This year, to celebrate National Poetry Month, I made a commitment to transcribe one poem every day for a week, then at the end of the week to send the poems out into the world. Now April is nearly over and I can happily report, PROJECT COMPLETE.
Choosing a mere seven poems (I ended up doing eight) was no easy task. I’ve only been reading poetry for about two years now– ever since I took an introductory course at university– but so many have resonated with me, so many with poignant imagery, music, language, whimsy and play, message, form, or ties to a personal memory. “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens,” Drew Barrymore once said in the fairy tale film of my youth Ever After. Wise words.
Here are the eight I ultimately selected. In the collection that follows you will find everything from Jabberwocky to John Donne. Part of my purpose in doing this project was to share my love of poetry and help others connect with poems as I have, so every work included holds personal meaning for me. Scroll to the bottom to learn what I did with them.
7 Days of Poetry Project (+1)
- “XVI” or “To fight aloud is very brave” by Emily Dickinson
- “[i carry your heart with me (i carry it in]” by e.e. cummings
- “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams
- “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
- “since feeling is first” by e.e. cummings
- “Holy Sonnet X” by John Donne
- “Sonnet XVII” by Pablo Neruda
- “On Raglan Road” by Patrick Kavanagh
Did I mention that my creative utility belt comes with magic markers and sequins? I loved adding some jazz as well as recycling old materials in making the poem art, but even better was disseminating it: at the end of the week I headed downtown to Powell’s, the biggest bookstore around, and went on my own little scavenger hunt for books to leave the poems in. And that is exactly what I did: “Jabberwocky,” for example, went into a copy of Alice and Wonderland and “On Raglan Road” went into a large volume about Dublin, where the poem takes place. I had so much fun! The BEST part, of course, is that these poems will one day be found– and hopefully enjoyed– by others.