April is here again, and as you may know, that means National Poetry Month. As a poet, I am a little conflicted about this. I love that we get our own month. But maybe it also gives Americans the green light to ignore poetry May through March.
While we may not need poetry the way we need other things, like food, poetry does offer a kind of nourishment. The great American poet William Carlos William writes:
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
We turn to poetry for a different kind of information than we get from news, a deeper mode of knowing, a lyrical wisdom.
This was especially the case after November 8. Poets.Org, the website for the Academy of American Poets, reported more visits to their site in the 48 hours after the election than in the previous four years.