I will always love paper. Paper of any kind—in books, newspapers, letters, postcards, cardboard, playing cards, wadded up paper, paper made into origami figures and footballs and those little fortune-teller things you used to make in junior high during history class, notes, grocery lists, wrapping paper. Yeah, you get the idea.
April 30, Poem in Your Pocket Day, is about paper. And more specifically about poetry on paper. I know you can “cheat” and carry a poem on your phone or some other electronic device or in your head or some such. But I prefer old school Poem in Your Pocket Day. A poem on a piece of paper folded and inserted in your pocket. Not in your purse or your backpack or your car or in your lunch. In your actual pocket.
Thus, you must remember to wear clothing with pockets on Thursday. You must remember to write down or print out a poem—doesn’t matter if it it’s famous or not, yours or not, ancient or not—and put it in your pocket in the morning. Then, don’t forget about it. Take it out once an hour or more and take a look at it. Read it to someone–from a distance of 6 feet. Memorize it. Copy it on another piece of paper or a sidewalk or your office cubicle or on a leaf or your ham sandwich.
At the end of the day do not throw away your poem. Hang it on your refrigerator or frame it and sell it on Craig’s List. Modge-podge it to your bathroom wall. You can eat it but I’m not responsible for your digestive situation. Hang it by your cat’s litter box or put it in the litter box or staple it to a tree in your yard.
So to recap, here are the rules:
- Get a poem you love on a piece of paper.
- Carry the poem in your pocket.
- Read it throughout the day.
- Do something with it at the end of the day.
And . . . oh yeah . . . if you want to get a prize mailed specially to you from ROMP, post a photo or video of you and the poem on the Poem in Your Pocket-ROMP Facebook page!
A pocket is made for a poem. And a poem is made for a pocket.
–Shaun Perkins, ROMP Director