One of the definitions for “parade” comes from the Italian “parate,” meaning a” garish setting forth.” When I decided we would have a poetry parade at our first ROMP Poetry Festival, I had no idea what that would look like. I just knew that a parade would be a great way to honor April being National Poetry Month. With the help of all the willing and able poetic participants, we made a great and garish setting forth across the meadow that was the highlight of the Festival.
First, medals and cash prizes were awarded for winners and participants in the Poetry poster contest. Then we set off on foot and on golf cart from the museum to the meadow. Our first stop was at the word PARTY, where we came up with other “p” words to go with the Poetry Party Parade, wrote them on labels and attached them to the PARTY sign and made impromptu alliterative phrases and poems.
Next stop was the FLOWERS, where stanzas about flowers awaited us, and a few were picked and read aloud. We crossed the creek and came to the POETRY POST OFFICE where letters from poets waited to be delivered and read aloud. Here also, cowboy poet A.C. Lorenz read us his original poem about spurs. After a few of the poets’ letters were read, we moved on . . .
to BALLOONS, where we all wrote on a balloon and either carried it with us or set it free. I wrote LIFE on mine, and then it failed to fly and landed on the ground in the middle of the pasture. Then a little boy named Bradley ran out to pick up and save my “life,” which is what I had written on the yellow balloon. After a quick recitation of e.e. cummings’ “in just spring,” we set off once more.
At GIFTS, we wrote a gift (or many if you were Sara and Becky) that we had to give to the world and then tossed it in the fire at the ROMP shop. At the Shop, we went inside and took a look at all 78 of the posters that were entered in the Poster Poetry Contest.
Thank you, sister Kelly for the great photos! See all of the parade photos at THIS LINK.