April: National Poetry Month

APRILA whole month dedicated to poetry!

We should be giddy, right? Is there an entire month dedicated to screenwriting or copy writing or journalism? Do carpenters get a month? Do the cable guys get a month? Do roofers or hockey players or principals or printers?

NO! Poets get an entire month.

I have a secret.

Every month is poetry month. Poets never stop. We think in verse. We connect the unusual, distort the familiar, silently applaud the explosions of weird  word fusions and pairings,  then shake ’em and bake ’em ’til they roll over and offer us their underbellies.

Then we wake and do it all over again. It’s not possible to turn off the faucet. We are wired this way. When the well runs dry, we seek out beauty in art, music, nature, other writers. Even a trickle of inspiration, gives us the shivers. We court rhymes and rhythms and metaphors. Sometimes we woo them ’til the cows come home. It’s delightfully fulfilling. Maybe even a little too analogous of one of the seven deadly sins-poetry gluttony.

Spouses and sweethearts beware.

While the crocus’ sneaks through the early Spring soil, our jaws are locked shut. We savor the silence as we ponder new poems and forms.  Don’t take it personally, but we do not want to talk to you. At least not about the trivial. Someone should create a bumper sticker: “Please be patient with your poet during the month of April.”

Our minds are on overdrive.

If your partner is having trouble accepting your indulgence, try some reverse psychology. Make them think it’s for them. I suggest implore each of you poets to read this line out loud to your LO:

“April is a great month for you to find a hobby.”

Suggest that they take up whittling or grilling or quilting or star-gazing. Buy them a really long book if they like reading. (It took me three months to read War and Peace. But, that’s when I had a newborn.)

As I write this, my husband is making squeaking noises into his palm to get my attention. Never fear. I did not turn my head. Not once. He aughta know better by now.

After all, this isn’t my first poetic rodeo.

But, this year I’m participating in two challenges. PoMoSco and PAD.

I’m busy.

All poets are busy this month. If your significant other doesn’t get it, give them some hand-made coupons as a gift. (Psychology tricks, remember?)

Here are a few suggestions:

Hand write a coupon giving them permission to learn something new. Maybe they just need some motivation or permission, depending on their personality.

Give them a coupon allowing them to take an entire week to watch every episode of The Americans.

Grant them one whole nag-free week to go on a fishing trip or a hunting trip or a shopping trip.

Give them the power to take two weeks to clean out the garage and basement without your intervention.

Tell them if they behave, you’ll take them to Dairy Queen. (It always worked when my kids were little.)

Get creative. Write them a poem. Make it rhyme. (really rhymy-rhymy.) And make it personal by adding their name to it and rhyming it. If you have good handwriting, make them a card. Seal it with a kiss. Or flower stickers or chewing gum.

If you play an instrument, sing your poem to them. They’ll tear up.

I promise.

Now my husband is banging his hand on the arm of the couch. (Not looking.)

Happy Poeming!

 

 

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National Poetry Month Challenges Plus

Sharpen those pencils. Purchase your favorite thesaurus and rhyming dictionary.

National Poetry Monthba1969

If you’re a crazy poet, a quiet poet, or a mind-boggling poet, you’re interested in knowing about ALL the Poetry Challenges during the month of April so you can pick and choose which ones you’ll participate in.

Sorry.

I can’t give ‘em all to you, but I can fill you in on a few.

1.  NaPoWriMo: Stop and Smell the Roses

Like most of these challenges, you will write 30 Poems in 30 Days. All you do is write a poem. There are no fees or nothing! You can add your blog or website to their online roster of participants in order to share your poem but you’ll have to pre-submit your site. Oh, and you can grab a nice badge for your website/blog, too.

2.  WordXWord or WXW 30/30 Poetry Challenge

30/30 Poetry Challenge 2014

In 2013, over 600 people took this challenge. You sign up to receive a daily prompt. 30 days in April. 30 prompts. A poem a day.

You can do it.

3. Poets.org

The Academy of American Poets has posted 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.

Here are a few of their ideas:

*Watch a poetry movie (they have clickable links)
*Ask the post office for more poetry stamps.
*Write a letter to a poet.
*Play Exquisite Corpse—a game I’ve never heard of. At least not by that name. I remember playing something similar in high school. You gather a group of poets, each person writes a word on a sheet of paper, you fold the paper to conceal it, and pass it on to the next player for his or her contribution. The result is always fascinating and fun.

For the rest of the directions, visit the website.

4. 2014 National Poetry Month Blog Tour

Savvy Verse and Wit asks “bloggers, poets, authors, and readers sign up to review books, talk about poets, write poetry, share their inspirations, and celebrate the love of poetry this April.” Just sign up with Mr. Linky. Great way to guest blog.

5. Poems in Your Pocket Day:

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On Poem in Your Pocket Day, Thursday, April 24, people throughout the United States select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day. This is sponsored by The Academy of American Poets.

The website contains a gagillion ideas for creating a poem, sharing a poem, or finding a poem to share.

You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

6. Library Thing

April’s RandomCAT challenge is to read a poetry related book. How hard can this be? Most poetry chapbooks are relatively short. Reading poetry makes us better writers.

7. Miz Quickly

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Miz Quickly will prompt and nudge you with a whirlwind of ideas. “And it costs nothing. Zero. Zilch.”

Stretch your writing muscles. Visit Miz Quickly.

8. Ragtag Poetry Doings:

*About.com lists ideas, articles, and events to help you celebrate National Poetry Month.

*Info Please posts quizzes, bios, crossword puzzles, collections, quotes. Lots of fun here.

National Poetry Month

By the way, I’m just the messenger. If you have questions about any of these challenges, go straight to the site and find their FAQ’s.

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE

2014 APRIL PAD CHALLENGE

Yeah, it seems a little early BUT really it’s never too early to prepare for this challenge.

The rules are simple:

Write a poem every day for the month of April based on the prompts Robert Lee Brewer posts each day at Poetic Asides.

Share it.

Comment on the other poems that are posted.

Play nice. Play fair. Have fun.

This year the best of the best will be included in an anthology.

PYHO_Small for PAD Ap 2014

How do I get ready?

    • Some poets create a log of possible metaphors to use.
    • Some develop a theme.
    • Some decide ahead of time to use only specific forms.
    • Some poets have created point-of-view characters and write their poems in this character’s voice.

Get creative.

Poem Your Heart Out.

Spread the word.

Want to know more? Visit Poetic Asides.