April is National Poetry Month. Started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. The academy wanted to remind the public that poems and poets have and integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters (see poets.org/national-poetry-month ). Part of me is happy that someone decided that we needed to highlight the value of poetry in our lives.
Part of me is sad that we have to point that out to people and that it’s not just obvious to everyone. The Academy of American Poets also list eleven specific activities you can do for National Poetry Month including: Sign up for the Poem-a-Day email list, get a Poetry Month poster, on the 29th join in the Poem in Your Pocket Day, and make a donation to the AAP.
Makes you wonder if this is about poetry or money.
Poetry and money normally don’t go together. There’s an old saying, “The way to make a million dollars being a poet is to start with two million dollars.”
The same thing could be said of artists, musicians, and bloggers …
Now if you’re really motivated by poetry you could join in the annual NaPoWriMo. Started in 2003, this National Poetry Writing Month encourages you to write a poem a day. I’ve seen a few blogs doing this. I won’t be – I can barely write a poem a month, a poem a day would likely burn out my brain and I’d have to be hospitalized or at least under go medical treatment.
It’s a bit like NaNoWriMo where you have write a whole novel in one month. I haven’t written a novel after ten years of work. Doing one in a month … not happening.
Now part of me is happy that we have these kind of things happening to both highlight the importance of creative writing and giving people the encouragement and tools they need to get a body of work going.
The cynical part of me says, “Anything worth doing is worth over doing.”
I’m also amazed at the need we have to “raise awareness” of things. I’m sure most people are aware poetry exists. Some may not like poetry, but they are aware it exists.
But, just incase you’ve been living under a rock or don’t have internet access here are a few other things you should be “aware” of:
There are two national donut days. One on June 4th and the other on November 5th. No one knows why. It’s estimated that 95% of Americans admit to liking donuts. The whole donut thing started in WWI when the Salvation Army sent 250 women to the front lines in France to feed soldiers. They made donuts because they were fast and easy to make. Also soldiers would eat a lot of them. This tradition continued into WWII and these women have been hailed as heroes by our deployed troops. My research has failed to determine why we don’t have a donut month. I didn’t have time to see if there is a donut postage stamp.
Each afternoon I have tea and a cookie. National Cookie Day on December 4th recognizes this.
Now, the British tend to refer to the cookie as a biscuit and are surprised to find biscuits and gravy on the menu in many southern states. Despite that weirdness, the UK National Biscuit day is on May 29th. In my home, biscuit day is every afternoon at 4:00 pm.
I also like pizza and in our home Sunday is pizza night. In America, National Pizza Day is February 9th, but again, why not a whole month?
Americans drink a lot of coffee so National Coffee day is October 1st. Interestingly I discovered that technically coffee, the beverage, is actually a tea, that is an infusion of plant material in water as a beverage or medicine. Coffee counts as both – with or without milk.
And finally someone got this right and declared January as National Tea month.
Now that’s one I can really do. I pledge that next National Tea Month, that I’ll make and drink a cup of tea every day. I might even post daily pictures of me drinking tea.
Maybe I should drink tea and read a poem to help make people aware of the importance of reading while drinking tea.