Ignoring National Poetry Month is a crhyme against humanity


User Justin Lynham via Flickr

Poetry is not only for nerds.

National Poetry Month, which begins on the first of April, has only been around since 1996, (thanks to the Academy of American Poets) and it’s important to writers everywhere to keep the tradition of celebrating poets and promoting poetry alive. Poetry itself however, has been around for longer.



Originally spoken aloud instead of written, poetry in its earliest form was used to preserve history and pass down tradition or law. In modern times, poetry is used for expression and insight into the human condition. Poetry.org defines a poem as “an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content.”



National Poetry Month exists so the general public can become more knowledgeable about the subject. The hope is that during the month of April, people will promote this ancient art and participate in some of the activities available throughout National Poetry Month.



For example, April 21st presents itself as “Poem in Your Pocket Day”, in which participants carry a poem in their pocket (or near them) and are encouraged to share that particular poem with others throughout the day to raise poetry awareness. Many take pictures of the poem they’ve chosen and post it online with the hashtag #pocketpoem. Others, from grades K-12, are invited to participate in the Dear Poet Project, in which students send a letter to a poet of their choosing.



If interested in poetry, these classics are some great places to start:

-Emily Dickinson
-WB Yeats
-William Shakespeare
-Robert Frost
-Walt Whitman
-TS Eliot
-Sylvia Plath
-Maya Angelou
-John Keats
-EE Cummings
-Langston Hughs