All you readers and writers of prose, no groaning. Poetry is a painting of words. Thus, the poster you see on the left comes with a poem. The painting is by Ms. Chin-Yee Lai. The 2012 posters are free from Poets.org
The words contained within the artwork are from U.S. Poet Laureate Phillip Levine’s poem “Our Valley” :
“…wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life”
Yes, we’re talking poetry now. No one says writing is easy – poetry or prose. However, writing is like a margarita, it’s better to share once you have all the ingredients mixed. I’ll make you one in exchange for a poem.
April’s other significance: days grow longer, Mother Nature greens – at least in the northern hemisphere, winter coats are tossed into storage in favor of limited-fabric garments. All fodder for poetry. (Or you could pour out your angst regarding April 15th.)
April is when we plant with hopes of reaping future rewards. For those who write prose, poetry is the teacher of clear and concise language evoking imagery and emotion. I believe the practice of poetry writing (like one might practice yoga) stretches the creative mind and smoothes the way to more fluid and flowing prose.
That’s exactly what I want us to do. Stretch. Grow.
As gardeners do when April knocks, they take stock of the tools in their shed. We’ll do the same – take stock of some our literary tools in preparation for next month. Here’s a quiz to see how sharply honed your tools are:
Literary Terms Click on the link
Spend a few minutes there, then let me know if you have a tool that needs sharpening. Or maybe you’ve discovered a tool in the back of the tool shed that you want to bring out and polish. I’ll share now – I didn’t make 100% on my first try.
More to come about April – National Poetry Month in up coming posts. In the meantime, from the Poets.org website:
What is National Poetry Month? National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.
Who started it? The Academy of American Poets has led this initiative from its inception in 1996 and along the way has enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help.
When is National Poetry Month? April. Every year since 1996.
I am tossing out a challenge. Spend the month of April writing a single new poem. Plant a few words on a page, water it with imagery, nurture it, and at the end of April, let’s share our special April poems.