Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Put a Poem in Your Pocket

Thursday, April 24, is Poem in Your Pocket Day. This is a perfect way to celebrate poetry during April, which is National Poetry Month.

According to the Academy of American Poets, on Poem in Your Pocket Day people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. 

Folks can also share a poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

The Academy web site has a broad selection of poems you coould choose for Poem in Your Pocket Day, or you could just choose a favorite of your own to share.

For my teacher followers out there, here is a poem to share with elementary school children.

Laughing Giraffes 
by Russ Walsh

On a field trip to the zoo, you must see the giraffe,
But I’ll give you a warning on his behalf.
Have a nice chat; get his autograph,
But whatever you do, please don’t make him laugh.

Though he truly enjoys comical patter,
A laughing giraffe’s knees wobble and chatter,
‘Til he falls to the ground with a clang and a clatter.
For a giraffe a laugh is no laughing matter.

And here is one for those who teach older children.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,   
which knew it would inherit the earth   
before anybody said so.   

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds   
watching him from the birdhouse.   

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.   

The idea you carry close to your bosom   
is famous to your bosom.   

The boot is famous to the earth,   
more famous than the dress shoe,   
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it   
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.   

I want to be famous to shuffling men   
who smile while crossing streets,   
sticky children in grocery lines,   
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,   
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,   
but because it never forgot what it could do.

And one for us all.

A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the
spheres to connect them
'Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

On April 24, put a poem in your pocket and share it with friends, colleagues and children.

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