14 April 2006

April is National Poetry Month

So, says you, how does a yahoo such as meself make merry during natchional poitry month? Well, friend, here are ten good ways to do just that, all shamelessly lifted from the Utah Arts Council website (just use your imagination if you live in Not Utah):

01. Memorize a favorite poem: Getting a favorite poem "by heart" is a wonderful way to deepen your appreciation of the words and spirit of a great poem.

02. Put poetry in an unexpected place: Leave a copy of a favorite poem (or, better yet, a book of poems by a favorite poet) in the break room of your office, or on a table in a restaurant.

03. Attend a poetry reading: Utah has a rich literary scene. Find a reading near you by visiting our National Poetry Month Calendar.

04. Read a poem at an open mic: It doesn't have to be an original composition. Read any poem you like and think the audience might like.

05. Take a poem to lunch: Read a poem silently to yourself as you eat. Or, if you're at lunch with friends, have everyone read a poem out loud from the book you've brought along for this purpose. It will add a touch of art to your day ... and your lunch will taste better.

06. Recite a poem to family or friends: There are many 'occasional poems' appropriate for the various seasons or birthdays, graduations and other celebrations. Add a poem to your next family gathering.

07. Buy a book of poems for your local library: Many libraries have suffered budget cuts and have slowed or stopped their acquisition of poetry books. You can make sure your library has the works of those poets dearest to you.

08. Put a poem in a letter or email: Many email programs allow you to create personalized signatures at the end of every message you send. You can include a favorite verse or line of poetry to yours.

09. Promote public support for poetry: Each year Congress decides how much money will go to the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Utah Legisature decides how much to fund the Utah Arts Council. You can contact your elected officials to let them know how important the arts are in your life. Include a poem with the message.

10. Support your local poet: When you attend readings, let the poets know how much you appreciate their work. Invite them to speak to your club or civic group. Offer to buy them lunch.

(For even more great ideas, look here.)


Cherie Burbach said...

Great support for National Poetry Month! Thanks.

Geo said...

My pleasure!

compulsive writer said...

I think I'm going to take my favorite poet out to lunch. Does that count?

(I'm also going to drop some poetry onto my kids. If I'm subtle about it they won't even know it. Wow! The theatre, art--thanks to BYU's student art display outside the theatre--and poetry all in one month. If I can pull that off I will be a good Mom for sure!)

Geo said...

Hey, I'm a poet! Somebody take me to lunch! : )

No, really, I just wrote a silly poem for my friend's little girl. I wouldn't call it great, but don't I get points for DIY Hallmark?

Actually, I did have a few poems published years back, and one of them was even good.

Compulsive, kudos to you for being Superculturemom!

Geo said...

P.S. Compulsive, who is this favorite poet?

compulsive writer said...

Her name is Melody Newey. She lives and writes in Provo. When I was the ward newsletter editor I named her our ward poet laureate and I frequently published her work. I posted one of her poems on my blog.

She is my favorite poet because one, she writes beautiful poetry. Two, I graduated in English at BYU believing that any poetry beyond Robert Frost was beyond me. Not so. I just had to find something that spoke to me. And three, because she turns out verses like the following (written about the upcoming marriage of her daughter) effortlessly:

I trembled when I moved to my knees,
sang their name, asked God to
part the sea for them.

Geo said...

Nice. And I think "name" is a more powerful word choice in this instance than "names" would have been. Makes me think of the way "Adam" was often used as a plural name, implying oneness between man and woman.

I'd be interested in reading more of your friend's writing. I've gone through an attraction-revulsion cycle with poetry throughout my life. I'm solidly back to loving it now, though I'm quick to quietly exit any reading that smacks of too much pretension or moral relativism. I could spend that time writing my own lousy stuff, you know? Or knitting.

I like that you say you've "published" your friend's work. That made me smile. Ward poet laureate! Terrific!

compulsive writer said...

Oh yes, we took our newsletter very seriously, so "published" it was.

I have a notebook of poems I have compiled. She often sends me drafts to see what I think (not that she needs my humble opinion--but I'm always flattered). I will have to update it and then I'd be happy to let you borrow it.

And about "Adam." That plural thing is one of the things that keep me standing when the sea of suits at conference time gives the feminist in me pause.

compulsive writer said...

...posted this before, but it disappeared. So I'll say it again.

I have a notebook with a collection of her poems. She often sends drafts to me to see what I think (not that she needs to, but I'm always flattered and secretly happy to add another to my collection). I will update it and would be happy to lend it to you.

In the meantime, I'll tempt you with another line I love--this from her 2006 Christmas card:

We shiver while crystals on wind sing merry.

Geo said...

Compulsive: Yeah, I'd enjoy borrowing your treasury some time. Speaking of reads, I have a present for you. Something about your last two comments made me think of it. If you're into spontaneous strange-oid gifts, email me your street address and I'll drop it by sometime. Of course, if you're worried that I'm dangerous, it's probably best if you keep your whereabouts to yourself. (But if you do want to take a chance, tell me what to call you besides Compulsive, in case you actually answer the door when I knock!)