It’s hard to believe that National Poetry Month is more than halfway over. It seems like only yesterday President Obama was kicking the month off by pardoning a performance artist. It’s a purely symbolic gesture, of course, but it sure beat’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “symbolic gesture” of ritually sacrificing a sonneteer, which is taking his Tough on Rhyme agenda a little too far, if you ask me.
April is full of so much poetic hoopla – the celebrity poet reality shows, the parades, the bus drivers speaking in couplets. (“Plexington Street is our very next stop. Please watch your step; to the curb you must hop.”) But soon it will be May and we’ll all be caught up in the excitement of National Guide Dog Month and poetry will be forgotten once again.
If only there were a way to incorporate poetry into the other awareness months throughout the year.
Unfortunately, it’s too late this year to celebrate February’s National Pet Dental Health Month with a dose of doggerel, but come May surely we could put the “tick” in “poetic” for National Lyme Disease Month.
May is also National Bike Month in the United States. Among the months randomly assigned to recreational pastimes in the shameless pursuit of attention, National Bike Month simply calls out for epic poetic treatment – perhaps even a song cycle. Or maybe just some free verse:
Magnificent in dappled sun
Pedals spinning, you run, you run
As I yell from behind my steering wheel,
“Get off the road, jackass!”
Likewise in June, how might one describe the perfect symbiosis between poetry and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month? In a word: fabulous!
“Is that lady there a he?”
“Is ‘queer’ the same as ‘gay’?”
“How does it ‘work’ exactly?”
“Does ‘transgender’ mean ‘halfway’?”
“Who’d ask whom to the prom?”
“Are they really born that way?”
It’s the last time I bring my Mom
To the city Gay Pride Parade.
July, of course, is both National Hot Dog Month and National Taco Month, which could lead to rhymes like “Mustard, salsa, onions, relish / this is why your breath’s so smellish.” So maybe no poetry in July, okay?
But come August, everyone could let it all hang out for World Breastfeeding Week, add a little alliteration to the lactation, some meter with the milk. When else would hearing “Your poem sucks” be considered a compliment? To wit:
March on, all you mothers,
March on, march on.
On the left and the right,
Latch on, nursing infants,
Latch on, latch on.
On the left and the right
Quit staring, creepy dude
Walk on, walk on
We’re calling the cops
The month of “Movember” already raises awareness about prostate cancer, men’s mental health issues and how to look like a seventies porn star. But why not take advantage of the month to point out to men that they can talk about pentameter and still wear the pants in the family? Poetry is butch! What, never heard of Gerard Manley Hopkins? Or what about this:
Look at my mustachio
It smells like green pistachio
You think it looks too flashy, oh?
Come ’ere, I’ll kick your ashio!
Alas (and forsooth), rules are rules and poetry appreciation must be confined to April. So enjoy the lyric life while you can, because, come September, you won’t be seeing anyone rhyming “fizzy grapey-cherry” and “busy apiary” during National Honey Month.