National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States, and, since 1998, it’s also been celebrated in Canada. The idea for the celebration came when the Academy saw the success of Women’s History Month (in March) and Black History Month (in February), and wanted a way to celebrate and promote the work of poets, and the power of poetry. So, as a Library who always enjoys a celebration, we are happy to oblige!
Every year, the AAP put out a poster as part of the National Poetry Month campaign. You can see this year’s poster right above this paragraph. It was designed by AIGA Medal and National Design Award-winning designer Paula Scher, It’s unique typeface and coloring is a tribute to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, a Peabody Library favorite, so we’re particularly pleased to see Whitman’s work honored in this way!
Because one of our goals here at the Free For All is to bring a little poetry into your life, we are looking forward to sharing some verses with you this National Poetry Month. Keep an eye out for our “Raining Poetry” Event as well, which is taking place on Monday, April 9, beginning at 3:30pm. Using stencils created with the library’s laser cutter, participants will transfer poems to Peabody sidewalks. We’ll treat the stencils with a solution, so that poems appear up and down Main Street when it rains. The spray used to write the poems is invisible; when the surrounding pavement is darkened by rain, the dry words emerge and treat pedestrians to the secret poems that quietly wait to be read. This particular art-instillation is brought to you by Mass Poetry, the Peabody Cultural Council, Peabody Institute Library, the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries, and a mother-daughter team of locals: Jennifer and Chloe Jean.
We can’t wait to fill Peabody’s sidewalks with poetry–and to share some with you here on our blog, as well. If you’re looking for even more poetry, check out the American Academy of Poet’s website, which features oodles of poem, from Shakespearean sonnets to the most recent slam poetry, from the tried and true to the experimental and unique. To get things started here, today we are featuring Emily Dickinson’s “Dear March – Come in -“, a perfect poem for springtime, with all it’s vagaries, surprises, and unpredictability:
Dear March – Come in – (1320)
Dear March - Come in - How glad I am - I hoped for you before - Put down your Hat - You must have walked - How out of Breath you are - Dear March, how are you, and the Rest - Did you leave Nature well - Oh March, Come right upstairs with me - I have so much to tell - I got your Letter, and the Birds - The Maples never knew that you were coming - I declare - how Red their Faces grew - But March, forgive me - And all those Hills you left for me to Hue - There was no Purple suitable - You took it all with you - Who knocks? That April - Lock the Door - I will not be pursued - He stayed away a Year to call When I am occupied - But trifles look so trivial As soon as you have come That blame is just as dear as Praise And Praise as mere as Blame -