Today is Poetry Day here in Ireland, an event created by Poetry Ireland to bring poetry to the attention of the nation. One of the initiatives on the menu is 'pocket poems' - literally a pocket sized poem to take with you and keep in your pocket. On Poetry Ireland's website there are a number of 'pocket' poems to choose from to download and/or distribute for the day. (You can see them here: Poetry Ireland Poetry Day)
Pocket poems as a venture have been doing the rounds for a while in America. And I just love the idea of them. They make poetry so accessible. And personal. And keepsake-able. So I've decided to post some of my own choices of pocket poems here for you to enjoy (and even print out and keep, in your pocket if you like.) Poetry Ireland's pickings are slim, so I thought I'd add to them. I would love to distribute them, but don't really have the means or copyright licensing! But I fantasize about the day when poems are handed out as leaflets in the street to passers-by. Imagine!
Because that's exactly the medium that poems excel in of course - one that can be carried around, in your pocket, casual, accessible. Words to smooth the rough road of routine. Words to remind you of what really matters. A sort of note-to-self with a wisdom agenda. A memo from the heart reminding us to stop and pay attention to life as it buzzes on around us. Poems that can be committed to memory to comfort and assure. Poems that are are short but say so much. Poems that will orbit us all day, little satellites of meaning, flashing neon insights of extraordinary alighting in the ordinary.
My choices here today are some of my favourite short poems. They have all three things in common: they are short, not just pocket-sized but maybe even palm-sized; they are simply rendered but laden with miniature life-lessons and reflections that I hope will bring a smile to your face; they are all products of attentiveness to the ordinary world around us and from that that awareness, offer advice and wisdom and surprise observation. In modern day lingo, we would maybe call it mindfulness. Perhaps poetry's greatest attribute and side-effect. Try it :)
Happy Poetry Day!
*Join in Poetry Day on Twitter by tweeting your favourite poem with the hashtag #PoetryDayIrl or on Facebook & nominate 3 friends to share theirs :)
|~ Billy Collins|
|~ Raymond Carver|
|~ May Sarton|
|~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti|
|~ Maya Angelou|