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Say hello to your inner bard during National Poetry Month

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graphic made of various words about poetry

The celebration for National Poetry Month each April began in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets.

Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

Perhaps National Poetry Month and the following activities will inspire you to keep celebrating poetry all year long!

If you have the time, see if you can Match the Poet to the Poem in this challenging quiz from Christian Science Monitor.

You can also celebrate on April 27 -- Poem in Your Pocket Day -- by selecting a poem, carrying it with you, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. 

Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the mayor of New York City, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard.

Poetry is best when shared, and Poem in Your Pocket Day is the perfect time to surprise someone with the gift of poetry.

Discover 30 more ways to celebrate National Poetry Month.

And enjoy this poem by Rensselaer resident Karen Lolkema (reprinted with permission).

Rensselaer

There are no dear faces,
and places far or near
like the ones we have
in Jasper County’s Rensselaer.

There is no Iroquois River,
or courthouse, like the Rensselaer one
where justice is everyday
handed down and done.

There is no other college
like Rensselaer’s St. Joe.
nowhere else any where
that you can find to go.

There is no other high school
with our Rensselaer champs,
and the proud Moms and Dads,
and the Grandmas and Gramps.

Soybean fields you can spy,
and our corn grows,
way past knee high
by the time of, the fourth of July.

The cattle and hogs
outnumber the people,
and it won’t take you long
to spot a church steeple.

This may not be my birth place
from where it was I roamed,
but Rensselaer is the place
that my heart calls home.