The Academy of American Poets created the National Poetry Month in the United States to encourage people to appreciate poetry and to become more aware of the power of poetry in expressing beauty, emotion, and universal ideas. National Poetry Month has been celebrated in April since it was first introduced in April 1996. It does not matter if you are a poet, librarian, teacher, student, or even just an everyday citizen. Everyone can take part in the celebration of the National Poetry Month. Here are a few things that you can do to join in the festivities:
1. Read examples of timeless poetry
What better way to spread joy during poetry month than to read your favourite poems? You can learn about courtly love and Renaissance ideals in the sonnets and plays of Shakespeare, Marlow, and their contemporaries. If you want poems that tackle social and philosophical aspects of life, you can try Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales or Milton’s Paradise Lost. The Romantics and the Victorian writers could give your feel of poetry discussing profound, universal themes and emotions. If you are not into the classics, there are a lot of modern and contemporary poets to choose from such as T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath, and Lang Leav.
2. Share your favourite poems
It’s not enough to just read your favourite poems on your own and be the only one to enjoy its rhymes, wit, satire, etc. Another great way to celebrate National Poetry Month is to share these beautiful pieces of Literature to your friends and family. With the power of social media and the internet, you can easily send copies of favourite poems daily. It would be a fabulous way to help fulfil the spirit of the celebration: to be aware of and appreciate poetry.
3. Explore new forms of poetry
Sonnets, lyrics, and epic poems are just some of the traditional forms of poetry. Nowadays, modern and contemporary styles are starting to broaden the definition of what fits into the meaning of poetry. Some of these 21st-century poetry even foregoes rhymes and meter, and some even use plain language! Others even argue that pop songs and hip hop music can also be counted as poetry. What do you think?
4. Write responses to poems
One of the awesome ways to experience literature is to not think of it as one-way communication. Instead, why not view it as a conversation between the poem, the author, and you. Let it speak to you and your beliefs and experiences.
What is the poem communicating to you? And what do you say in response?
You can write your answer in the form of another poem. One of the awesome ways to experience literature is to not think of it as one-way communication. Instead, why not view it as a conversation between the poem, the author, and you. Let it speak to you and your beliefs and experiences. What is the poem communicating to you? And what do you say in response? You can write your answer in the form of another poem.
5. Write your own original poetry
It is all well and good to read and spread the beauty of poetry to as many people as you can. The poems, especially the classic and timeless ones, can touch people whatever period it may be or whatever background a person may possess. Poetry contains wisdom and messages that cannot be limited by time and space. You can influence tradition by being yourself through your poems. What can the world learn from you? What life lessons and messages would you share? You can partake in these through your own brand of poetry.