The idea is simple. On April 26, 2012, National Poem in Your Pocket Day, carry a poem in your pocket and share it with co-workers, family, and friends. On Poem in Your Pocket Day, celebrated each year during National Poetry Month, poems from pockets will be unfolded at events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores in all 50 states throughout the country. Choose your own pocket poem from Poets.org‘s selection of new printable PDFs—including classic poems from the Academy’s Poem in Your Pocket anthologies.
Poetry is best when shared, and Poem in Your Pocket Day is the perfect time to surprise someone with the gift of Poetry. Each year on national Poem in Your Pocket Day, the town of Charlottesville, Virginia, unites in a day—long celebration of poetry—spear-headed by Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. View this featured video that chronicles the more than 7,000 scrolls of poetry that are distributed throughout the city. For more details about their event and simple ways to celebrate, visit the Poem in Your Pocket Resources page. For Poem in Your Pocket Day events and other National Poetry Month events in your area, visit National Poetry Map.
What poem would you carry in your pocket? Here’s my choice:
On The Beach At Night
by: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
- N the beach at night,
- Stands a child with her father,
- Watching the east, the autumn sky.
- Up through the darkness,
- While ravening clouds, the burial clouds, in black masses spreading,
- Lower sullen and fast athwart and down the sky,
- Amid a transparent clear belt of ether yet left in the east,
- Ascends large and calm the lord-star Jupiter,
- And nigh at hand, only a very little above,
- Swim the delicate sisters the Pleiades.
- From the beach the child holding the hand of her father,
- Those burial-clouds that lower victorious soon to devour all,
- Watching, silently weeps.
- Weep not, child,
Weep not, my darling,
- With these kisses let me remove your tears,
- The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
- They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
- Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
- They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
- The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
- The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.
- Then dearest child mournest thou only for Jupiter?
- Considerest thou alone the burial of the stars?
- Something there is,
- (With my lips soothing thee, adding I whisper,
- I give thee the first suggestion, the problem and indirection,)
- Something there is more immortal even than the stars,
- (Many the burials, many the days and nights, passing away,)
- Something that shall endure longer even than lustrous Jupiter
- Longer than sun or any revolving satellite,
- Or the radiant sisters the Pleiades.