Abigail Yarrison, Editor-in-Chief

Some say poetry is a dying art, but on April 29th each year we celebrate “Poem in Your Pocket Day!” This little-known national day celebration began in 2002 in New York, encouraging people to write, read, and share poetry. In my high school, we celebrated each year by giving out short poems to all the students. Throughout the day you would look for the person with the same poem as you. Anyone who found their match would win a prize!

With the approach of “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” I would like to share five interesting poetry facts and my favorite poem.

  1. The first poetry is thought to be sung orally as a way to remember history or laws. In Africa there was even hunting poetry! Some of the earliest poems come from the Pyramid Texts (2400 B.C.E.). These religious texts were found scratched into the walls and sides of sarcophagi in ancient Egyptian pyramids.
  2.  The longest poem in the world is titled Mahabharata, written in Sanskrit from India. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War. The historical authenticity of this war remains up to scholarly debate, however, the poem describing it contains a whopping 200,000 individual lines and about 1.8 million words. This is roughly ten times the Iliad and Odyssey combined.
  3. Metrophobia is the fear of poetry. On the flip side, metromania is the compulsion to write poetry.
  4. The epitaph on poet, Emily Dickinson’s gravestone says “called back.” Quite ominous if you ask me.
  5. The word “Rhapsodomancy” means divining the future by picking a passage of poetry at random.

Source: BlogSpot

And now, my favorite poem: “The Bagel” by David Ignatow:

I stopped to pick up the bagel

rolling away in the wind,

annoyed with myself

for having dropped it

as if it were a portent.

Faster and faster it rolled,

with me running after it

bent low, gritting my teeth,

and I found myself doubled over

and rolling down the street

head over heels, one complete somersault

after another like a bagel

and strangely happy with myself.