Keep a poem in your pocket
and a picture in your head
and you'll never feel lonely
at night when you're in bed.
Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
Every April, during events linked to National Poetry Month, New York City celebrates an annual Poem In Your Pocket Day. New Yorkers are encouraged to carry a poem in their pockets to share with family, friends, coworkers and classmates throughout the day.
Why not carry a poem in your pocket every day, no matter where you live? Who knows when it might come in handy. Use a poem presented here, or carry a favorite one of your own.
This page will offer a new "Pocket Poem" monthly at every full moon, and two poems during any month there is a second full ("blue") moon.
Once I wore a dress liquid as vodka.
My lover watched me ascend
from the subway
like I was an underground spring
I want to stop wanting to be wanted like that.
I’m tired of the song the rain sings in June,
the chorus of hope, the ravenous green,
the earth, her ornate crown of trees
spiking up from her loamy head.
There are things I wanted, like everyone.
But to this angel of wishes I’ve worshipped
so long, I ask now to admit
the world as it is.
—by Ellen Bass (from Like A Beggar, Copper Canyon Press)
Poet and teacher Ellen Bass grew up in New Jersey. She earned an MA in creative writing from Boston University, where she studied with Anne Sexton. Bass’s style is direct; she has noted, “I work to speak in a voice that is meaningful communication. Poetry is the most intimate of all writing. I want to speak from me to myself and then from me to you.” She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University and lives in Santa Cruz, California.