April is Poetry Month

April 8th, 2012 by melissa g

In honor of Poetry Month, we’re highlighting some of our favorite poetry books.  One that we recently reviewed, Forget-Me-Nots by Mary Ann Hoberman, emphasizes the importance, not only of reading poetry, but of memorizing it as well.  Why memorize?  Well, Mary Ann Hoberman, the U.S. Children’s poet laureate from 2008 to 2011, offers several reasons.  She says,

“When you memorize a poem, it is almost as if you have entered the poet’s mind.  As you say the poem over and over, you begin to understand why the poet chose one word and not another.  You notice how certain sounds repeat themselves and knit the lines together.  It’s a little like figuring out a puzzle, and, like a good puzzle, it’s fun!”

Mary Ann Hoberman isn’t the only one who thinks that memorizing poetry is important. According to the giftedguru.com, you should memorize poetry because it’s a brain challenge, it improves vocabulary, and it enhances our ability to use complex English syntax.

I was even reminded recently by my friend, Denise, that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a big fan of poetry.  According to thewomenseye.com, she asked her children, Caroline and John, to give her a poem for her birthday and other holidays, rather than a traditional gift.  They chose a poem, wrote it down and sometimes memorized it. Jacqueline saved all of their poems in a family scrapbook.  She also passed down her love of poetry to her daughter, Caroline, who published She Walks in Beauty, a compilation of poems about the joys and challenges of being a woman.

Denise decided to start the tradition with her own kids, and I think it’s a great idea.  It may not go exactly as planned…they may not choose your favorite poem or memorize it perfectly, but as they give you a present in the form of a poem, you are giving them a gift that will last a lifetime. Any of the books we’ve talked about here can help you get started.  And don’t save your poetry for one month a year, because it is worth reading all year long!


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One Response

  1. Personal Firewall

    Looks like I’m going to need to read up some more, but this is a pretty good place to start.