Celebrating National Poetry Month
April 2021, Canada celebrates the 23rd National Poetry Month.
Launched twenty-five years ago in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month has been invaluable in igniting an awareness and appreciation of poetry. In Canada, we joined the party in 1998 and are commemorating our 23rd National Poetry Month
This year, the theme rests on the word resilience, which has come to symbolize the spirit of the past year.
“What does it mean to be resilient? We meet resilience in every corner we’ve been backed into, every hardship that we endure. Resilience is geographical, spiritual, historical. It’s the fight against climate change, the inner battle with mental health, the outcry for human rights and an end to systemic racism. Resilience is the backbone of generations of trauma, the silence at the dinner table, the bow to culture’s violin. Resilience is the courage to start each day anew. This NPM 2021, we celebrate, reflect on and respect the resilience that has made us who we are.” The League of Canadian Poets
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, the strength that builds as we move through our timeline. Resilience demands our full concentration for we are asked to endure for a time, while anticipating a fresh day that carries renewed vigor.
Today, I happened to find my Father’s copy of “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau. Flipping through the pages I came to the passage on page 286 which says, “However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are the richest…Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor house…Things do not change, we change.”
Poetry allows us to overcome the poverty of the soul.
As we celebrate National Poetry Day, may we embrace the fullness of life, the joy of community, the hope that builds within a resilient heart.
Trees Need Not Walk the Earth
Trees need not walk the earth For beauty or for bread; Beauty will come to them Where they stand. Here among the children of the sap Is no pride of ancestry: A birch may wear no less the morning Than an oak. Here are no heirlooms Save those of loveliness, In which each tree Is kingly in its heritage of grace. Here is but beauty’s wisdom In which all trees are wise. Trees need not walk the earth For beauty or for bread; Beauty will come to them In the rainbow— The sunlight— And the lilac-haunted rain; And bread will come to them As beauty came: In the rainbow— In the sunlight— In the rain.