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Sunday, April 19, 2015

National Poetry Month

(Guest post, from The Cauldron)

National Poetry Month

Timothy Cox

April is National Poetry Month, and for many poets — and a good number of poetry lovers and appreciators — it is a time to reflect on words and their beauty.
There are a number of ways to participate in the celebration.
The students of the poetry workshops offered by the Cleveland State University English Department come together for weekly classes to hone their craft and grow a greater love for the poetic word.
Organizations such as Speak Up!, a monthly poetry slam held at the university hosted by the Black Studies Department, bring together poets of the spoken word to do just that — speak up.
The many diverse voices you may encounter in the hallways of CSU or in the Black Studies Department are the backdrop for the amplification of the university's poets. As poets, we harmonize, and in the celebration of ceremony, turn verse to life and life to verse.
For National Poetry Month, find a poetry reading on campus, and open yourself to a reality you may not otherwise encounter — for the word is life, and all young people seek life in some form or another.
Try a poetry challenge — write a poem for each of the 30 days of April in celebration of the occasion, a feat of no meager means.
Young poets have taken to social media to challenge their fellows to dedicate themselves in celebration of National Poetry Month.
The challenge is to be vigilantly creative and steadfast to honor those poets who have done so throughout their careers — in the virtues of passion and discipline and little else. A daunting task turns into routine when one loves what one does.
Some may be turned away by words. Some may be turned away by language. Some may be turned away by art.
But what is more important is love — for poems and for those who write them. There is warmth in verses of poetry that is not found elsewhere in the realm of the arts.
Be as it may, the task of the poet has been to introduce, inculcate and conclude one's journey through the arts. It is a lifelong journey for some — for others, it may simply be an interesting semester.
This month, read Countee Cullen or Dylan Thomas, Saul Williams or Jack Kerouac. Read poetry.com. But you would be remiss not to read a poem this month.
Find what you enjoy and indulge, for there is much on the other side of the cover of a book of poetry.
And before you make it to the rear side of the book you will have breathed and blinked and grown and understood that there is much more to the written word than meets the eye. Celebrate a poem. Celebrate a poet. Celebrate National Poetry Month.

Timothy Cox

Timothy Cox is a senior English major at CSU.
Originally appeared in The Cauldron, Tuesday, April 14, 2015 
Reprinted with permission of the editors.

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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau