April is waiting in the wings, and that means National Poetry Month is approaching. I have loved this poetry month for a long time, and while teaching, I looked forward to introducing my students to the fun of poems. Oh, we had text books and such, but during April we just played with words. One year when the local grocery store still used brown paper bags, I asked for a stack of them. I took the bags to school and had each seventh grade student put their original poem on the blank side, decorate the poem, and sign it. I returned the decorated sacks to the store where clerks used them. Shoppers took home a poem with their groceries, and we got a lot of good comments back about the project. Another year we did the same kind of project on post cards and just mailed them out to names in the phone book spreading the joy of poems around Jasper County. Alas, along came MAP and there was no time left for such creative endeavors!
Do you visit www.poets.org? There are many good poetry sites, but this is one of my favorites. You can find famous poems, contemporary poets, buy books, support poetry. This site also will send you a poem a day right to your mailbox during April. Sign up; it’s fun. The web site also promotes a program called Poem in Your Pocket and this year Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 29th.
Another favorite site is www.kansaspoets.com. If you love poems of the Midwest and of the prairie, you will find some here. I am not as familiar with Missouri poets, but there is a list of nice sites at www.missouripoets.com that is worth checking out. I am going to be checking the list soon.
One of my own poems has been accepted by the St. Charles Community College (Missouri) literary journal. It will come out in an April issue. This will be the most perfect way for me to celebrate April Poetry Month!