A Dozen Ways To Revel In Poetry

poetry fun, celebrate poetry, exquisite corpse, traveling poetry, set poems free,

It’s all about how the letters are arranged. (mosswaterss)

1. Leave poems where they’ll be discovered. Write a poem on the sidewalk with chalk, crayon it on your child’s lunch napkin, tack it on your market’s public notice board, or tuck it into a friend’s coat pocket.

2. Pull a poem from a hat. Romanian poet Tristan Tzara was denounced by his fellow Surrealists when he proposed making a poem by pulling words from a hat. Try the “Dada Manifesto on Feeble & Bitter Love” method as explained by Austin Kleon in Newspaper Blackout.

Take a newspaper. Take some scissors. Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem. Cut out the article. Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag. Shake gently. Next take out each cutting one after the other. Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag. The poem will resemble you. And there you are—an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.

3. Dine with poetry. Linger over some beautiful lines as you savor each mouthful.  The poems don’t have to be about food, but that can add to your pleasure. Find a rich assortment in The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink edited by Kevin Young and in Appetite: Food as Metaphor: An Anthology of Women Poets edited by Phyllis Stowell and Jeanne Foster. Or let these poems nourish you.

~”From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee

~”Perhaps the World Ends Here” by Joy Harjo

~”Love Poem with Toast” by Miller Williams

~”The Invention of Cuisine” by Carol Muske-Dukes

~”Onions” by William Matthews

4. Sign up for poem-a-day sites. This month my wonderful library system is offering 30 days of poetry by email, featuring the work of local poets along with prompts for your own work.  You may also want to subscribe to The Writer’s Almanac, Poem-a-Day, or Poetry Daily.

5. Watch poetry-infused movies.

6. Play Exquisite Corpse. This strangely fascinating game was created by the Surrealists in Paris. To play with several people, each person writes a phrase on a sheet of paper, folds the paper to conceal the words, and passes it on to the next player to contribute the next line. Each participant must be unaware of what the others have written, thus producing an absurd but often delightful poem.

7. Let yourself fall in love with spoken word poetry. 

~”Human the Death Dance” by Buddy Wakefield

~”Drunk Text Message to God” by George Watsky

~”OCD” by Neil Hilborn

~”Shrinking Woman” by Lily Myers

~”Accents” by Denise Frohman

~”Place Matters” by Clint Smith

8. Go on a poetry diet.

9. Set poetry books free. Leave them where strangers can find them, perhaps a coffee shop, a hospital waiting room, a dentist’s office, a barber shop, or a muffler repair shop’s waiting room.  If you’d like, register them with BookCrossing.com to see where they travel.

10. Take a poem into nature. It doesn’t have to be wilderness, simply under a tree or near water, and the poems don’t need to reference nature although these do.

~”Catechism for a Witch’s Child” by J.L. Stanley

~”There is an Elemental Love” by Stephen Levine

~”The Silence of the Stars” by David Wagoner

~”The Seven of Pentacles” by Marge Piercy

~”Sometimes” by Sheenagh Pugh

~”Hum” by Mary Oliver

11. Hang on to poetic life lines. Some lines read long ago wait in our memories, rising to awareness at just the right time. The Academy of American Poets offers some time-honored life lines.

This line by art historian Bernard Berenson came to my mind recently as a friend struggled with cancer.  “I would have stood at street corners hat in hand begging passers by to drop their unused minutes into it.”

12. Curate a collection of your favorite poems. If a poem truly resonates with you, save it. Print such poems out out and paste them in a lovely scrapbook, or copy them by hand in a journal, or calligraph them on fine paper, or (as I do much less artfully) keep them in a word doc. After a few years you’ll have a highly personal, completely invaluable collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is a writer and editor, perhaps due to an English professor's scathing denunciation of her writing as "curious verbiage." She's the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. (lauragraceweldon.com) She's working on her next book, "Subversive Cooking" (subversivecooking.com). She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she is a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, talk to chickens and cows, discuss life’s deeper meaning with her surprisingly tolerant offspring, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art.
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6 Responses to A Dozen Ways To Revel In Poetry

  1. Donna Bryant Goertz says:

    Please put this in the folder “Poetry” along with the other three articles.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. Bernie DeKoven says:

    lovely, lovely post. so, I add my two bits – http://www.deepfun.com/fun/2013/06/poems-are-for-fun/ -

    Like

  3. Anne says:

    Thank you. I think we shall work on #1, #6, and #10 in our home in the year ahead.

    Like

  4. Kim Langley says:

    Hi Laura, now that I have my WordSPA website up, would it be ok if I put a link to this blog post in the resources section? Loved this post! kim

    Like

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