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National Poetry Month, April, is a marvelous opportunity to celebrate the expressiveness, delight, and pure charm of poetry. It is a special occasion that reminds us of the integral role of poets and poetry in our cultures. Poetry helps us appreciate the world around us and empathize with one another. Typically, we think of poetry as boring and nerdy but this month allows us to change our perspectives and look upon poetry as a rhythmic art of expressing one’s love and thoughts.
History of National Poetry Month
The success of Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March led to the initiation of National Poetry Month in April by the Academy of American Poets The first-ever National Poetry Month was celebrated in 1996, but the history of poetry itself goes back to about thousands of years ago.
Dating back to 2100 B.C., the “Epic of Gilgamesh” is cited as the first-ever written piece of poetry, which tells an epic tale of a hero in ancient Mesopotamia.
Storytelling about history was quite popular until the 20th century but is rarely used nowadays. Ballads were a common way of capturing history during the Middle Ages. They were also used to announce news to kingdoms. An ode was a lyrical poem that glorified an event or person. It was also used in the past to tell stories about victories.
Aristotle described three genres of poetry: epic, comic, and tragic. This paved the way for poetry to flourish throughout Europe and the Middle East. However, these three genres were changed by aestheticians to epic, lyric, and dramatic. The genres of comic and tragic identified by Aristotle were combined into subcategories of the dramatic.
Modern Western poetry comprises various forms and genres from different cultures and pasts.
National Poetry Month timeline
The use of complex expressions or conceits in romantic and religious poetry begins.
Romanticism in literature and poetry begins in this era.
The poetry is written, mainly in Europe and North America, between 1890 and 1950.
Confessionalism in poetry is introduced and taboo topics are covered in this type of poetry such as suicide and sexuality.
National Poetry Month FAQs
What are the goals of National Poetry Month?
This month basically encourages us to look upon poetry as a way of expressing feelings and thoughts. The main focus of this month is to create awareness about this less explored genre and to practice poetry in our daily life.
Who started it?
Inspired by Black History Month and Women’s History Month, the Academy of American Poets marked April as National Poetry Month to turn the attention of the world towards the art of poetry.
What day is National Poetry Day?
National Poetry Day occurs annually in the U.K. and Ireland on a Thursday in late September or early October.
How to celebrate National Poetry Month
Write poetry daily
Set up a routine of writing a piece of poetry each day as a way of celebrating this month. Jot down your feelings and thoughts about different things in a rhythmic manner and voila! You've successfully written a poem. This, on the one hand, acts as a way of commemorating this month and, on the other hand, helps to improve the cognitive function of the brain
Arrange a poetry event at your nearby library and perform various activities to create awareness about this less-explored genre. This could include a poem competition, a staged act of a poem, exploring different types of poetry, etc. People of any age can take part in this event and express their thoughts and ideas.
Rediscover famous poets
Seek out some epic pieces of poetry by incredible poets who are now almost forgotten. Read and analyze the meaning behind their poems. You can also choose one poet every day and go through their poetry. This will encourage the forgotten joy of poetry.
5 Facts About Types Of Poetry
Haiku — the shortest poem
The haiku originated in Japan and is the shortest poem containing only 17 syllables.
“Mahabharata” — the longest poem
Containing around 1.8 million words, “Mahabharata” is the longest poem that originated in India.
Rap as poetry
Rap is also considered a form of poetry comprising synchronized verses.
The earliest type of poetry
The epic is the earliest type of poetry that consists of a rhythmic narration of the heroic actions of someone.
Written language as poetry
During early times, written language was considered poetry and was recited and sung to help people remember laws, history, etc.
Why We Love National Poetry Month
Reading poetry proves beneficial for improving critical thinking. When we first look at a piece of poetry, we find it difficult to comprehend. Thus analyzing the meaning behind the poem and what point the writer is trying to convey is strongly helpful in encouraging the brain to think of different things from various perspectives.
Paying tribute to poets
National Poetry Month encourages us to remember the famous poets and their wonderful pieces of poetry. This month enables us to pay a tribute to those remarkable poets whose poems contained profound meaning.
Poetry really helps us to control our emotions and to heal from traumas. We can successfully do this by jotting down the thoughts and feelings that are making us feel depressed. This helps to relieve stress.
National Poetry Month dates