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Get Ready To Celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day

Apr 25, 2012
Originally published on April 25, 2012 10:12 am

National Poetry Month may be coming to an end, but poetry lovers still have one big day to look forward to this April. This Thursday is Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is to tuck a favorite poem into your back pocket to share with family, friends and co-workers. Poetry lovers across the country have come up with clever ways to celebrate.

At Baggby's Gourmet Sandwiches in Charlottesville, Virginia, customers will find something different in their bag lunches. Owner Jon LaPanta explains.

"Usually they get a chocolate chip cookie with their sandwich," says LaPanta. "But on Thursday they'll get a poem. And usually they don't know about it, and they're like, 'What the heck is this?' They open it up, and it's always the same expression. They read, they look at it again, and then they'll smile and look back at us and thank us."

Teachers like Brenda Krupp in Pennsylvania will use Poem In Your Pocket Day to entice students into the world of verse.

"Third graders do not have pockets that are easily accessible," Krupp says. "So they actually sewed simple pockets that they will then wear on their t-shirts. And they're just going to be stuffed with poems they've written themselves, as well as some shorter poems that they just love."

Dustin Johnson, a freshman English teacher at Choctaw High School in Oklahoma, asked each of his 90 students to bring a poem to class on Thursday, one that has special meaning to them.

"We're going to go to our school's courtyard and use sidewalk chalk to write those poems on the concrete areas so that students from all over campus can come around and take a look at them."

Look here for ideas on how to celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As National Poetry Month comes to an end, poetry lovers do have one more big moment this April: tomorrow's Poem in Your Pocket day. The idea is to celebrate by tucking a favorite poem into your back pocket to share with family, friends and co-workers.

At Baggby's Gourmet Sandwiches in Charlottesville, Virginia, customers will find something different in their bag lunches. Owner John LaPanta explains.

JOHN LAPANTA: Usually they get just a chocolate chip cookie with their sandwich, but, you know, on Thursday they'll get a poem, and usually they don't know about it and they're like what the heck is this. They open it up and it's always the same expression. They read, they look at it again, and then they smile and look back at us and thank us.

MONTAGNE: In New York, Bhikshuni Weisbrot works at the U.N. She'll be at the subway tomorrow, passing out poems by the late Sri Chinmoy, an Indian-born writer and peace activist.

BHIKSHUNI WEISBROT: I can give you an example of one: Just one smile immensely increases the beauty of the universe.

MONTAGNE: Teachers, like Brenda Krupp in Pennsylvania, will use Poem In Your Pocket day to entice students into the world of verse.

BRENDA KRUPP: Third graders do not have pockets that are easily accessible so they actually sewed simple pockets that they will then wear on their T-shirts, and they're just going to be stuffed with poems they've written themselves, as well as some shorter poems that they just love.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: My name is Dustin Johnson. I am a freshman English teacher at Choctaw High School in Oklahoma.

MONTAGNE: Johnson has asked each of his 90 students to bring a poem to class - a poem with special meaning to them.

JOHNSON: We're going to go to our school's courtyard and use sidewalk chalk to write those poems on the concrete areas so that students from all over campus can come around and take a look at them.

MONTAGNE: Colleen Schafroth is director of the Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington State. She will have this Dorothy Parker verse on hand.

COLLEEN SCHAFROTH: It's called "Comment." Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, a medley of extemporanea, and love is a thing that can never go wrong, and I am Marie of Romania.

MONTAGNE: Just a taste of tomorrow's Poem In Your Pocket day.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.