Head’s up! Thursday, April 18th, 2013 is Poem In Your Pocket day! Originally started by the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, in partnership with the Office of the Mayor, PIYPD was launched in 2002 as part of the city’s National Poetry Month Celebration. Then, in 2008, the Academy of American Poets got involved to make the day a national event.
Each year on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people are encouraged to select a poem they love, then make copies of it to share with co-workers, students, family members, strangers…anyone!
I first head about PIYPD from a friend, who works as the director of recreation in a small town in CT. Several years ago, a couple of young women came in to the town offices, and handed out poems that were “small enough to fit in your pocket.” My friend chatted with them and thanked them for the poem. After they left, she looked down to see that the poem they had given her was written by my brother-in-law, the poet Jason Tandon. Small world, small poems, big fun!
I hope you’ll consider finding (or writing!) your own poem to share this year.
I’m planning on handing out copies of one of my favorite poems to people I see walking their dogs on April 18th. Here is a lovely audio of Garrison Keillor reading Jason Tandon’s : Cleaning Up After the Dog.
And because my inner writer sometimes plays around with poetry, here’s one from me:
Under the fluorescent din
I scan the bags for a salty, crunchy escape
You trap me to tell me that their pretzels are better, and
I shouldn’t get the ones you are stocking, because
You lean in to tell me
What was 3% is now .75, and who is supposed to live on that?
I don’t know what that means,
But I know disgruntled when it grunts.
I picture you at home that evening,
Honey I really stuck it to them today
So pleased that you got some lady in yoga pants to buy the other brand.
And as you’re gloating
That same lady is whetting her salt-puckered pretzel lips
With a nice Cabernet,
Because all I wanted was a snack.