In hopes of introducing more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry, every April, the Academy of American Poets presents a month-long national celebration of poetry.
Celebrating National Poetry Month might be a way to enjoy a lifelong pleasure, or a way to discover something new. Here are just a few ways to celebrate National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets has listed more ideas here.
- Select a poem you love and carry it with you. Share it with the people you encounter.
- Play a game with a group of friends, where each player adds another line or word, until you’ve made a poem.
- Put a poem in a letter. April is also National Card and Letter Writing Month! Receiving and sending mail is always lovely, and the experience is made even more special by including a poem.
- Visit your local library and select a book of poetry to read. It can be by a poet you already know and love, or a poet you’ve never even heard of before.
- Write a poem yourself!
Poetry is a companion for every occasion, from joy to grief and everywhere between. America has a rich and complex history of poetry, but literally every country and culture in the world has poetry to offer.
Seniors, in particular, have much to offer to the realm of poetry. Poetry is an excellent way to share experience and memory. Many famous poets didn’t begin writing until late in life. Wallace Stevens, a famous American poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1955, for instance, didn’t publish his canonical works until he was well into his 50s. Many poets continue writing through their 80s and beyond, and several states name Senior Poet Laureates.
Enjoy this year’s National Poetry Month, try writing your own poems, and read some good poetry, whether it’s an old favorite or brand new to you.