Today is the 9th annual Poem in Your Pocket Day, this year falling right in the middle of National Poetry Month and the day before taxes are due; make of that what you like. Participation is elegantly simple: Pick a poem that means something to you, print or copy it—I’m a big fan of writing it out by hand, the better to get it under your skin—and carry it around in your pocket today. The Academy of American Poets website promises that “Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores.” Once again, NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg has sponsored a Twitter poetry “Poetweet” contest—perhaps the best thing he’s accomplished in this third term of his. Entries can be found under the hashtag #poetweet. Poets.org has a number of poems for you to choose from if you don’t have one in mind already, and they’re two-sided, so you can share one with a poemless friend or trade them like baseball cards.
This year my pick is an old favorite, Eleanor Lerman’s The Mystery of Meteors. I don’t have to see my own life in a poem to love it—there just needs to be some way in—but every so often one comes along that fits so congruently over my heart that it warrants carrying around, either figuratively or literally. This is one such poem; her Starfish is another.
In all the years PIYP Day has been celebrated, I have yet to see anyone else pull a poem out of their pocket to share. But the thought alone is cheering, and if anyone wants to post their own in the Comments section, I won’t complain. Here’s mine, folded and sat on: