Poetry; it’s everywhere. It’s in our syntax and our natural rhythm, it’s in the music we can’t help but bob our heads to. I find it hiding in the book quotes I highlight and place on my wall. Many children grow up devouring the light entertainment from Shel Silverstein and the like, and are then forced to think as they are exposed to revolutionaries such as Emily Dickinson or Shakespeare. Poets find a rhythm in our world that doesn’t have to be held back by grammatical practices. Their otherworldly descriptions can’t be defined by a period.
As you might be able to tell, I treasure a deep love for poets and their creations. Therefore, I am endlessly grateful for those who were members of the Academy of American Poets in 1996, because they voted to make April the official National Poetry Month. Little did they know it would become the largest literary celebration in the world. It engages “tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets” and communicates the “poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives every April” (poets.org).
According to their website, National Poetry Month was created with specific goals in mind. Its purpose is to highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets and encourage the reading of poems. It even aims to assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms and increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media. It also wishes to lend support to present day poets and poetry and encourage the increased publication and distribution of poetry books. Even though people and organizations put on events all over the world to achieve these goals, the Academy of American Poets puts on their own events and programs as well.
If you want to take part in some of the poetic festivities but don’t know how, make your own! They have provided a list of 30 ways to celebrate: one for each day of April.
This month is the time to rejoice in the artistry of the written word. To look back at the power of poems, thank the authors who wrote them, and maybe even try your hand at it yourself. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or enjoy delving into new millennial poets, all are appreciated, so feel free to celebrate. We promise you won’t be the only one.
Stay tuned this month while we reveal some of our favorite poets and poems on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Feel free to comment or tweet back your favorite authors, we would love to hear from you.