à propos April

In the United States and in Canada, April is National Poetry Month.

Although we don’t actually celebrate the month in the UK, focusing instead on a single Thursday in October for National Poetry Day, the concept of “national” celebrations has become very blurred in recent years. With modern tech and global comms, it’s sometimes hard to ignore the sheer number and volume of voices taking it for granted that what’s true in their region must be true everywhere.

So there is a little bit of my mind that seems to think I should be writing or posting poetry throughout the month.
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a little light poetry

Last Thursday was National Poetry Day in the UK, so I am feeling very guilty that I haven’t got around to posting a poem to mark the occasion.

wispy cirrus clouds and vapour trail
It wasn’t simply that my head has been too full of wispy clouds to focus. Even on Saturday, a day when I usually post, I was busy, not just with the usual domestic nonsenses, but also preparing to present the guest poets at an evening of readings at the local bookshop and community centre.
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where are the words?

Although I’ve never made much of an effort to publicise this blog, over the years it has slowly acquired several hundred followers. Knowing that there are people who read it makes me feel more of a responsibility about weekly updates, and if I haven’t any ideas or haven’t got time to write anything, I’ll try at least to find a bright flower photo or something, just to reassure people that I am still around.

gazania flower

I feel guilty, then, when I fail to post anything at all, which is what happened last week.

I’ve been going back and trying to collate old poems and I’ve come across several I scarcely even remembered; this one seems particularly appropriate given the lack of recent words on the blog. So, here’s a poem for National Poetry Day:
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high days and holy days

cat silhouette
I’m not a great one for remembering and celebrating the International-Day-of-This and the World-Day-of-That, but this week there were two such days I felt were worth noting: Monday was the feast of St Jerome, patron saint of translators, and Thursday was National Poetry Day in the UK.
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versification on a theme

The theme for this year’s National Poetry Day in the UK is stars. In conjunction with this, the Poetry Society ran a competition with the theme stripes for Stanza members.

coloured stripes

I often wonder how judges can hope to choose ‘the best’ of a competition’s entries when all the poems are different styles and topics, so I definitely like competitions that either suggest a theme or demand a specific poetic form, as I feel there is then at least one identifiable point of comparison.
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national poetry day

Well, in the UK, at least, it’s a national day and there’s plenty about it in all the national newspapers. The Guardian, for example, reports a selection of news and associated snippets.

This year’s theme is “heroes and heroines”. I can’t think of any poems in my files that fit that theme, and I certainly can’t produce one to order. So here’s one which refers to the ex-prime minister – definitely not a hero of mine. The poem was published in the South Bank Poetry Magazine a while back.
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