Poem In Your Pocket Day

So my mom called me this morning just to tell me that it was Poem In Your Pocket Day. Basically, in honor of National Poetry Month, you’re supposed to carry a poem around in your pocket (obvs), sharing it with those you encounter throughout the day.

As one of those word nerd sorts — who used to write absolutely hideous poetry as a child…and…um…a college student — my favorite poem is unsurprisingly related to writing…or at least to the power of words:

“A word is dead

when it is said

some say.

I say it just

begins to live

that day.”

– Emily Dickinson

In these six lines, Dickinson manages to encompass everything that inspires me as a writer: the message I’m trying to convey with my words, the connections I’m hoping to make with my readers, the blind hope that the words I put out there won’t disappear into a black void of nothingness.

I’ve loved this poem since elementary school, and I still thrill in seeing it engraved on the sidewalk leading up to the NY Public Library. In the same way, I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer (even though I also considered alternative careers: ballerina, actress, archaeologist, psychologist). It’s so gratifying to see myself doing today what I always wanted to do.

Did you carry a poem in your pocket today?

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