Poem in Your Pocket Day and other Modern Attempts to Commemorate Verse

Today is Poem in your Pocket Day. Conceived of in 2002 in New York City, Poem in your Pocket Day was incorporated into National Poetry Month, which was created in 1996. The fact that these two events, and many others, were planned in an attempt to honor the art of poetry reflects the idea that both a.) poetry is being recognized as something that should be commemorated and b.) the ways in which people are engaging with poetry are modernizing with the times.

In both theory and practice, Poem in your Pocket Day is simple. Participants print out a poem, whether it be a poem of their own, a famous poem, or simply a poem that they enjoy or are affected by, and they carry it around in their pocket as both a reminder of the importance of poetry as well as an opportunity to share poetry with others. To further simplify and popularize Poem in your Pocket Day, Twitter has employed the hashtag #pocketpoem, engaging the entire Twittersphere.

What do these recent activities say about the current state of poetry in society? Do the voices advocating the importance of poetry fall on deaf ears, or is there potential for these voices to cause a resurgence in the interest in and influence of poetry in American culture?

I recently wrote an article for Odyssey Online about how I have observed poetry in its adaptation to modern technology and ideas; I think it fits well not only in light of National Poetry Month, but also with many of the ideas explored by CAAD including how art and technology work together to appeal to the modern viewer. Please give it a read–and remember to print out a poem and share it today (or anytime)!

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