Welcome to another (which also happens to be the last) Thursday in April, filled with poetry!
"You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket."
--- John Adams
Today is Poem in Your Pocket day . . . first celebrated in 2002 and now celebrated each April on the last Thursday of the month. John Adams was on to something . . . carrying a poet in your "pocket" - someone whose words you know and can depend on - is a great idea. I'd go further, though, and say that carrying a few poems "in your pocket" might be even better!
For me, having a poem in my pocket . . . just means that I have a few short and meaningful poems that I love, and that are universal and easy to "get." They're poems I can share. Poems that won't turn other people off. Poems that might actually get someone to smile. To feel better about their day. Or, maybe, to feel better about poetry, in general.
In previous years on Poem in Your Pocket day, I have chosen a poem and printed out a few pocket-sized copies. I carried them around with me and then I just . . . left them behind, randomly, as I went about my day. I've left poems in gym lockers and on grocery shelves, in doctor's waiting rooms and tucked into library books I was returning. That kind of thing. This year, well. I'm not planning on going anywhere today (what else is new). So I'll share the poem I'm carrying "in my pocket" with you.
Instructions on Not Giving Up
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
Today's poem was originally published in The Carrying: Poems by Ada Limón, 2018, Milkweed Editions. For more information about the poet, check out her entry here, at the Poetry Foundation.
I hope you'll stop by and "blast yourself" with the poems we're carrying in our pockets today . . . on Bonny's, Kat's, and Sarah's blogs. And . . . thanks so much for joining us this month as we've shared our love of poetry.