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New & Noteworthy News!

Put a Poem in Your Pocket

National Poetry Month is held every April as schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers and poets celebrate poetry's vital place in our culture. It was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

At the library where I worked, we had a special "Poem in your Pocket" week. At story times, I wore an apron with four pockets in which I put my four favorite poems. After reading the poems, the kids made their own pockets---two felt squares that they sewed together with yarn. (You could also just use construction paper and plastic yarn.) They chose the poem they liked best to put in their pocket. There were lots of choices, of course; I especially liked poems by Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, which were such fun to read.

For the older kids, after reading a few poems, I encouraged them to have fun with words and write their own poems for their "pockets."

That was over ten years ago, and shortly after I retired, an official "Poem in Your Pocket Day" was initiated. It's on April 30 this year. So put your favorite poem in a pocket and share it with others throughout the day.

Here's one of my favorites:

I made myself a snowball as perfect as it could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas and a pillow for its head.
And then last night it ran away
But first--it wet the bed!

---Shel Silverstein.

P.S. Be sure to check out Carol Malnor's blog about Poetry Month at:
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