Friday, April 18, 2008

P.I.Y.P. Day: The Results

So, did you put a poem in your pocket yesterday, read it constantly, and share it with others?


Did you at least think about a poem?


Did the word “poetry” ever cross your mind?


That’s okay.

You can give it another shot next year. I’ll remind you, don’t you worry!

Do you want to know how it went with me?


Well, I’m going to tell you anyway!

The poem I chose is by one of my favorite poets of all time, W.B. Yeats.

When You are Old is the first poem I ever memorized for no other reason than love. When I heard it, I knew I had to make it a part of me.

So, I buckled down one night about ten years ago, and read it over and over again until I could say the words with my eyes closed. And it’s been with me ever since.

Anyway, Wednesday night I decided that I would make copies of the poem and pass it out to all my co-workers (since I lacked the courage or desire to stand on a soapbox in the middle of the university and recite it out loud).

Then, yesterday morning, I made my rounds and handed out the poem. I had quite a variety of responses. Most simply seemed surprised, and stammered a “Thank you.” (Boy, that was a great alliteration sentence, wasn’t it?)

But, a few reacted differently:

1. One co-worker looked at me like he thought I expected five bucks in return. (I told him no payment was necessary, words are free.)

2. One said “Oh, I don’t have a poem for you!” (That made me laugh--Like we’re on some sort of poetry barter system.)

3. One sent me an email telling me how much the poem meant to her, and that she loved it.

4. One gave me a big hug.

5. One said I was so thoughtful to think of her and seemed really touched.

6. One pulled me aside and explained to me what she thought the poem meant, and then asked me if she was right. (I told her that, usually, any interpretation could be correct.)

7. One co-worker came in late (so I had just left it on her desk) and I heard her say “Who left me this poem? What a great way to start the day!”

Overall, the first national Poem In Your Pocket day was a great success for me!!

I loved being able to share some beautiful words with people I see every day and to give them an opportunity to pause, read, and think (if only for a minute) about the wonder of words.

So, get ready for next year! It’s a great way to liven up an ordinary work day, I promise!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Come On, Fill Your Pockets With Words…

In case you haven’t heard, tomorrow is a very special day. And I’m asking you, as a friend, to consider participating in it.

There isn’t much you have to do.

In fact, for a poor lazy person, it’s an ideal challenge. You don’t have to run a marathon, donate thousands of dollars, or give up hours of free time.

No, all you have to do tomorrow is pick a poem, any poem, and put it in your pocket.

That’s it.

If you want to go the “second mile,” make a few copies of it, and pass them out to others. But, really, I’ll I’m asking you to do is to put a poem in your pocket. (Even if it’s only a few lines.)

You see, tomorrow is the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day!!!!!! And I think it is a super cool idea!

If you don’t have a favorite poem, or a favorite poet, the website I linked to provides plenty of options in pocket-sized versions. So, download one, print it, and put it in your pocket.

And then when you have a few spare moments tomorrow, whip it out, and read it. And if you’re feeling really brave, share it with someone!! (I'm planning on giving a copy to all of my co-workers.)

Actually, I’d love for you to share your choice with me! So, come back here and post your poem in the comments (if you want). And I’ll post mine!

Let’s make the first national Poem in Your Pocket Day a great success, and get the word out about words!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Like to Pretend I'm a Poet

So, I haven’t completely forgotten about this blog. No, it’s been hovering over my head, constantly raining down failure.

But, in an attempt for Present Liz to keep a promise Past Liz made to Future Liz, I’m reviving my commitment to the initial premise of this blog, and am going to begin posting again. And I’m going to try not to be negative about it all (which is harder than I think it would be to dig to China).

With that, I’ll proceed with the purpose of this post.

As some of you may know it’s National Poetry Month (NPM). And I’ve been receiving a poem-a-day from 3 different websites. I’ve enjoyed opening up my email and being surrounded in words—some that have resonated with me, and some that have made me say “Huh?”

This is why I love poetry. It makes me ponder. It makes me cry. It makes me want to be better. It makes me look at the world differently. To me, all poetry (even the bad ones) is worthwhile.

So, I wanted to share (with the two of you) a little bit of new stuff coming out of aspiring (and a few established) poets. The university I work for has a writing program, and in honor of NPM, they published "Poetry Sleepover.” Basically, it’s an online literary magazine. They had poets submit whatever they wanted, and then over a period of 24 hours, they selected, edited, and published this online version.

(I submitted a brief poem modeled after one of my favorite poems by Ezra Pound and they selected it.)

If you have a minute or ten, read through a couple of the poems. There’s a great variety of different styles and topics. Something for everyone!

And, if you have a few more minutes to spare, why don’t you write a poem of your very own in support of NPM? It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Trust me on that. I’m an expert at non-spectacular-ness.

Yay for words!!!*

*Tomorrow I'll be posting a special request. So, stay tuned!