Reading the letters and poems that historical couples have written to one another can be quite revealing. I remember reading some of the smutty letters that the "literary geniuses" that our English teachers assigned us to read later in college and realizing just how human they really were. Did anyone else have that startling realization after idolizing teachers, writers and other "professionals" their whole lives?
In 2019, you might think that no one would be jailed for speaking the words of their heart anymore, but that's the reality that many artists continue to face even to this day. In Somaliland, a poet with dual British citizenship has been detained simply for poems that he's written that are critical about human rights concerns in Somaliland. Police officers accosted him while he was eating lunch after he'd recited a poem and now he's being held.
Never underestimate the kindness of an artist. Some poets like to do random acts of kindness featuring their art, like this 32-year-old poet who sends random poems to people in the mail. Who doesn't love to get snail mail?
Youth who are into slam poetry can get rewarded for their talents and interests. At Power Poetry, youth can submit their poems and earn scholarship money or just share their words with the world. Some of their open slams feature topical events that impact youth in the world today, from racism to human trafficking, while others (that mention a scholarship in their titles) provide opportunity to further youth knowledge and education.
Today is National Black Poetry Day, a time to celebrate Black poets and their work. Could you name 5 Black poets aside from Maya Angelou? Honestly I'm not even sure if I could unless I think hard enough. This Black Poetry Day, why not take the time to explore a new poet's work? Here is a great list of SLAM poets and works to listen to.
Are you taking part in World Poetry Day? Whether you are writing, reading or sharing poetry online, feel free to share what you've got here at Poetry Talk in the chat. If you're using the hashtag #WorldPoetryDay on Twitter, you can see lots of cool poems that people are sharing. I've already watched a couple of cool slam poets and am inspired to do something similar with my class soon!
How many six-year-olds do you know who write poems against forced compulsory military service?
The poet laureate of Vermont, Robert Frost is often cited as a favorite poet among many people, whether they generally like poetry or not. That's because his works speak to the masses and convey a realistic sense of life in rural America. He was famous for taking broad, philosophical topics and portraying them through "plain people" speak, resulting in a beauty and familiarity that most people can connect with somehow.
There is an incredible Lyft driver name Tro'juan Henderson, and he's known for much more than the Lyfts he provides his community. Not only has he given over 800 rides, but he also takes the stories of his passengers and creates cool spoken word poetry from them. His #TalesFromTheLyft on Twitter and Facebook have gone viral, creating a form of art that everyone can partake in.