April, the month of showers, taxes, fools, and poetry, is upon us. Why does that combination seem just right? Fools and poetry, at least. In the Sufi tradition, a wise fool is a disguise for a Sufi holy man who might get his head separated from his shoulders if he were overtly who he is, so he plays the fool with poetry and jests that are really something deeper.
Fun fact of April 1: Did you know that National Poetry Month was started by the Academy of American Poets? I didn’t until of course googling it. You can read about this and other Natl. Poetry Month facts on their website. Here’s why they chose April…
“We chose a month when poetry could be celebrated with the highest level of participation. April seemed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.”
I’m great with that, except … hello, April 15? I won’t be reading so much poetry between now and April 15. Maybe a haiku each day until April 16. Actually, I might read a longer poem than that every day, for I surely will read one poem or more every day in April. And I will submit poetry every day of this coming month. That will force me to do some revising.
If you’re doing the daily poem-writing exercise, here are three good books with prompts to power you through:
The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop – Edited by Diane Lockward. “A poetry tutorial to inform and inspire poets. Includes model poems with prompts, writing tips, and interviews with poets.”
The Daily Poet – Edited by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano. “Write a poem a day every day of the year! The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Published by Two Sylvias Press) offers a unique writing prompt for every day of the year. Created by poets for poets, this calendar of exercises offers inspiration and a place to begin.”
Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets – Edited by Erica Goss. “Vibrant Words is a book of poetry writing prompts intended to spark creativity, banish writer’s block, and inspire new ideas. You’ll find out why you need core strength to write well, that poetry waits in parking lots, and what you can do with just one word.”