In honor of National Poetry Month, on Saturday I read at the Santa Barbara Library, along with six other poets who also had a new poetry collections published in 2009. It’s really nice to see that people are still coming out for readings and that poetry is still alive and well.
Even if you are not a poet or avid reader of poetry, this might be a good time to bring poetry into your life. Here are some ideas you might want to consider:
1) Select a poem you love. Copy it and put it in your pocket. For the month of April, share it with co-workers, family, and friends. This is called the “Poem in Your Pocket,” program.
2) Receive a poem a day. Here’s where you can sign up: http://www.poets.org/poemADay.php. Each morning in your mailbox, you will receive a new poem to celebrate National Poetry Month. Incidentally, the poems have been selected from new books published this spring.
3) Attend a poetry reading.
4) Organize a poetry reading.
5) Subscribe to a literary magazine.
6) Revisit an old favorite poem.
7) Memorize a poem.
8) Write a poem.
9) Send a poem to a loved one.
10) Start a poetry notebook where you copy and save favorite quotations and poems.
11) Put a poem in your child or loved one’s lunch box.
12) Buy a poetry book.
Although I have done a number of things on this list, the most recent undertaking was to buy a copy of Billy Collins’ latest poetry collection which was just released in paperback. It’s called, Ballistics: Poems (Random House, 2010). As usual, it’s never easy for me to choose a favorite poem of Billy’s because I love them all, but here’s one to whet your appetite and maybe send you to the bookstore to buy the entire collection:
A DOG ON HIS MASTER
As young as I look,
I am growing older faster than he,
seven to one
is the ratio they tend to say.
Whatever the number,
I will pass him one day
and take the lead
the way I do on our walks in the woods.
And if this ever manages
to cross his mind,
it would be the sweetest
shadow I have ever cast on snow or grass.