Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with exploring the concepts of pronoia (the belief that the universe is conspiring to shower us with blessings), quiety (serenity) and peace – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply delightful-to-me words.
W is for…
walleteer – one who carries a wallet
I think this word segues nicely into what else I want to talk about today. It happens to be Poem in Your Pocket Day, the annual celebration in the United States that helps wind up National Poetry Month on a delightful note. People are encouraged to carry a poem in their pocket and share it with others throughout the day.
I’ve been doing this for several years. I love poetry. It’s essential to my life, and I can’t remember the last day I didn’t read some. If I were in charge of things there would be no armies, only poetry academies and versification salons. And everyone would look forward to April’s thirty days of celebration.
Seeing how today is W day in the land of A-to-Z, and my chosen word is walleteer, I made a a paper wallet – an origami fold – into which I’ve slipped three poems I’ll be sharing today.
I try to be mindful when quoting poems here on my blog to use only short excerpts or only those that are in the public domain, so as to respect the rights of the poets. So I’m not going to post the poems here. But no worries – I am linking to them and really encourage you to take a moment and check them out.
- If you only have time for one poem, I’d love you to check out Jane Hirshfield’s poem On the Fifth Day. She wrote it specifically for the March for Science which occurred this past Saturday – the collective gathering to support Science not Silence in response to the current government administration. Read the poem here.
- The second poem I’m sharing today is An Inventory of Moons by David Shumate. I’m a moon lover as well as a poetry lover and yesterday we celebrated the new moon, so a little lunar poetry seems appropriate. Shumate is prose poet and I have a great love of prose poetry as well. Read the here.
- The third poem in my wallet that I’m sharing today is David Whyte’s All the True Vows. I’ve been immersing myself in Whyte’s work this year, and considering I’m also pondering truth (see my post from yesterday) this felt like a good choice. Read the here.
So tell me, what do you think? Are you a poetry fan? Celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day? Are you a walleteer? Think poetry is a great currency to carry? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
I may not be high-minded enough for this post. You wrote walleteer– and I immediately thought of Mouseketeer. You mention poetry, and I have the Mickey Mouse Club song going through my brain. “Who’s the leader of the band that’s made for you and me…” Great post, but maybe not for the reasons you intended!
LOL – I may have to don a Mouseketeer hat to cover my ears and prevent that earworm from entering my brain. I will not succumb! 🙂
I read the 2 poems Deborah and was struck by how Whyte’s and Hirschfield’s both speak of silence though in different and profound ways. I don’t actively read poetry though a few come to mind – Mary Oliver, Khalil Gibran, Maya Angelou, Rumi –
I remember a few years back making gifts for special friends – black notebook, black paper, writing in white ink a few lines of poetry leaving many pages blank for them to record their own favourite lines ..
Thank you, I loved the lines on the moon as well!
If you’re only going to read a few poet, you’ve picked some outstanding ones Susan.
It IS interesting the about the different takes on silence. I’ve been thinking about that a lot – when silence is affirming and when it is disempowered.
Those notebooks sound fabulous – what a wonderful gift. I’m sure they were much appreciated.
On the Fifth Day immediately made me think of our current “president” and his non-belief of global warming and alternate facts. Loved an Inventory of Moons. I am a walleteer. I have a poem that was attached to an angel pin my husband gave me about 20 years ago.
The On the Fifth Day poem was written specifically for the March for Science which was a direct response to our current administration’s policy and stance on environmental issues.
How fabulous about your poem/angel pin gift. How fun is that?
Pocket poetry! How splendid. I generally don’t read much poetry, but I enjoyed the first two you posted, even though the first one makes me sad.
I’m glad you took the time to read them Sara. And yes, the Hirschfield poem is a sad one isn’t it. But powerful. And that’s what art and poets really ask us to do isn’t it – confront what’s not working and celebrating what is.
That’s an interesting concept, poetry in your pocket. I read poetry, but usually not in English. While I read novels and essays in other languages, somehow poetry is something I enjoy more in my language. I will check the links, anyway.
Eva – Mail Adventures
It makes sense to me that you might enjoy poetry more in your native language. I think you have to sidle up to poetry in a way that’s different than reading other things. Removing one layer of translating, no matter how second-nature it has become, allows a more immediate connection.
Thanks for stopping by Eva.
Beautiful post, as always, Deborah. I love your origami creation. Though i am not an avid reader or connoisseur of poetry ,they appeal to me with their sublime beauty , whenever i come across them. I read “all the true vows” and found it to be magical. Shall return to read them again. Thanks for sharing the poems.
Perhaps you don’t read poetry often Moon, but clearly it resides in your heart. 🙂
These poems are lovely — a nice respite on a busy day! Your post is an excellent reminder to make room in our lives for inspiration and creative words that sustain us. The wallet is excellent as well. Nicely done!
For me poetry has that ability to create a brief respite in my sometimes too-busy days, and help me remember how magical words can be. I’m glad you liked the poems, and I’m delighted you stopped by today. Thanks.
I’m familiar with Hirschfield and Whyte mostly due to my daughter who loves both of them and shares her favorites with me. Both are very insightful writers. I used to try to write poetry for the A to Z but inspiration doesn’t strike me that consistently and I really need to be inspired to be poetic… Thank you for sharing. Poetry month is great!
How lovely your daughter shares her favorite poems with you. I marvel at the A-to-Z-ers who take on the challenge of a poem a day. Like you, my Muse is an unpredictable visitor, no matter how many invitations I send her.
Wishing you lots of wonderfulness in the final days of poetry month and the challenge as well. April has flown by!
Hi Deborah – I haven’t read the poems … life’s on a runner – and I’m probably ahead of most people in the A-Z … except I still feel frazzled. I’ll come back and read the poems – I’ll be seeing the Emily Dickinson film with our film society sometime soon … I’m looking forward to that because I don’t know that much about poetry … cheers Hilary
Although I love this April challenge, I’m glad we’re on our final days as well Hilary as I’m getting fatigued. But the promise of having time to go over posts in a more leisurely manner is what makes the time ahead wonderful as well.
How fabulous you have a film society to attend films with – I bet that’s wonderful fun! And the Emily Dickinson film sounds like a good one. I’m looking forward to seeing it as well. Enjoy!
Hi Deborah – thanks … I’ve come back and I think Maria Popova’s blog posts are always amazing … and the Shumate poem … they are frightening to think about … we live in such difficult times.
The film society is excellent – as the guy who organises it sits on the British Film Institute board … so we’re very lucky … cheers for a short time – before I come across your next post!!
Here’s to a good read later on … cheers Hilary
These ARE intense times aren’t they – both in the challenges AND the goodness that surrounds us. How wonderful you have a member of the BFI organizing your film society – that just ramps it all up altogether. How fun!
What a great W post! The wallet and the poems are beautiful!
Thanks Shelley. I appreciate you stopping by.
I can appreciate the three you’ve shared. I think they show some artistic skill, but what do I know about poetry?
Every now and then, I discover a poem that makes my heart beat harder. But most poems shut me down by covering their hearts with a veil of poeticalness, deliberately obscuring what they’re trying to say, or bludgeoning my senses with their message. Maybe that’s the conventional definition of poetry among aspiring poets.
I don’t know.
Maybe I’m just dense… but maybe not, if some poems can make my heart beat harder.
It sounds to me like you’re discerning not dense Sue. Making your heart beat harder is a wonderful standard to hold poems to.
I haven’t heard of Poem In Your Pocket Day, but I really like the idea of it. 😀 I used to write a lot of poetry, but haven’t for quite some time. It can be very cathartic though, and I think everyone should try writing poetry, even if they prefer to keep the finished poems to themselves.
Here’s my “W” post 🙂 http://nataliewestgate.com/2017/04/wetwork-secret-diary-of-a-serial-killer
I think writing poetry is really valuable as well Natalie. I like to think our souls speaks to us in many languages, one of them being our dreams. For me poetry is like that as well.