Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Five Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Forget Easter; the poet's biggest holiday, National Poetry Month, is almost here! Soon, the poetry bunny will leave colored metaphors and chocolate stanzas for all the little poets to enjoy. Some will even receive a fuzzy thesaurus, although these delicate creatures must be treated with care and respected. While you're munching on a candy haiku, read through the list below so you'll have other things to do in celebration.

1. Start a community poem on Twitter or Facebook. Ask your friends to chip in, line by line. When it’s done, post it on your blog. Don't even apologize for the inevitable foul language and double entendres.

2. Spot three references to poetry as you go through your day. Example: you saw that Levi’s commercial with a quote from Walt Whitman’s “America,” spotted a poster of Maya Angelou at the library, and read a dirty limerick from the bathroom wall. Yes, it counts, but those “For a good time” scribbles don’t unless there’s more than two lines.

3. Buy a book of poetry. Hey, poets have to eat something besides broken dreams and irony. Read it if you feel adventurous.

4. Find your favorite poem from childhood and recite it aloud to your kids tonight. If they complain, tell them that people used to read many works longer than 140 characters.

5. Volunteer to conduct a mini-workshop for an elementary school class and teach them how to write a haiku. This will be easier if you show up in a martial arts outfit and play the song "Kung-Fu Fighting" in the background. Bonus points if you bring a live panda that actually knows kung-fu and can recite Basho.

Never heard of National Poetry Month? Get thee to Poets.org. And stay tuned, there will be more ways to celebrate NPM next week!

Image by Francesco Marino, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net