Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's National Poetry Month, too

In addition to being National Letter Writing Month, it's also National Poetry Month, which was founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets.

One of the goals of the AAP is to encourage the reading of poetry. That was something most of us did back in school, when the English teachers assigned poetry as one of our lessons. But, as the business of adulthood takes over our lives, poetry is one of those things that tends to fall to the wayside. With jobs to go to, meals to cook, laundry to wash...who has time to sit around reading poetry?

And, yet, if we take the time to do just that -- take a break and read a poem -- we can rediscover the joy of poetry, maybe even appreciate it more than we ever have.

One of the projects of this year's NPM is called "Dear Poet." Students in fifth through 12th grade are invited to participate in the multimedia education project by writing letters in response to poems written and read by some of the award-winning poets who serve on the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors. To participate, students need to watch the videos of the chancellors reading and discussing one of their poems. Then, write them a letter in response and send it by post or email to the Academy of American Poets by April 30, 2017. All letters will be considered for publication on Poets.org in May 2017, and the chancellors will reply to some of the letters. For all of the details, go to the Dear Poet page online.

To celebrate both National Poetry Month and National Letter Writing Month, enclose a poem with your next letter!

Here's one by W.T. Goodge, published in his poetry collection "Hits! Skits! and Jingles!" in 1899:

The Postman
by W.T. Goodge

It is morning in the country and the postman's at the gate
With his letters and his packets, and he has no time to wait.
"Post!" he calls, to give you warning, and you start and stop your yawning
In the country, in the morning when the postman's at the gate.
And the country maiden blushes, for the envelope is pink;
And there's someone gone to Sydney, and you need n't stop to think,
And the country maiden blushes; for the envelope she rushes,
And she giggles and she gushes when the postman's at the gate!

It is morning in the country and the postman's at the gate,
And a worried woman hurries for the letter that is late;
For her husband is a drover and he's always been a rover
And he takes the cattle over for the Bungebah estate;
And there lately came a rumour he was injured on the track,
And her hand it shakes and trembles -- for the envelope is black.
The suspense is overbearing -- now the envelope she's tearing --
And she gives a cry despairing -- and the postman's at the gate!

It is morning in the country and the postman's at the gate.
On the message he carries does he ever speculate?
On the sorrow and the sadness, on the goodness and the badness,
On the happiness and gladness, on the love and on the hate?
He's the oracle of fortune, he's the Delphic up-to-date,
He's the mystic modern Mercury, the harbinger of fate;
Such a jarred and jangled chorus are the fates that hover o'er us,
And we know not what's before us when the postman's at the gate!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...