How could I, as a poet myself, not be excited about national poetry month beginning on Monday? The month to read more poetry, share more poetry, discover poets, participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18th etc. For myself, my goal is to be more productive in writing poetry during April as well. I encourage you to take a look at the Academy of American Poet’s website to read about the history of National Poetry Month, and how you can participate this year, either for the first time, or in a different way than you have before!
A friend of mine has an active blog during poetry month, posting simple instructions and examples of different types of poems so that you can try writing your own! In the last few years I did some here and there, but last year in 2018 I challenged myself and wrote a poem each day, following her challenge, and ended with 30 unique poems by May. Wow! While I usually write free verse, I enjoy this opportunity thoroughly to eek out more creative problem solving and solutions to fit the form and still come up with something beautiful. I can say there are a good number of poems I wrote last April that I never would have had it not been for this challenge, and I’m glad!
You can follow along with me by accessing her poetry blog for a daily poetry challenge starting on Monday the 1st here: Stephanie Says So Poetry Blog. Look out for a few of my future original poems from this challenge, which I may share in my blog and newsletter in the coming weeks. Here is one poem from last year, a wish poem:
I Wish I Could by Aubri Wilson I wish I could better learn to control my mind. I wish I could always filter out unhelpful thoughts. I wish I could always pay attention when it’s most important. I wish I could retrieve everything I should remember, in the moment it counts. I wish I could always remember my nighttime dreams. I wish I could understand what they try to tell me about my waking life. I wish I could always avoid distractions that keep me from meaningful things. I wish I could always know how to comfort others when they feel low. I wish I could always know how to express what I mean. I wish, and wish but cannot have it all now. I can only wish in time I will look back and say I worked on it, a day at a time.
This year my plan besides writing a poem a day in April, is to participate in one open mic, host a private poetry reading, and read a poem by another poet each day. For my birthday I received the most exciting tome I could receive-a full collection of poems by a poet I’m related to. My 8th cousin three times removed, but still. Can you guess who? I plan to share some work by this poet during April as well, and possibly other poets I’m related to although somewhat distantly.
Maybe something did come through the bloodline though, with Noah Webster being a 4th cousin seven times removed from me. Other poets I’m related to, besides the one alluded to above, are Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Robert Lowell, Percy Shelley, and Alfred Tennyson to name most of the poets at least. They may be somewhat distant cousins, and my work is extraordinarily modest in their wake. I’m not claiming this in falsehood, by the way. The We’re Related app by Ancestry may not always be accurate, but family members of mine have done extensive genealogical work so I’m going to believe this list is true. In any case, I can look up to these giants and appreciate their artistry even more next month!
How will you participate in National Poetry Month?