World Poetry Day

I have a confession. 

Sometimes, I let myself get so wrapped up in how amazing a thing should be, that I don’t actually myself to do or participate in the thing, for fear that the actuality of it won’t live up to my own hype. Which is why at 8:00pm I finally had to tell myself, “Just write SOMETHING,” so that I didn’t let World Poetry Day pass without a check in with you.

That’s the post. Today is World Poetry Day, and I hope you were able to find a moment of celebration. Did you read a poem today? Talk to a poet? Did you pause in one of those striking instances where the world seems suddenly filled with surprise and beauty?

I celebrated today by reading the work of some amazing writers who thrill me with their poetry in print and performance: Ebony Stewart, Safia Elhillo, Mahogany Browne, and Desiree Dallagiacomo. (Is this a subtle shout out to Women’s History Month as well? Perhaps)

I wanted to share Safia’s poem “Self Portrait with Profanity” here, but the gods of formatting did not deem copy and paste an acceptable sacrifice. Nevertheless, the folks at Poetry Foundation will let you read it here

And. What’s a World Poetry Day post without a little prompt? 

This one is an adaptation of a prompt by Jacqueline Saphra,  and was the final prompt offered by the folks at NaPoWriMo last year (speaking of….who’s doing 30/30 with me next month? We can talk about it later.):

Write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. It could be a real place, like your local park, or an imaginary or unreal place, like “the bottom of your heart,” or “where missing socks go.” Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like.

I’d love to read your poems when they’re “finished”; perhaps I’ll share mine too. Happy World Poetry Day. 

Lumpkin out.

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