Celebrate Poetry

Finally, it’s April and the beginning of National Poetry Month. Hurrah!

Usually, I sit on the sidelines and watch and read all those who dedicate themselves daily to poetry during this month. But, this year is different.

Perhaps because I am going to embark on this journey with students.
Perhaps because I have gotten more comfortable with it.
Perhaps because, most days, I partake in poetry.

So today is a day to honor and celebrate April and National Poetry Month.

I celebrate the plans I’ve made for my students and me.
Read a poem a day.
A blank book to document our journey.
Time to read, notice, sketch, write.
Choose to memorize a poem. Perform it for ourselves.

Today. Sunday. Time to read many poems.
Today,  This poem.


I will offer my students on day one. We will plant shriveled seeds.
It’s perfect.
“These shriveled seeds we plant…type and retype”

again and again.



by Naomi Shihab Nye

These shriveled seeds we plant,
corn kernel, dried bean,
poke into loosened soil,
cover over with measured fingertips

These T-shirts we fold into
perfect white squares

These tortillas we slice and fry to crisp strips
this rich egg scrambled in a gray clay bowl

.This bed whose covers I straighten
smoothing edges till blue quilt fits brown blanket
and nothing hangs out

This envelope I address
so the name balances like a cloud
in the center of the sky

This page I type and retype
This table I dust till the scarred wood shines
This bundle of clothes I wash and hang and wash again
like flags we share, a country so close
no one needs to name it

The days are nouns: touch them
The hands are churches that worship the world

4 thoughts on “Celebrate Poetry

  1. I was just reading this poem last night, and lost myself in those last two lines. So happy that April will bring poetry to Mrs. Harmatz’s class – they are ready!

  2. Where did you find this poem? I don’t know it and I love it. “The hands are churches.” wow! I want to hear more about poetry in your class. I plan to use Amy VW’s daily prompts from her book. I love April and I’m glad we can celebrate the month together.

  3. I’m looking forward to every bit you share. That poem has so much to love and perhaps even be a mentor for lines to write. This is a journey of words I will savor.

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