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Poetry Share

April is National Poetry Month and I think we should all celebrate it with aplomb, like the little girl pictured on this year’s National Poetry Month poster.

There are already loads of organized things one can find online for celebrating National Poetry Month, including Poem In Your Pocket Day, whose title I love but whose date I have found impossible to pin down. Let’s all just have a Poetry Share. I hope you’ll join me. Type up, copy, or write out a favorite poem or line, or many different ones, and print them out. Then start spreading them around. Go to a hospital parking lot and stick uplifting poems on windshields. Put a few in your favorite Little Free Library. Stick one into a library book you’re returning. Hand one to a friend or friendly stranger. Leave one on the table at your lunch spot. Chalk a short poem or line on a sidewalk. Email a favorite poem to someone you know or post one on social media. Add a favorite line to the bottom of your email. Wherever you go, spread some joy with poetry. Our troubled world needs it desperately.

If your idea of fun is to be secretive, do that. If you like the thought of handing a favorite poem to friends you see, do that. Maybe you’d take a few to your book club. Perhaps your book club would have a poetry exchange. You could host a poetry party, with collaborative poetry like Folding Poems, magnetic poetry, and poetry party favors. There are endless things to do. We all have words, right? And we can all put them together in fun or interesting ways. Don’t say No, not me. We can all do this. Whatever you choose to do, let’s just spread positivity via poetry this April.

I don’t take credit for this idea. A few years ago, Missouri’s then Poet Laureate asked people to do it all year long. Or maybe just haiku? I forget. I loved the idea at the time, but I never managed to do much. This year, I will.

Poem In Your Pocket Day shares this goal, too–on either April 18th or April 29th, depending where you look. Pinterest offers lots of ideas for it. I love the idea of celebrating poetry, poets, and words all month long, if not always. Sign up to receive a poem every day in your Inbox! Write silly little haikus! Or serious ones. Let’s make a vow to read, write, copy, and share poems this April, during this month meant to elevate poems and poets.

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship

“There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it” ― Gustave Flaubert

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.” ― Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

“Every adjective and adverb is worth five cents. Every verb is worth fifty cents.” ― Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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