April: National Poetry Month!
Here are 30 ways to celebrate this month.
I thought it would be fun to feature one per week as we move through April. Here’s a fun one you might try with your kids. Perhaps they can copy a poem onto a sheet of paper, decorate it and then leave that poem in a surprising place, like a park bench, or in a supermarket cart or on the table at the dentist’s office. Your child might also like to mail a handwritten copied poem to a grandparent or favorite aunt or uncle.
The following is the description of the activity as suggested on poets.org.
“In my view, books should be brought to the doorstep like electricity, or like milk in England: they should be considered utilities, and their cost should be appropriately minimal. Barring that, poetry could be sold in drugstores (not least because it might reduce the bill from your shrink). At the very least, an anthology of American poetry should be found in the drawer of every room in every motel in the land, next to the Bible, which will surely not object to this proximity, since it does not object to the proximity of the phone book.” —Joseph Brodsky, “An Immodest Proposal”
As a result of these remarks and in conjunction with Brodsky, Andrew Carroll founded The American Poetry and Literacy Project to distribute free books of poetry in unlikely locations. APLP has placed poetry in schools, hotels, subway and train stations, hospitals, jury waiting rooms, supermarkets, truck stops, day-care centers, airports, zoos, and phone books nationwide.
Today, take Brodskyâ€™s words to heart. Leave a copy of a poem in an unexpected place. Donate some poetry books to your local coffee shop or leave them in your doctorâ€™s waiting room. (All those magazines are probably out-of-date anyway, and poetry doesn’t expire.) Post a poem beside the want ads on your supermarket message board. You could even release one of your poetry books into the wild through BookCrossing and watch it travel around the world. Maybe someday you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find a poem that someone else has left in an unexpected place.