[Greater-Baltimore] Poem in Your Pocket Day

LaShawn Myles -LBPH- lashawn.myles at maryland.gov
Thu Apr 30 20:10:18 UTC 2020

Today ends National Poetry Month and the end of the “Spring into Reading
Haiku Writing Challenge”.  LBPH thanks those who contributed.  Poetry
doesn’t have to end here.  Today also celebrates “Poem in Your Pocket Day”.

*Poem in Your Pocket Day* was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the
Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city's Departments of
Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took
the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around
the country to participate. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended
Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.

Poem in Your Pocket Day takes place every year on a day in National Poetry
Month <https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/about-celebration>. *The
2020 Poem in Your Pocket Day will take place on Thursday, April 30. *This
year we encourage you to celebrate digitally.

 *Ways to Participate*

It's easy to participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day from a safe distance.
Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:

   - Select a poem and share it on social media using the hashtag
   - Simultaneously participate in the Shelter in Poems
   <https://poets.org/shelter-poems> initiative, and select a poem that
   brings you solace during this time of distance and solitude. Share what it
   means to you and use the hashtags #pocketpoem and #ShelterInPoems.
   - Print a poem from the Poem in Your Pocket Day PDF
   draw an image from the poem in the white space, or use the instructions on
   pages 59-60 of the PDF to make an origami swan.
   - Record a video of yourself reading a poem, then share it on Instagram,
   Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or another social media platform you use.
   - Email a poem to your friends, family, neighbors, or local government
   - Schedule a video chat and read a poem to your loved ones.
   - Add a poem to your email footer.
   - Read a poem out loud from your porch, window, backyard or outdoor

Discover more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month in the virtual
or at home or online

Lastly to lift your spirits on this rainy day, check out America's
inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman
some inspiration during the coronavirus pandemic. In a performance for "CBS
This Morning" at the Los Angeles Central Public Library, she used her voice
to give comfort and courage to the nation.

*Read her poem below. *

I thought I'd awaken to a world in mourning.
Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming.
But there's something different on this golden morning.
Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming.

I see a dad with a stroller taking a jog.
Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog.
A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries.
She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries.

While we might feel small, separate, and all alone,
Our people have never been more closely tethered.
The question isn't if we will weather this unknown,
But how we will weather this unknown together.

So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can't be broken, even when we bend.

As one, we will defeat both despair and disease.
We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees;
With families, libraries, schools, waiters, artists;
Businesses, restaurants, and hospitals hit hardest.

We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof,
For it is in loss that we truly learn to love.
In this chaos, we will discover clarity.
In suffering, we must find solidarity.

For it's our grief that gives us our gratitude,
Shows us how to find hope, if we ever lose it.
So ensure that this ache wasn't endured in vain:
Do not ignore the pain. Give it purpose. Use it.

Read children's books, dance alone to DJ music.
Know that this distance will make our hearts grow fonder.
>From a wave of woes our world will emerge stronger.

We'll observe how the burdens braved by humankind
Are also the moments that make us humans kind;
Let every dawn find us courageous, brought closer;
Heeding the light before the fight is over.
When this ends, we'll smile sweetly, finally seeing
In testing times, we became the best of beings.

 Be sure to check out some great poetry in accessible formats from MD LBPH!

Stay well,



LaShawn Myles

Youth Services Librarian

Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

Maryland State Library

415 Park Avenue

Baltimore, Maryland 21201-3603

410-230-2455 <(410)%20230-2454> (office)

410-333-2095 <(410)%20333-2095> (fax)

lashawn.myles at maryland.gov
Click here
complete a three question customer experience survey.
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