April is here again — time for those April showers and for filing those tax returns. But did you know that April is also National Poetry Month?
National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate and bring attention to an art form that predates literacy. Two of the most famous epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer (ca. 8th century BC), were passed down orally for many years until being written down. Another is the epic of Gilgamesh, dating from 4th century Mesopotamia. Since these early beginnings there have always been poets among us writing poetry. Most of us can remember if not a whole poem, a fragment of one, such as “I think that I shall never see , a poem lovely as a tree” or “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue”!
Today poetry can be found all around us if we slow down and take the time to notice. Here are a few ways to do just that–
- Take a look at that anthology of poems or volume of Robert Frost or Walt Whitman (just to name two) that’s waiting to be opened, in your home or that of a friend or relative.
- If you come across a poem in a magazine that regularly features them such as the New Yorker, Reader’s Digest or even a local Pennysaver, stop and read it.
- Come into the Syosset Public Library and browse our varied collection of poetry.
- Visit the “30 Ways to Celebrate Poetry” page of the Academy of American Poets’ website to read about more ideas for incorporating poetry into our lives, such as signing up for the “Poem a Day” email.
there is a poem that is waiting just for you.
– posted by Sonia, Readers’ Services