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Bust a rhyme! National Poetry Month starts today

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Your attention, please.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Your Examiner hath writ a verse:

Owed To Poetry

  • Owed to poetry
  • April is not.
  • Like baseball and beer
  • It lands right in its spot.
  • Once a year, though,
  • Owed to poetry this biz –
  • Nights of posters and readings
  • And panels – Oh, all this is.
  • Like … um … t-shirts in ebon
  • Emblazed with ‘Got Verse?’
  • And open-mic slams,
  • And, ew, it gets worse –
  • Yes, owed to Poetry
  • Month is this next 30 days
  • Of poets on sidewalks
  • In grass skirts and leis.
  • ‘Tis a month to take credit,
  • To back-slap and praise.
  • But read some good poetry
  • Any damn way.

Not that you’d know from looking around the Greater Jacksonville area, but April is officially National Poetry Month.

Your Examiner has checked.

Maybe it’s the snazzy logo (the big, ugly black box), but for some reason much poetry will go unnoticed this month.

However, poetry and baseball fans can get in the spirit this evening in Flagler County.

Here are the particulars:

  • Poetry & Songs about Baseball – Tues. Apr. 1, 2 p.m. Doug Cisney Room, Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Pkwy NW, Palm Coast, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Please wear your favorite team’s colors. Muriel Levy leads off a line up of experienced poets. Baseball related snacks will be served. For more information, please call 386-446-9623.

And then toward the end of the month, GreaterJax™ will celebrate again in St. Augustine:

  • National Poetry Month Celebration –Sun., Apr. 28, 3-5 p.m. The Gallery Cafe of St. Augustine, 1974 US1 S., St.Augustine, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. In joyful anticipation of influential poet and folk singer Bob Dylan's concert stop in St. Augustine one week later on May 5th The Ancient City Poets will gather to celebrate. All are invited and encouraged to read or perform or share the lyrics of their favorite Bob Dylan song in this renga-style event. Poets do not have to follow the theme. For more information, please call (904) 825-9944 or visit www.gallerycafestaug.com.

So what’s the big deal? Poetry sucks

One hastens to add that not all poetry sucks, any more than all poetry rhymes – although you’re right, there is plenty of bad poetry around.

In fact, unless you’re a deaf mute who can’t to listen to the radio or your stereo, you hear poetry every time you tune to your favorite station.

Song lyrics are poetry.

So, unless your favorite song sucks, too, then not all poetry sucks.

Ask your kids. They’re studying loads of poetry this all month in school.

And check the video accompanying this article. This poetry doesn’t suck either.

Okay, so let’s agree (just for now) that not all poetry sucks

Great!

Here’s how you can participate in National Poetry Month:

  • Celebrate “Poem In Your Pocket Day”– Carry one around in your pocket and love on it.
  • Memorize A Poem – Your Examiner wrote the poem at the head of this piece just for National Poetry Month. Or you can use the lyrics to a favorite song.
  • Put Poetry In An Unexpected Place – Like tape one to your bathroom mirror, or hang one of the back of your laptop where other people can see it.
  • Take A Poem Out To Lunch
  • Put A Poem On The Pavement – Check with the local cops first. In some places writing on the sidewalk constitutes graffiti.
  • Integrate Poetry With Technology – Add a verse to the .sig file on your e-mail and share your new friend with the world.

And there 24 more suggestions for observing National Poetry Month listed on the Academy of American Poets web site.

So Why April?

No one knows.

According to the American Academy of Poets, poets, booksellers, librarians, and teachers, and the Academy “chose a month when poetry could be celebrated with the highest level of participation.”

That month is April.

Established in 1996 by the American Academy (which was founded in 1934) the stated purpose of National Poetry Month is to “widen the attention of individuals and the media … to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage … to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture.”

This is the 18th consecutive observance of National Poetry Month.

GJE

-30-

©2014 All rights reserved.

OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: kt.4examiner@yahoo.comasdf

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