Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is that a poem in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Today is the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poetry lovers are encouraged to keep a copy of a poem they love in a pocket, purse, backpack, etc., and to share it with others.

I thought hard about which poem to print out and keep on my person today. I've already revealed this month a few of the poems I enjoy; none of them, however, seemed right for today's exercise. I considered Edgar Allan Poe's "Alone," but it's so damn depressing, and I'm feeling pretty chipper this morning. There's a poem I would LOVE to share with my friends, but I can't find a copy of it anywhere. I came across it in a magazine years ago, and although I'm sure I must have a copy of it somewhere around the house, I can't lay my hands on it. It's called "What You Can Do," and it's a "found poem." The author went through the card catalog of a public library somewhere (Denver, CO?) and created a poem out of all the book titles that started with the words "you can." It has lines like "You can crochet. You can do your own divorce. You can write your life story. You can do it! You can find gold with a metal detector." It's ridiculously optimistic, and I always felt cheered up when I read it. If ever I come across it again, I will post it here in hopes that someone else will get a kick out of it.

But I still needed a poem for my pocket. In the end, I decided on "Fern Hill" by Dylan Thomas, which is sad and joyous, and contains some of the most beautiful imagery I've ever come across. It is full of alliteration and begs to be read aloud. If we meet today, I will read all six stanzas to you if you like, but I can recite the two final lines from memory any time: "Time held me green and dying/ Though I sang in my chains like the sea."

What poem or poems would you like to share with your friends?

2 comments:

Caveman said...

I've got my pocket poem:
"Spring Song" by Robert Louis Stevenson
It is a well needed spring bump for such a sucky winter.

Trooperdog said...

I'll have to share my answer on my blog in the next couple of days.