Happy National Poetry Month!

The Academy of American Poets has declared April to be National Poetry Month. So get busy doing the poetry thing. Read 'em if you got 'em. Write 'em if Erato, the goddess of lyric poetry (and a frequent crossword puzzle clue), inspires you to put pen to paper.

The Academy's goal 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."

Okay, that reads more like a grant proposal than a piece of writing one might reasonably expect from a bunch of poets. In addition to issuing a cool poster (see above), the Academy's website lists 30 ways you can celebrate poetry. You can start by signing up to receive a Poem-a-Day via e-mail.

I started my first day of National Poetry Month by reading a bit of Raymond Carver on my bus ride to and from work. Here's a Carver poem about writing poetry:

Sunday Night

Make use of the things around you.
This light rain
Outside the window, for one.
This cigarette between my fingers,
These feet on the couch.
The faint sound of rock-and-roll,
The red Ferrari in my head.
The woman bumping
Drunkenly around in the kitchen . . .
Put it all in,
Make use.

If you're looking for a motto to live by, the first line of this next poem might be a good start.

The Young Girls

Forget all experiences involving wincing.
And anything to do with chamber music.
Museums on rainy Sunday afternoons, etcetera.
The old masters. All that.
Forget the young girls. Try and forget them.
The young girls. And all that.


TheBuzzByBrian said...

I disagree---Not Poetry Month! "Portland Comics Month" Buzzby Brian

MightyToyCannon said...

"Why can't we all just get along?"
---Rodney King

Go here for info on Stumptown Comics Fest: