I Can’t Even Poetry Right

While I was sketching out my calendar for the rest of the school year, I realized that it won’t be until the end of April that I’ll be doing any poetry in any of my classes.  This is somewhat of a small travesty because I’m an English teacher and this is National Poetry Month.  Not only that, but the unit where I am doing poetry–a spoken word poetry unit–is where it is because that’s where it is in the schedule.

So yeah, I’m totally not doing National Poetry Month right.

Then again, I’ve been doing poetry all year, bringing it in whenever the mood strikes me and even coordinating our school’s Poetry Out Loud competition.  So it’s not like I don’t do poetry right.  I just am not very good at getting my act together when it comes to officially designated periods of time wherein academic celebrations can occur (although I’m sure that missing The Ides of March was a good thing).

Plus, I’m barely even planning on writing any poetry this month.  I mean, I have friends and people I follow on Twitter who are posting all sorts of poetry to blogs and other places where authentic audiences can read them.  In the past fifteen years, I have written maybe five poems … six poems?  I’m not sure.

So yeah, I’m totally not doing National Poetry Month right.

If you really think about it, something like National Poetry Month is a bit of a double-edged sword.  I have my students read poetry all year and read or watch quite a bit of it myself, and I love the idea of an entire month where poetry is getting attention.  At the same time, however, I wonder if it’s the right attention.  How many teachers are grabbing something off of a “20 Things to Do for National Poetry Month” pin they saw on Pinterest last weekend?  How many are saying, “Well, songs are poetry set to music so let’s listen to some songs in class?”  How many are really just paying it all lip service because they never really got around to poetry and this is as good a time as any?

I guess that begs the question: how do you do National Poetry Month right?

Unfortunately for you, I have no idea.  Then again, I never claimed that I did.

I mean, I’m sure you can turn your classroom into a Maker Space™ or something and do something that will get you retweeted a billion times, and if that’s what you want, go for it.  Personally, I think I’d rather just read and talk about and show it and see where it goes.

Oh, and here’s a cool poem.  Enjoy!



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