April is National Poetry Month, so here is a nifty list of things to do to celebrate poetry, nationally.
- Read a poem every day.
- Write a poem every day.
- Go to a poetry reading.
- Stick a poem in your pocket.
- Having already exhausted the ways people traditionally celebrate Poetry Day after four activities, think briefly about going back to prose, then read more poems or something.
- Write a poem and tape it to your office window so people outside can enjoy it.
- Read poetry you found on a sign or a movie poster.
- Take down your window poem after somebody complains to your boss, then passive aggressively write sequel poems to it.
- Try to write a haiku in under 140 characters.
- Realize that writing twitter haiku is too hard, and instead tweet a picture of your haiku written on a page in your moleskine notebook.
- Write poetry on the sidewalk in chalk before vindictive bicyclists run you down while humming the music from Jaws.
- Submit your poetry to journals until those $3 Submittable fees match the amount you spend on wine per week.
- Speaking of wine, Holy Week is in April, so you could write a poetry suite using Catholic imagery to talk about your feelings even though you are not Catholic and you have no feelings.
- On Good Friday, write another poem that pretentiously uses commas to somehow represent the nails in crucifixion.
- Realize that fourteen people online have misinterpreted your religious poem and want to know why you are taking away their right to choose.
- By Easter, lose fourteen of your Facebook friends over that one poem you posted.
- Share your favorite poems online, checking seven times to make sure you spelled each poets’ name correctly, because you really only read their work during April, even though you insist on how much their work means to you the rest of the year.
- Read early drafts of poems you wrote three National Poetry Months ago and die a little inside after counting the number of times you used a flower metaphor.
- Go to an open mic night and sit through four harmonica soloists before the poets get on stage.
- Research poets whose work you have never read. Chances are high that there are at least several.
- Go to a reading of new or recently published poets. They could use the moral support, especially if they’re grad student poets.
- Buy a new collection of poetry, then make time to read only half of it.
- Read poets recommended by your friends.
- Read poets recommended by your enemies.
- Write poetry in a coffee shop.
- Realize that “writing poetry in a coffee shop” requires four hours of sipping a latte and people-watching before writing down any words.
- Revise the thirteen poems you wrote in the past twenty-seven days and call it a statistical success.
- Find the good poem out of the thirteen you’ve written (the chosen Messiah of your poems) and revise it again.
- Select the Messiah poem as the best of your poems and post it on your blog on the last day of April, then take it down after worrying about its quality, then resurrect it back onto your blog three hours later.
- Relax. Poetry is about a lot of things, but first and foremost, it’s about paying attention to the small details around you. You could sporadically write many poems, but you need things to write about: the way your shirt smells like smoke the morning after a campfire, the way the smell clings to you as you listen to the seesaw of traffic over the hill. Or something like that.