My email box is very full- it is hard to sort through all my messages, easy to lose what might be important. Names I know and love I click on right away. Priorities.
One of my personal priorities in life is poetry. Simply that- poetry. This week another one of those emails that I love to explore landed in my box:
It's hard to believe that February is nearly over but it's true--National Poetry Month is little over a month away. This year the Academy is celebrating with a nationwide Poem in Your Pocket Day. Find out how you can participate at poets.org/pocket.
In other exciting news, the 2008 National Poetry Month poster has been printed and is on its way to you. If you don't receive your poster by March 15, please contact the membership department for a replacement.
As always, the poster is being sent free of charge to thousands of classrooms, libraries, bookstores, and individuals across the country, along with information about how teachers and students can take April as an opportunity to celebrate poetry. If you know of a classroom that would like a free copy, please encourage them to sign up.
Your generous membership donations are what allow us to provide this educational resource every year and, as always, we are very grateful for your support. Have a great spring and a wonderful National Poetry Month.
Audrey Ference, Membership Coordinator
To find out about poetry events, readings, and resources in your area, please visit our national poetry map.
For poetry books, CDs, gifts, and apparel, check out our gift shop.
Renew online or give the gift of membership. Your dollars make everything we do possible.************************************************************************
I duplicated the entire email so it can be explored at your leisure - meandering off where ever you might want to go. Personally I find the national poetry map quite intriguing. It's fun to explore and dream about where I might go someday. Ramblings I might take.
But what enchanted me most this week was not the map which I have seen and explored before but the idea- Poem in Your Pocket Day
Celebrate the first national Poem In Your Pocket Day!
The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends on April 17.
Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. Create your own Poem In Your Pocket Day event using ideas below or let us know how you will celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day by emailing email@example.com.
|Put Poems In Pockets|
In this age of mechanical and digital reproduction, it's easy to carry a poem, share a poem, or start your own PIYP day event. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:
Help us expand the list: send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They have so many good ideas- doable ideas...ways one person can easily help poetry be more important in an every day way.
I like that- for poetry's sake. And for Palesitne's sake I am hoping that on April 17, people who care about Palestine, in helping to sow seeds and grow Gardens for Palestine any where they might be, well I hope people take the time and trouble to find and share a poem or maybe even many many poems by Palestinians. The Palestinians have been oppressed- and silenced in so many ways. So I think we need to make an effort to notice and appreciate Palestinian poetry.
" Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks.."
from the poem Identity Card by Mahmoud Darwish - 1964
Darwish has many other great poems too- poems for every mood. Please don't stop with just that one poem and poet- and idea... or theme. Let Palestinian poetry be alive in every sense and every way. Some poems are political, some are not.
Do your own research- find your own poems- and feelings- your own mood... seek out and discover what speaks to you- says what you believe needs to be said in a way that you honestly appreciate. What grabs you and makes you feel more alive and connected. I don't want to be an encyclopedia here- I simply want to plant seeds for Growing Gardens for Palestine.
A dear friend of mine sent me a note regarding "Growing Gardens for Palestine" when I was first bouncing ideas off her. I like to do that and I treasure her friendship. She has a brilliant mind and I can say anything and- well she's just fun to talk to. She is the Lady of the Links- always has something highly relevant that I will find intriguing. Her note to me:
I put my friend's words in green because with her help I always seem to be growing. Our conversations take me farther than I could ever go on my own.
I was entranced and inspired by the photos my friend, The Lady of the Links, pointed me to. Some photos just seem to be a visual poem- the way the flowers are echoed in her clothes:
I was forced to leave my homeland, Palestine at the age of seven during the six-day war.
I am a mathematician by profession but art is one of my favourite pastimes, I love hand-made things, so I make dolls, cards, and most of my own clothes.
I also write poetry, and participate in dialogues with known and unknown friends as I believe that communication is the first step of understanding, I believe in building bridges not walls.
My shy and extra sensitive nature hinders me from public speaking, so I try to compensate for my shortcomings by writing!
I started writing about three years ago when my friends insisted I should write about my memories, experiences, and my feelings as a Palestinian.
I did… but it all came out -for some strange reason- sounding -as I was told- like poetry!
So I self published two books (I Believe in Miracles, and Palestine, The True Story)"
And in growing our public Garden for Palestine, we've entered the garden through the key shaped entry, and we've noticed that there is a gift shop. And we've found brochures we can borrow or buy describing the herbs and honoring Arabic and Arabic calligraphy.
Well there are also poetry contests- poetry for Palestine. And every year in April there is a bucket full of poems- poems free for taking and sharing. Pieces of paper, all different types. And on each piece of paper is a copy of one poem written either in, or inspired by, our Garden for Palestine. And intermingled would be copies of poems by famous Palestinian poets and well known Palestinian poems.
You can sift through to find one that speaks to you most.
And there would be weekly- if not daily poetry readings in a quiet corner somewhere in our public Garden for Palestine- all year round. Some of the readings would be for children with poems both by children- and for children. But no child would ever be forced to read- or listen to- any poem. Let them listen if they want- join if they want- but they have to be free not to too. Poetry in our garden should not be forced.
And just as art gallery openings tend to serve wine and cheese and crackers, in our Garden for Palestine, let's be known for serving mint tea- and memories:
By Mike Odetalla
A Cup of Mint tea
Holds a special meaning for me
The fragrant flavor and smell
That I remember rather well
Of mothers beautiful garden in
Filled with beauty and sites, truly divine
The flowers, herbs, and vegetables...
A vision so great
From which I was torn away at the age of eight
The mint plants were special in many ways
They added an aroma that flavored our lives in countless ways
The mint in my garden today
Originated from a sprig in my mothers purse as a stowaway
So with each sip of mint tea
The memory and flavor of my homeland
A sip from a cup of mint tea
Is a sip of