My Month of Poetry

There are still a couple of days to get your poetry on during National Poetry Month. Though I didn’t get to nearly enough poetry readings during April, I did take in a couple. I was invited to read my own work at one of them. Here’s a poem that I read that night. It’s from the recently published Wild Women, Wild Voices chapbook that came out of last fall’s Wild Women Writing Workshop.

The Sound of My Voice

Put me on your turntable
put your needle in my groove
and I will sing old-time rock and roll
I will holler the bluest blues
I will raise my voice in an amen hallelujah!
Everybody join in!

The sound of my voice carries moonshine starship holy-roller hallelujah song,
carried depth-charge song,
the long, low wail of the whale
the shush shush of wind in the pine.
When I open my mouth to sing
angels throw quarters and God taps her holy toe.

Some of the most fun I had during the month was creating Book Spine Poems. I made this one for a contest sponsored by @ Your Library. I just discovered it’s in the top ten entries and in the running to win the contest. Click here to vote for me: Poem #6.
book spine poem
I shared my Book Spine Poem with some of my writing friends who decided to give it a go. A couple of them are teachers who took the idea to their schools where even more book-spine poets got to play with the idea. Try it yourself. You may wind up with stacks of books on every flat surface in your house, but I bet you’ll enjoy it. Take a picture and let me see what you created.

Other Poetry Month fun: On April 18, I gave away a whole mess of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” for Poem in Your Pocket Day, and I loved opening my inbox every day to find a new poem from poets.org.

shel

I also dug through my collection of poetry chapbooks and took out a few that I hadn’t read for awhile and kept them at my morning coffee table and on my nightstand. You never know when you’ll have a few minutes to open a book and surprise yourself with a delicious poem, or a poem to make you smile, or a poem to crack your heart open.

There are still a few days left in National Poetry Month. Read a poem, write a poem, or say one out loud to the next person you see.

9 thoughts on “My Month of Poetry

  1. I used to do that with my kiddo when they were young, with names in a phone book. We would read the names out as if we were telling a story using vocal expressions and rising and falling vocal tones. It was hilarious.

    • Hi Linda, thanks for asking. I first discovered book spine poems among the piles of info that comes to my inbox, from creative newsletters or blogs or some damn place. You pull books from your shelves (or the library’s shelves) and arrange the spines so that, reading from top to bottom, you’ve created a poem. A book spine poem can be any length, as tall as you could pile your books, I suppose. When I got this invitation from another of those newsletters (@ my library) I guess I needed a break from sitting in front of my computer or something, I just began pulling books from this bookcase or that one and stacking them up, then revising (a little more difficult than just scratching out lines)and restacking. I made about six book spine poems, but the one in this post, and the one I sent to @ my library, was my favorite. Try it. You’ll have fun. PS the poems don’t have to rhyme.

    • Hi Cris, Thanks for your comments. Hope you play around with the Book Spine poems. Really fun. Revision is tough, though. Takes up a lot of space.

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