Next Generation

Poem in Your Pocket Day is coming

By April 4, 2011

What’s in your pocket?

Some coins or keys or gum or even a wadded-up tissue? How about a poem?

No? Well be sure to have one on Thursday, April 14, because that’s national Poem in your Pocket Day, a day to pull out a favorite poem to share with family and friends.

All of April, in fact, is National Poetry Month, inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. During this month, schools, libraries, poets, publishers, and booksellers across  the nation celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

In 2002, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani proclaimed a Poem in Your Pocket day for the last Thursday of the month. The idea has continued and has spread to many cities across the nation.

This year, the Academy of American Poets has designated the second Thursday, April 14, as Poem in your Pocket Day.

The idea is simple.  Sometime during this month, select a poem you love and then on April 14, carry it with you to share with friends, family and co-workers. You can  share by reading the poem, by reciting from memory or have multiple copies to hand out. You could also text-message a poem to your friends.

Davis poet laureate Allegra Silberstein is especially interested in encouraging elementary students to memorize poems, to know the words they love by heart.

“Young people now have amazing resources for gaining information,” she noted, “but the storage in our own memory bank helps us to model our world and the memory of poems can enhance our experience of the world.”

She is making plans for a reading for students to take place at the library on the afternoon of April 14.

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

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