This Sunday marks a really peculiar combination of holidays. As usual, April 1st is April Fools Day–no surprise there. And this year, it is also Palm Sunday in the western Christian church. Those two together make a sort of whimsical pair that you have to pause for a moment and enjoy. But I have to say that my favorite thing that’s coming up on Sunday is the first day of National Poetry Month, and my library’s annual Poetry Scavenger Hunt. Hooray! You can read about it here. I know of at least two libraries that have picked up the concept and started using it too, and that makes me happy.
I know a lot of people associate poetry with being bored and puzzled, as the school experience of poetry tends to be a lot of interpretation and analysis. I associate poetry with joy. And sorrow. And every feeling in between. And getting to the heart of something with the fewest words possible. That’s what motivates me to share poetry with kids and the adults who make their way to the Youth Services Department in a way that lets the poems stand on their own, freed of deconstruction and analysis.
I’m especially excited about this year’s poetry hunt, because the new poems will come from a wonderful 2012 collection called Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn By Heart. It has lots of old favorites but also lots of work by today’s poets, and every page turn brings you a new treasure. I happen to know that it will be getting a starred review from at least one journal. Choosing which ones to put up in the children’s department will be the hard part–there are just so many poems to love (and maybe even learn by heart, as the title suggests).
I’m sure I will enjoy the Palm Sunday service, which starts outside and has a lot of dramatic moments. I don’t have any great April Fools jokes thought up in advance but maybe something will come to me. But I know for sure that on Sunday, I will be bedecking the Youth Services Department with poetry so that wherever you go, you will find a poem to read and savor, and your day will be a little better. Come see for yourself, and if you find 20 of the poems, we will give you a prize!