National Poem In Your Pocket Day

National Poem in Your Pocket Day is a holiday that falls during April—which just so happens to be National Poetry Month—to encourage everyone to engage with poetry on some level. This holiday has only been around since 2002 but is already celebrated by many people, not only in New York where it began but all over the U.S. So, if you’re looking to flex your creativity a little bit, or simply want to have an excuse to enjoy some poetry, then you might want to observe this holiday by yourself, or with friends and family.

The History of National Poem in Your Pocket Day

National Poem in Your Pocket Day began in 2002 under the direction of New York’s mayor’s office and in partnership with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as the NYC Department of Education. It was a city-wide program, but that would change six years later, in 2008, when the holiday was turned into a national event by the Academy of American Poets. Since 2008, it has spread across the U.S and is enjoyed by poetry lovers everywhere.

Random Facts About Poetry

We wanted to include some random facts that we’ve recently learned about poetry, so we thought this section would be the best way to do it. The following pieces of information are what we’ve uncovered over the course of our research for National Poem in Your Pocket Day. We hope that the following tidbits of information are as interesting to everyone who reads this as they were to us.

The Oldest Poem in the World Is Over 4,000 Years Old!

The oldest poem in the world is The Epic of Gilgamesh. This poem, or set of poems to be more accurate, was created by the Sumerians in 2100 B.C. However, a complete version of it wouldn’t become available until the Babylonians assembled them in 1200 B.C. Beowulf is another poem that’s very old. Beowulf is very similar to The Epic of Gilgamesh, although they appeared in two different places at two different times—The Epic of Gilgamesh in Mesopotamia, and Beowulf in Denmark.

Haiku Is a Traditional Form of Japanese Poetry

Haiku was invented by the Japanese during the 17th century, although its oral form can be traced back to the 13th century. Haiku is a style of poetry that uses a very tight structure of only 17 syllables in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables each.

Observing National Poem in Your Pocket Day

Now that this holiday has become a national one, just about anyone can take the time out of their day to celebrate it. One of the best ways to observe this holiday is by putting a poem in your pocket or memorizing one to share with friends and loved ones later. You can also take the time to share National Poem in Your Pocket Day with everyone by posting a poem on your social media accounts and using the hashtag #NationalPoemInYourPocketDay, or if you’re local to New York, #PoemInYourPocketDay. Let’s share some poetry on this day for everyone to enjoy.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 25 Thursday
Next year (2025)
April 24 Thursday
Last year (2023)
April 27 Thursday
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