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Celebrating national poetry month: Poem in your pocket day

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As part of the celebration of National Poetry Month, the American Academy of Poets has designated April 24 as National Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is simple: select a poem that you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends. Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores across the nation.

Here are five ways to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day.

  • Select a favorite poem in your pocket and read it outdoors, in a local park or elsewhere.
  • Invite a friend or colleague at work to lunch and share a poem as dessert.
  • Select a special poem and email it to friends and family.
  • Place a poem in the lunchbox, briefcase, book bag or backpack of someone you love.
  • Find a special poem and share it with a special friend.

For more ideas and free downloadable pocket poems, visit Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Poem in My Pocket

As spring unfolds in all of its magnificent splendor, the beauty of creation offers this reminder:

Life is not measured by the breaths we take

But by the moments that take our breath away.

That particular quotation also brings to mind a poem that this writer was required to memorize as a junior in high school. “Barter,” an exquisite poem of 18 lines by Sara Teasdale, can still be recited by heart, and the words come to mind, especially the last stanza, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, 2014.

Barter

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Sara Teasdale

What poem would you place in your pocket to share on April 24, Poem in Your Pocket Day?

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