Happy National Poetry Month!


April is national poetry month! There are lots of ways to have fun with poetry. You can even put a poem in your pocket on April 29 for Poem in Your Pocket Day.

If you need help with picking a portable poem to put in your pocket, the Children’s Department has plenty of poetry. Nikki Grimes even has A Pocketful of Poems ready for you, full of free verse and haiku about a girl named Tiana who plays with the words in her pocket as she looks around Harlem. She will let you “borrow most of them/if you want to.” But be careful with “shower”; “I have to stay inside/until my blue jeans dry.” And watch out for the word “pigeon” – it pecks. Ouch! Or you could have “pumpkin,” which takes the bus to town to get to Thanksgiving dinner. The collage illustrations by Jack Steptoe look as if you could pick up the pieces of picture right off the page and put them in your pocket like Tiana. Or you could read poems about pockets, in A Sock Is a Pocket for Your Toes. Did you know a bathtub is a pocket full of suds?

For some humorous poetry, you could try Animals That Ought to Be, and meet creatures like Roombroom and Talkback Bat. Or you could laugh while Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, and wonder if poor Phantom will ever get “It’s a Small World” out of his head. And, of course, there are Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, Jack Prelutsky, and many many others.

If you want to wear your own poem, check out writing guides like Pizza, Pigs and Poetry or Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme among others.

You can find poems from everywhere about everything at the library – it’s the Land of Words. Do you think you’ll have enough room in your pockets?

About Amy

Children's librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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