Illustration: Art Direction The Magazine of Yoga; Cover Design Maria T. Middleton
100 Poems to Rip Out and Read
Bruno Navasky hits a winner for National Poem in Your Pocket Day and The American Academy of Poets
BY MAGAZINE EDITOR SUSAN MAIER-MOUL
April is National Poetry Month, and this week, April 14th is National Poem in Your Pocket Day.
Website The American Academy of Poets
Download free National Poetry Month poster
Download pdfs of poems to carry or share on Poem in Your Pocket Day
The words of the true poems give you more than poems,
They give you to form for yourself poems, religions, politics,
war, peace, behavior, histories, essays, romances, and everything else,
They balance ranks, colors, races, creeds, and the sexes,
They do not seek beauty, they are sought,
Forever touching them, or close upon them, follows beauty, longing, fain, love-sick.
They prepare for death, yet are they not the finish, but rather the outset,
They bring none to his or her terminus or to be content and full,
Whom they take, they take into space to behold the birth of stars,
to learn one of the meanings,
To launch off with absolute faith, to sweep through the ceaseless
rings and never be quiet again.
Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass
Following on the success of the very popular Poem in Your Pocket, the American Academy of Poets has published a new volume of tear sheet poetry, Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets.
Bruno Navasky’s open invitation subtitle – 100 Poems To Rip Out and Read – makes this tween-age book an able inheritor of the call to interact with ideas and art, from Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book to Toni Morrison’s Burn This Book.
The American Academy of Poets is equipping the subtle inquisitive hearts of our creative young to wage poetry. Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets is entertaining, to be sure, but it’s also a reminder there’s no need for anyone to wait for college Crit Lit to encounter the rebellious and sensitive, stormy, witty and soulful world of poetry.
Carry it with you
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
This cleverly designed volume is half book, half notebook. The spine of the cover is to the left; opening it, you find the 100 poems sturdily bound at the top, steno pad style. It’s perfect for sleepovers and birthday parties, for games of poetry performance karaoke, memorizing by heart or passing around at lunch.
As welcome as forsythia in full bloom, each year Poem in Your Pocket Day celebrates the changing seasons with active participation in the vital life of poetry. Navasky’s book is perfect for the occasion. Tearing the pages from Poem In Your Pocket For Young Poets is bound to inspire young people with the visceral thrill of sharing poetry.
Of course, that’s only if you actually give it to your kid.
100 Poems to Rip Out and Read
Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls, harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins!
do have meaning.
~Frank O’Hara, Today
You may very well want a copy for yourself.
The number of creative ways to turn this appealing book into 100 people reading poetry excites active engagement of art and ideas. Tear out its perforated pages to share poems with friends, to trail behind you mysteriously all day from the place where you get coffee to the copy machine, the bus or subway, or with your change to the hand of someone in need.
The simple act of sharing a poem demonstrates it’s possible at every moment to communicate beauty, risk connection, and change perceptions.
A boon of waking up soul
When they were wild
When they could have been anything,
I was on the other side ready with milk to lure them
The American Academy of Poets, a non-profit founded 1934 to “support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry,” introduced National Poetry month in 1996 to create a greater awareness of the art of poetry, and to infuse the our encounters with poetry with a feeling of familiarity and affection.
From Gary Snyder’s “How Poetry Comes to Me,” (“at the/ Edge of the light”) to Lisa Jarnot’s “They Loved Paperclips,” (“they loved the sound of the laces of the shoes/ and snow they loved the snow on Thursdays”) and all the boon of waking-up-soul in between, Bruno Navasky’s selection of Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets is a band of heroes sneaking under the barriers of routine and the around the thick walls boredom to set readers free once more in a world gently alive with possibility.
On Line at DailyLit: Read several essays from Toni Morrison’s Burn This Book in which she and other writers answer the question “Why write?”
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.