The practice of claiming a holiday for a certain cause—whether whimsical or worthy—has expanded to ridiculous proportions. In the middle of April, for instance, you can celebrate National Submarine Day (4/11), Scrabble Day (4/13), Ex-Spouse Day (4/14), Rubber Eraser Day (4/15—perhaps related to Tax Day?), and National Eggs Benedict Day (4/16). If you want more, you can find a list of wacky and not-so-wacky holidays here.
Although I prefer the holidays that have years of tradition behind them, there are some of these more conceptual holidays that I have celebrated and enjoyed. One is National Poetry Month, which falls in April. It was first proposed by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.
The Academy of American Poets will send you a poem a day via e-mail. And The Rumpus is publishing a poem a day during April. In the past, I have found this a thought-provoking way to start my day. As a wordsmith, I’ve learned much about the gorgeous and challenging ways poets use words. Of course, you can also write your own poem a day. Check out NaPoWriMo for prompts every day.
And if you’re overwhelmed by the idea of daily tasks, April 30 is National Poem in Your Pocket Day, when you are encouraged to slip your favorite poem into your pocket and share it with your friends and co-workers.
Waverly Fitzgerald is a writer, teacher, and calendar priestess who has studied the lore of holidays and the secrets of time for decades. She shares her research and her thoughts on her Living in Season website and in her book, Slow Time. She is currently working on a series of essays about looking for nature in the city and blogs for the Seattle PI as the “Urban Naturalist.”
Here at Amber Lotus, we love poetry. What seems like the perfect combination of words can convey the simplicity and depth of a concept with twinkling clarity. The stunning works of Rumi, Hafiz, Coleman Barks, Thich Nhat Hanh, and more are at the very heart of many of our designs. We also have a special affection and respect for Wendell Berry. This wonderful piece is featured in our Earth Is My Witness 2015 wall calendar:
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
~ Wendell Berry ~
Happy National Poetry Month!