The first Wednesday in October is celebrated as Random Acts of Poetry Day.
If you know anything about me, you recognize poetry is important to me. I think it’s a powerful way to bring us back into our hearts, and frankly I think there’s never been a time when we needed to be more heart-based as a collective than right now.
I believe it’s important to claim heart language, and these days I think a lot about the challenge from Rob Brezsny that we show up as
“…subversive mystics stoking the cool blue fires of poetry and lobbying for the liberated imagination.”
That’s certainly the world I want to live in.
I’m always a little perplexed when people tell me they don’t like poetry and offer vague apologies that they just don’t understand it. I always want to encourage them to simply relax and trust themselves – good poetry isn’t deliberately obscure, it’s simply an invitation to see through a difference lens.
I love how Muriel Rukeyser normalizes the medium:
“Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry.”
And I think Carol Anne Duffy is on to something with her observation:
“Poetry is the music of being human.”
Any opportunity, like this designated day to celebrate poetry, is something I can definitely get behind. Technically Random Acts of Poetry Day is about “painting poetry in the public square – either literally or figuratively.” So this is the day you might find poetry chalked on to the sidewalks if you happen to be lucky. Or stumble upon someone reciting a favorite poem in public. Or if you’re more-behind-the-scenes as I am, you might choose to tuck a poem treasure somewhere unexpected for someone to discover.
I love this Victorian image – an urn entitled “Poetry of Flowers.”
I’ve added a pocket to the back, and tucked in a poem by Maya Stein – Still Life with Sunflowers. You can read it here on her site, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to poke around and find your own favorite poem for today.
Better yet, purchase something from her, or any poet today. We as a society do so little to support the work of our poets. Today is the perfect day to envision and commit to a different way.
What if we paid attention to this admonishment from Rumi?
“Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
I hope you find some poetry to celebrate today and lobby for liberated imagination. Find beauty, create beauty, share beauty. Do that and you’ll be living a poetic life.
I am afraid I am one of those who say they don’t “get” poetry. Perhaps I just haven’t found the right poet? I think your little pocket gift is a great idea. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for poetry today. Thanks for sharing.
You know Bob Dylan considers himself first a poet who happens to perform. So perhaps, being the passionate music lover you are, you might find other poet songwriters who can tempt you into a little poetry exploration.
I read Deborah’s message and II feel most songwriters are poets, sometimes they might even not realize it.
Don’t want to impose, but maybe you can relate to the poetry at The Strix?
@ Deborah, wonderful post.As always. XxX
I look forward to explore the next issue of The Strix Patty.
WONDERFUL!!! Now, I am going to try my hand at a poem today. Thank you for always SHINING THE LIGHT! Yes, we do need more light! I’m with you, Friend! Aloha!
Crisp, clean, color.
Gloriousness in abundance.
Ode to exquisite Autumn!
Cheesy, yes…but my favorite time of year! That is until the snow softly falls…
Yay you Vicki – I think that’s perfect for a random act of poetry! And here’s to much autumn fabulousity to revel in my friend!
Poetry can sometimes express what other prose can’t it sometimes seems to me. I love the quote by Rumi and the other two Deborah thank you ..
I think you’re right Susan. I believe there’s a part within us that is fluent in that alternate language, and longs to be nurtured and fed in its native tongue.
Hi Deborah – poetry doesn’t come to me – so I can see why people ‘rebel’ against … but since I’ve been blogging I’ve started to understand and see things differently – I’d like at some stage to take a course to understand it more … I came across a programme on a poet in Cornwall – I’d really like to know more about now …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Causley I’ll get to understanding and appreciating it properly – so thanks for this – cheers Hilary
How fun to have found a program about Charles Causley. I think that’s perfect Hilary.
I think what I was trying to say, although not very articulately and probably not even overtly, is that I believe we all just need one toe-hold into the world of poetry – one experience where we truly understand we can meet the words with our own sovereign understanding – for things to open up exponentially.
I hope you find your way in, and have great fun while you’re at it.