April is National Poetry Month, and as a poet myself, I couldn’t be more excited! Writing, in general, helps me express myself in ways that I can’t verbally, but poetry is my go-to source. I definitely recommend that everyone try to write a poem at least once or twice in their life just to get a feel for it — I know it’s not for everybody. However, I know so many people who say that poetry isn’t for them even though they’ve never attempted to write a poem before.
You may get the idea that poetry isn’t for you after you’ve read a poem and didn’t understand what the heck it was saying, and that’s completely fine! I read poetry all the time that I can’t understand (mostly because I’m in a poetry class this semester that introduces so many poems that make no sense to me lol), but writing and reading poetry are two different things. Hey, you might love to read poetry but hate to write it. That’s fine too! Poetry can be whatever you make of it, so let’s dive right into different ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.
- Of course, read some poetry!
I love Morgan Parker’s poetry book called There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce’. It talks about what it’s like being a Black woman both in a white society and within the Black community, which I think is an interesting and important topic that should be talked about a lot more. I also love Javier Zamora’s book called Unaccompanied, which is a collection of poems that he wrote about his experience as a nine-year-old crossing the border, assimilating in the U.S., and his home life back in El Salvador. You can check out a few of their poems, or find your poet that you love to read.
- Try your hand at writing a poem!
Ok, so it sounds like the hardest thing in the world, but I challenge you to try it! Think of something that makes you happy, sad, angry, frustrated — whatever — and write about it! Try to dig deep into the place where you tuck all of your feelings away inside, and pour it onto the page. Who knows, you might just find a healthy new outlet to express your feelings!
- Support your local poets!
If you know someone that is into poetry and writes their own, ask to read some of the poems every once in a while. Give them feedback on how you interpreted the poem, ask them questions about their creative process, and let them know that you support their creative journey. You may not think it means anything, but it actually goes a long way.
April is a very important month for poets, and I hope that I’ve inspired you to break out a pen and paper and just put some thoughts down, even if you don’t consider yourself a poet. Try writing or reading or supporting a poet you know, and let me know how it goes. Thank you for celebrating National Poetry Month with me!
“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.”