Themed Thursday: The 9th Annual Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 14!

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it
by e.e. cummings

Today’s Poetry Week post in honor of National Poetry Month is about Poem In Your Pocket Day (PIYP).

The concept is very simple: select a poem you love and carry it with you on April 14, 2011. The goals of PIYP day are to showcase the talented faculty and student poets in higher education and the K-12 system, and to encourage New Yorkers (and people everywhere) to embrace literacy and poetry. Share the words you love with co-workers, family, friends, and even strangers on the subway!

Poem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated each April in New York City since 2002, and nationwide since 2008. Each year, parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues explode with open readings of poems from pockets. Even the New York City Mayor gets in on the festivities, reading a poem on the radio. For more information on the celebration, visit

Click here to download and print poems to share with others or to browse other poems for your pocket.

Each year, I try and carry a different poem with me, but I might revert to my core favorite: Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. Not the whole poem, of course, because my pockets are small and the poem is enormous! But you get the idea. I like to share words that move me personally yet still are likely to strike a chord with someone else at the same time.

*Are you going to play along and carry a poem in your pocket next Thursday? If so, tell us what poem you’re planning to put in your pocket!*

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5 comments on “Themed Thursday: The 9th Annual Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 14!

  1. Julie @ Read Handed on said:

    I love this! What a great idea.

    Now that I know about this celebration, I will definitely participate. What poem will I carry in my pocket? Hmm. Your E.E. Cummings quote has got me thinking about him, so maybe Poem 94 from 95 Poems: One of my favorites!

  2. This post caught my eye, because I just posted it myself in honor of my hubs’s birthday this past Thursday ^_^ Though I love i carry your heart by ee cummings, I almost prefer “How do I love thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, because of these lines:
    “I love thee to the level of everyday’s
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.”
    A lot of poems express the wonderful heights that you can feel in a relationship, which is great and true, but I LOVE that expression of the “everyday” love–patient, kind, and enduring. I plan on carrying this poem with me next Thursday, and also Robert Frost’s Desert Places. It’s significant to me because it’s a poem that reminds me of where I’ve been in my life and how I’ve progressed since then.

    Desert Places

    Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
    In a field I looked into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

    The woods around it have it–it is theirs.
    All animals are smothered in their lairs.
    I am too absent-spirited to count;
    The loneliness includes me unawares.

    And lonely as it is that loneliness
    Will be more lonely ere it will be less–
    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
    With no expression, nothing to express.

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars–on stars where no human race is.
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places.

  3. Carrie Heyes on said:

    I’m a children’s poet and I wrote this poem for today:

    some jelly beans
    a piece of string
    a penny
    a toy rocket

    a hug
    2 marbles
    and this poem,
    all tucked in my pocket

    A magic poem – just for me!
    so that I always know,
    that I have lots of love with me,
    no matter where I go.

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