How to Play With Your Words


It’s National Poetry Month, but don’t tell anyone.

Nothing ruins a happy buzz like the announcement of “poetry.” The poets may cheer but the non-poets — which, face it, is almost everyone — groan.

“I don’t like poetry.”

“I’m not a poet.”

“I don’t get it.”

Stick with me, I say. Poetry is just word play. Let’s have fun. Like sneaking veggies into sweets [as in: carrot cake], I slip poems into the everyday. You don’t even know all the goodness you’ve absorbed.

For National Poetry Month, I’m celebrating in some covert ways:

Share a Poem
Poem In Your Pocket Day is on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Pick a poem (or write your own), carry it with you, and share it with others. I like to mail poems to friends & family, combining my favorite things: poetry and the personal letter. Sometimes I place poems on car windshields, randomly. Or slip them into my water bill. Or tape them to the bathroom mirror at Fred Meyer.

Write About You
Almost every (normal) person will say they can’t write — but of course they can! Because almost everyone likes to tell about themselves, the Six Word Memoir is an excellent gateway to Poetry World (a real place, in mind). It’s fun, easy, and sorta addictive. Once you start, your mind seems to sort everything into six word increments.

Listen to Poems
Like playing a piano or singing a song, cadence and pace make a poem. Poetry shines with the music of language. When you listen, rather than read, the experience can shift you out of critical mind and into a playful, often more powerful, experience. Try it!

Start Now
Writing is free. No license, permit, or permission required. Write a line, read a poem, imagine a story. No rules or regulations, no excuses or explanations. Don’t think you can? Waaay back when, this book got me started (and keeps me going): Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the Writing Within.

Start now.

Make something.