Share the love

April 20, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Slideshow

If you are anything like me, you enjoy reading or hearing poetry, and have a deep appreciation for those who create it, but you don’t profess to be able to write it yourself.

That’s why Poem in Your Pocket Day – this year on April 26 – is so cool. It’s a day when poets and non-poets alike can share their love of the craft.

The idea is simple: select a poem you love, then carry it with you to share throughout the day with co-workers, family and friends.

There are ways you can share poetry digitally, too: Add a poem to your email footer for the day. Post a poem on Facebook, blog or other social networking page. Or share it on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

If you don’t have a favorite poem, or a way to print it, then just stop by any BCPL  branch on Thursday and pick one up. We will have a wide variety available. You can also find the perfect poem by browsing www.poets.org.  Or, if you are a mobile user, you can get poetry-on- the-go by visiting www.poets.org/m on any mobile device.

Throughout history, poems have been stowed in pickets in various ways, from the commonplace books of the Renaissance, to the pocket-sized publications for U.S. Army soldiers in World War II.

The current celebration started in 2002, when New York created it as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, volunteers from the Academy of American Poets joined the NYC event by handing out poems about New York City life to commuters at Grand Central Station. The following year, the academy took PIYP Day national, allowing folks around the country to join in and channel their inner bard.

This year, poems from pockets will be unfolded across the nation Thursday, with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces and bookstores.

Some examples:

  • Students at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, created a clothesline with poems for pockets.
  • A bookstore in Bishop, Ca., offers a free homemade cookie for every poem in a pocket brought into the store and read to the staff.
  • Another bookstore, in Nebraska, combines its celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day with National Arbor Day by holding a writing contest for the best tree-themed poem. And every customer gets a poem with their purchase.
  • A vineyard in California published a special book of poetry, featuring the works of Northern California poets. The limited-edition collection is given away with any purchase of wine.

A middle school teacher in West Chester, Pa., had this idea: “I wear as many pockets as I can and have a different poem in each one. I can’t pick just one poem.”

I have the same problem.

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