20 Apr Poems for the planet
April is National Poetry Month, or Planetary Poetry Month, as the Globe has dubbed it. Being a lover of poems of all sizes and shapes, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add my thoughts about the appeal of poetry – although I’ll spare you my own poetical attempts.
I think poetry is both obscure and ubiquitous – it has an air of exclusivity, when really, it’s open to anyone who cares to crack the spine of a poetry book. Owing to its ability to capture universal sentiment, poetry often makes guest appearances at life’s most challenging occasions, – think W.H. Auden’s Funeral Blues in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Who can watch that clip without getting a little teary?
Admittedly, I am a romantic sap, which is probably another reason why I like poetry. Love poems… oh love poems. I can count on one hand the number of love poems I’ve actually received (although, much of my early romantic encounters occurred when mix tapes were considered the highest declaration of love.) But I have, in numerous romance-induced manias, written many, many love poems in an effort to express the inexpressible. Most of them were pretty awkward, and none of them even a patch on the beauty of Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda or e.e. cumming’s somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond.
But back to National Poetry Month. As a finishing touch, the Academy of American Poets will be celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30- the premise of which I love, although the name sounds slightly dubious. (Or is it just me?) The idea is that you take your favourite poem with you to work or school, and share it however you feel comfortable – impromtu readings by the watercooler, or an anonymous posting on a bulletin board. You might think this is a strange idea, but I, for one, am always up for random acts of culture. Spread the word love.