“Always be a poet, even in prose.”
I once heard Stephen King recommend reading a poem every night before going to sleep. He reads poetry himself, and writes it, too.
Stephen King?! The King of Horror?!
Whether or not you enjoy Stephen King's works, if you've read him, you know that the man has a way with words--he's definitely a poet, even in prose. I admire his skill (even as I pull the covers over my head).
April is National Poetry Month, and I'm celebrating by dusting off the poetry books on my bedside table and reading a poem every night before bed.
National Poetry Month attempts “to widen the attention of individuals and the media to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern,” according to the American Academy of Poets, sponsors of the event.
If you’re interested in participating in National Poetry Month, you can sign up for a poem-a-day email for the month of April here. Or download a free iTunes app called "Poem Flow" (an animated version of a poem reads itself to you).
Here are a few more simple things you can do (taken from http://www.poets.org/):
Google a poem. Do you have a line of verse running through your head? Many people do…and with the simple click of a mouse, they can discover where that line came from and explore the rest of the poem.
Buy a book of poems for your library. Many libraries have been hit by funding cuts, and would greatly appreciate the donation of a book of poetry.
Add verse to your email signature. Your email program may allow you to create a personalized signature that gets automatically added to the end of every email you send.
And, of course,
Read a book of poetry. (Or even just one poem, for that matter.)
Where to start? I’ve written about American Life in Poetry here and it remains one of my favorite places to explore poetry. In addition, here are two of my favorite books for sampling poetry or learning about it in general: Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life (selected and introduced by Robert Hass) and Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World’s Most Popular Poetry Website.
On a more fanciful note, try reading If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries (subtitled “poems for children and their parents”) or How Did I Get to Be 40…& Other Atrocities, both by Judith Viorst. Also, Love that Dog is one of the most touching books I’ve ever read, and one of the best examples of how poetry can enrich your daily life.
I know poetry is not to everyone’s taste, but I hope if you give it a chance, you’ll find it can be part of your life. Happy reading!