National Poetry Month: Unrecognized but Unconsciously Celebrated

Amanda Piccolino, Staff Writer

April is National Poetry Month, but not many students, not even poets, are aware.

National Poetry Month, along with National Soft Pretzel Month, National Garden Month, and National Straw Hat Month (all celebrated in April) are politicians’ cheesy advertising efforts that scarcely receive much attention. At least for National Poetry Month, we are reminded of the work that poetry-lovers praise every day of any given month.

“I didn’t know April is National Poetry Month. I don’t think I will do anything to honor it as I think poetry is so expressive that to force it would be counterproductive,” WestportREADS poetry contestant Rusty Schindler ’13 said.

According to Schindler, who describes language as his paintbrush, poetry is too personal and expressive to be forced to honor something theoretical like National Poetry Month.

“I love poetry because it is the truest expression of the soul. It is an art form, and those who have a passion for it feel as though it flows out of them rather than writing it,” Schindler said.

Poet Tori Ebel ’15 was also unaware of April being National Poetry Month but states that because she knows now, she will put more effort into English to “simply honor writing.” Her extra efforts aside, Ebel, like Schindler, will continue to write poetry only when it comes naturally to her.

“I usually write poetry when I’ve experienced something dramatic that really made an emotion surface in me,” Ebel said. “If I’ve had an awful day or I’ve been in a fight with someone, it could lead to writing poetry.”

Sammy Key ’12 did not even know National Poetry Month existed but says that as she is always reading and writing poetry anyway, she is already celebrating it.  Key is sure that on multiple occasions, her English and math teachers alike have found poems written in the margins of tests and homework sheets.

“I know my mom will periodically come into my room holding a gnarly scrap of notebook paper that’s just been through the wash in one of my back pockets, and behold! It’s got a poem on it.”

Melanie Mignucci ’12 has a similar syndrome; she claims that you can find her poems on her hands, scraps of paper, her journals, and in rich text files on her laptop. She claims to frequently think about her favorite poems: Sylvia Plath’s “Mad Girl’s Love Song,” and Jeffery McDaniel’s “The Quiet World.”

“I love poetry because it’s a way we can distill the human experience into a series of lines or syllables or even letters and punctuation marks,” Mignucci said. “I don’t even know how much of it you’d call poetry as much as lines that I thought sounded cool that I thought I’d use but never did. But isn’t that sort of poetic of itself? These invisible lines sitting around, waiting for the day they’ll be read?”

Even though Mignucci is another Staples poet unaware of National Poetry Month, it doesn’t matter because she, like the others, celebrates poetry every day regardless of the month.

 

AN EXCERPT FROM RUSTY SCHINDLER’S POEM “WINGS TO THE MIND”

 

An Excerpt from Rusty Schindler’s “Wings to the Mind”

clouds not obstacles but metaphors

no end in sight, no ground below

once the wheels begin to turn

air force imagine can take off

runway unfolding like a blank page

opportunity taking hold as the mind’s motor is engaged

sky a limitless expanse of possibility

soaring beyond the sun

glancing at mountains’ peaks from an eagle’s eye

poetry provides wings to the mind.