Yesterday was Poem in Your Pocket Day. Started ten years ago in the mayor’s office of New York City, this fun event has people talking about, reading, and listening to poetry for a wonderful day in April.
I read about it on Twitter on the very morning it had already started, so I didn’t have much time to prepare. I saw that there was a hashtag, #pocketpoem, to follow and share the poem you had in your pocket.
On my way to bus duty I grabbed photocopies of some short kid-friendly poems. The K-3 students gladly found a poem they liked while they waited for their bus. They put them right into their pockets and took them out to read to each other.
Later, with my 7th and 8th graders, I had them find a poem they loved and put it in their pocket too. Some chose ones they had written themselves, and others found theirs in a book and wrote them out by hand or got a photocopy. They read them several times to classmates. It was such a beautiful spring day, so one class went outside and formed two concentric circles. Facing each other, they read to the person across from them, and then rotated after each reading and listening.
The poem in my pocket was written over twenty years ago by Roald Dahl in a letter to my second grade students.
Poem in Your Pocket Day was a fun poetry activity, and I will definitely try to notice earlier next year so I can do more with it.