April is the Cruelest Poetry Month

Poetry month is again on its way out. Poof. Were you able to write a poem-a-day? Read one? Every other day? If you’ve even written or read one poem this month, kudos. If you’ve been prolific and productive daily, quadruple kudos! I start off each poetry month with the same mindset: I’m going to write at least one poem daily and read all of the shelved collections I’ve yet to crack open. Then life happens, replete with employers and sick children, car trouble and funerals, overtime and Alka-Seltzer.


To be honest, this has been my least productive poetry month in a while. But I’m okay with it because the few poems I’ve managed to write this month are among my favorites. In fact, the pressure of my life might be driving whatever makes me like these new poems because I feel that I have less time to ‘play around.’ Whatever it is, I’m still happy that I came up with anything at all. It reminded me that any time we write a poem, we should celebrate.


There’s a fantastic poem by fellow Midwesterner, Ted Kooser, in which he uses the memorable line, “speaks to the darkness a small, sure voice.” In the poem, he’s referencing a window, but the metaphor could clearly be poets/poetry. Any time we write a poem, we are speaking to the darkness. In other words, we are offering some light, and that is something to always be commended and applauded.


So as much as I wish you all a productive poetry month, let me also say not to beat yourself up if you didn’t have one. We’re poets, after all, so why would we let the calendar dictate whether or not we’re writing. Poets don’t need it to be April to offer their light; it shines just as much in November. Every month is a month of and for poetry, at least for me. May it also be the same for you.


Write on,



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