the category of "Poetry"
Today is national Poem in Your Pocket Day! According to the Academy of American Poets, today is a day to select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day. Poem in Your Pocket is a big day at ABRAMS —including a trip to The Today Show with the children’s group to share some poetry and spread the word, as well as pocket-sized poems on the desk of every employee.
Monday, April 30th, was the last day of National Poetry Month and ABRAMS went out with a bang! Forty staff members gathered for a lunchtime Vino & Verse event—a celebration of both poetry and the creativity of our amazing staff. A wide variety of poetry was read aloud, including William Carlos Williams, Edna St. Vincent Millay, James Arlington Wright, and even an original poem from a staff member’s husband.
ABRAMS has really gotten in the spirit of National Poetry Month this year, including inspiring a mysterious poetry bomber to take over the office and poetry bombing independent bookstore ourselves! Yesterday, which was Poem in Your Pocket Day, the children and young adult marketing and publicity department woke up at the crack of dawn to wait outside The Today Show in the name of poetry. We were armed with our “Poem in Your Pocket” sign, as well as many copies of Poem in Your Pocket. The department was on TV three times (we’re famous!)—one of which was behind Al Roker while he did the weather! After The Today Show, we headed to Union Square where we passed out single poems to unknowing commuters. Our hope is that these lucky New Yorkers read and enjoyed the poems, and went on to share them with friends and colleagues throughout the day.
After weeks of “Poetry Bombing” which included surprising and fabulously interesting poems and placements, we are closing in on the culmination of Poetry Month with Poem In Your Pocket Day, today, and then a Verse And Vino luncheon on Monday.
“The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heav’n;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to aiery nothing
A local habitation and a name.”
—From A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wm. Shakespeare
While in town for the London Book Fair last Sunday, I decided to take the Tube to near the end of the Northern Line and walked up the hill in search of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s grave. I’ve been reading Coleridge and Wordsworth and thinking about their famous and ongoing “conversation.”
I was going to hear W.S. Merwin—current United States Poet Laureate—read at the Storm King outdoor sculpture park recently with the intention of writing about it. But, the weather was lousy with rain; my own poems needed revising, and the prospect of reading, writing, errand-running, and cooking on a free weekend was more seductive than the lure of Merwin’s rare appearance in New York far from his Hawaiian home. My loss, I’m sure. But time spent with cats, or better yet, with books and one’s self, is never wasted, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud.
I’m on an airplane from London back to New York, and about an hour ago I saw below us the tip of what must have been Greenland after five or so hours over the Atlantic. It was exciting mostly because it was unexpected, having flown over England and Ireland and then over thousands of miles of water under the clouds, which were mesmerizing in their perfect simplicity.
I imagined the Grand Banks below, somewhere down there, a place I’d read about in The Perfect Storm, a shelf out in in the sea where sword fishermen go to catch their fill and, hopefully, return intact with their payload. And I let the sight of those clouds seduce me to sleep like sirens instead of reading Jane Eyre which I’d intended to do—for the first time, I’m embarrassed to admit—on the long plane ride home. Rochester will wait, I suppose, and so will Jane and so will I, for the weekend and some time on the couch or a chair in the sun with that brilliant Brontë sister.
One of the most joyful days of a joyful month arrives on April 14: Poem in Your Pocket Day. The day takes its name from a poem by the noted children’s book author Beatrice Schenk de Regniers. The poem begins:
Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.
The little poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.