Poems Spring Up Everywhere

BY Arts Desk  April 1, 2009 at 4:25 PM EDT

Every poet is a fool, but not every fool is a poet.
-paraphrased from Alexander Pope

On this first day of April when you’re playing practical jokes on your friends or family, do it poetically. Even better, celebrate the beginning of
National Poetry Month instead.

National Poetry Month poster

Begun in 1996 to encourage the appreciation of poetry, National Poetry Month features a roster of poetry events and readings held all over the country at schools, libraries and bookstores. Its founder, the Academy of American Poets, offers lots of ideas on how to celebrate, including a daily poem delivered directly to the e-mail inboxes of enthusiasts who sign up. Poems have been selected from new books being published this spring. (You can also go to the Poem-A-Day archive and catch up on any you’ve missed, including today’s poem by Jack Gilbert.)

The month culminates April 30 with Poem In Your Pocket Day in New York City, a full day of open-mic readings for school kids in Bryant Park, among other events.

Poems will not only be found in pockets and on mobile devices, but also as fleeting fancies appearing on the pavement and blooming among the daffodils. You can see poets and poem-lovers writing out their favorite lines on beaches, on tree trunks and in snowdrifts on Flickr, as part of a Free Verse Project contest. It proves that while the frost may be over, Frost (and Dickenson and Whitman) is here to stay.

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