April is National Poetry Month

artist paints the word poetry on a wall

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

Try one of these ideas to celebrate!

Write a Dada poem.

For this, you will need a collection of random words, ideally written on little slips of paper. You can put these slips in a bag or mix them up in a pile. Pull words one at a time and write them down in the order that you pull them. You can also use an online word generator such as this one. Keep in mind that you might want to throw in a couple connecting words, like and, with, at, the, and a. You could also take an article from a newspaper and cut up those words to make into a poem. The lines of the poem and the poem itself end whenever you decide. Here is our dada poem:

“Could you grass?”

said light green cat,

Tired and smooth.

“Stop, try candy fluff.”

Write a poem using your five senses.

shades of yellow paint samplers

Take an object and describe how it feels, looks, sounds, smells, and even tastes (as long as it is something that’s okay to taste!).

Paint Sample Poetry

Write a poem on a paint sample slip like you can get from a home improvement store. The poem can be about the main color, or inspired by the names of the colors.

Write a borrowed poem.

Borrowed poetry is created by borrowing lines or phrases from another source, such as an article or another poem.

We learned about this from Kwame Alexander, a poet and educator (on the At Home with Kwame page). He uses the poem, This Is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams, which is basically about asking for forgiveness for something you aren’t really sorry for doing. Once you think of a time like that in your life, you can replace words in the poem to reflect your experience. For example:

This is just to say

I have no

homework

to turn in today.

Which you were

probably expecting

to count towards my grade.

Forgive me

I played outside instead

the sun was warm

and my friends were there.

The library has poetry books for every kind of person. Here are some of our favorites!

Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice book cover
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets book cover
Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems book cover