April 16, 2013

Preparing for Poem In Your Pocket Day

I loved the idea: put a poem in your pocket and share it all day long on April 18. Share it in the classroom, in the hallway, in libraries, bookstores and offices. Just pull out the poem you have in your pocket, hopefully one of you favorites, and read it out loud.

Today I showed my children how to fold an origami "pocket" and told them they could decorate it however they wanted. I love opening doors to them, inviting them to "color outside the lines" as no teacher ever told me. But, I digress...

When they saw the pocket I made, they suggested I add color:

But, the pocket is not the important part of this project. The important part is to decide what poem one ought to choose. I considered using a kid friendly poem by Jack Prelutsky. My son and I used to love Captain Conniption and As Soon as Fred Gets Out of Bed.

Yet I felt that I wanted something a little different for grown ups. Something for us book lovers. Which is why I stuck in this little poem by Edgar Guest:

What poem would you choose? If you were going to participate in national Poem in Your Pocket Day? I'll let you know what the children have chosen in a few days.


  1. I don't love poetry .. never have. BUT my mother always recited the Robert Frost poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Beautiful. That is the poem I would have.


  2. I love the poem you picked! I'd never heard of poem in your pocket day until this morning when I received an email about it. Sounds like such a fun idea. I think its wonderful that you teach your kids things that are outside of coloring lines :) If I were to do this, I'd pick a poem by Sandra Cisneros or e.e. cummings.

  3. I didn't know about Poem in Your Pocket Day. What a cool day! I could see it being a lot of fun for kids (and us adults too)!

  4. I bet the kids are having a great time with this!

  5. What a lovely poem, thank you Bellezza!

  6. Lovely "pocket", with the perfect poem tucked inside! I think I'd also choose a book-related poem, keeping children in mind, something fun and light by Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein.

  7. This is such a great idea (particularly when you make it look so good!) I also love the poem you've chosen. I'd probably choose something short and sweet: the only thing that comes to mind is Wordsworth's "My heart leaps up", although I'm sure a much better choice will come to me later in the day!

  8. how cute ,all the best stu

  9. I ended up picking out my poem at the last minute so I'm carrying around Lucille Clifton's Blessing the Boats". I can't wait to hear what the kids decided.

    1. Vasilly, I did not know the poem of which you speak, so I looked it up and it moved me to tears! That is absolutely beautiful, and now you have shown me a poem and a poet that broaden my life. Thank you so much for this introduction!

      As to Poem In Your Pocket Day, we could no properly celebrate it today because of the immense flooding in my part of Illinois. School was cancelled!

      I'm taking the liberty of leaving the poem you showed me here, so that others may read and be blessed by it:

      blessing the boats

      by Lucille Clifton
      (at St. Mary's)

      may the tide
      that is entering even now
      the lip of our understanding
      carry you out
      beyond the face of fear
      may you kiss
      the wind then turn from it
      certain that it will
      love your back may you
      open your eyes to water
      water waving forever
      and may you in your innocence
      sail through this to that
      - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16489#sthash.zAd53oeA.dpuf

  10. One of my favorites is Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.

    A link has an interactive animated illustrations of the poem:

    on the website click start then the number of the stanza starting from 1.
    Something different.

  11. I'm so impressed by the photos you've taken here. They're exquisite. As for poems, I still haven't decided, but will continue to search for one... ;)

  12. What a lovely post! Once again, I applaud you as a teacher! The creativity you share with your students is remarkable, Meredith. I'm sorry you weren't able to celebrate the event due to the flooding, but I hope you can have a make-up day, so they can see your beautiful "pocket" and hear the poem you selected.

    Thanks for posting Vasilly's poem. I've never heard of it until now and it's one I will print out and pin to my bulletin board here in my office. I think my husband will enjoy it, as well.

    Here's one of my most favorite poems:

    The year's at the Spring
    And day's at the morn;
    Morning's at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn;
    God's in his Heaven--
    All's right with the world!
    ~Robert Browning