem awed me, and I wondered why I never read it before. All the poems are such that their impact will stay in our memories for a long while yet.
I’m a woman
– Phenomenal Woman
Simply . Phenomenal . Read!! A great gift option for women (and men too)…
Get It Here
Related Reads and Other ‘P’ Reads
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Poems to See By
- A Portrait In Poems
- Little People, Big Dreams: Maya Angelou
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, as always, and always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions, as well as recommendations. Have you read the featured books or any similar reads?
The AtoZ Challenges
You can find all my A2Z Challenge Posts here.