Skip to main content

Poetry: National Poetry Month

FRIDAY APRIL 26

READ A POEM IN TOWN MEETING FRIDAY APRIL 26

What is Poem in Your Pocket Day?

Poem in Your Pocket Day is held each year as part of National Poetry Month.  Everyone is encouraged to choose a short poem to carry and share with others throughout the day. Please consider sharing a poem with your family at dinner on that day.

This year's celebration will be held on Thursday April 18, 2019.  #pocketpoem

What is National Poetry Month?

April was established as National Poetry Month in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. It is a month-long national celebration of poetry.  The concept is 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. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

Pulitzer Prize

April 16, 2018 -- Frank Bidart wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965–2016

 

Half Light

That crazy drunken night I

maneuvered you out into a field outside of


Coachella—I’d never seen a sky

so full of stars, as if the dirt of our lives


still were sprinkled with glistening

white shells from the ancient seabed


beneath us that receded long ago.

Parallel. We lay in parallel furrows.


—That suffocated, fearful

look on your face.


Jim, yesterday I heard your wife on the phone

tell me you died almost nine months ago.


Jim, now we cannot ever. Bitter

that we cannot ever have


the conversation that in

nature and alive we never had. Now not ever.


We have not spoken in years. I thought

perhaps at ninety or a hundred, two


broken-down old men, we wouldn’t

give a damn, and find speech.


When I tell you that all the years we were

undergraduates I was madly in love with you


you say you

knew. I say I knew you


knew. You say

There was no place in nature we could meet.


You say this as if you need me to

admit something. No place


in nature, given our natures. Or is this

warning? I say what is happening now is


happening only because one of us is

dead. You laugh and say, Or both of us!


Our words

will be weirdly jolly.


That light I now envy

exists only on this page.