Metrophobia is the fear of poetry. Many people believe poetry is only for extraordinarily gifted writers, for special occasions, for the intellectuals. But poetry is about life, about our daily existence – how we love, die, grieve, celebrate, and find meaning.

Just look around you – you are surrounded by poetry everywhere you look. We just don’t often realize how much poetry is a part of our lives already:

Song lyrics

Inaugurations – Three poets have read at Presidential inaugurations: Robert  Frost, Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander)

Poetry slams and readings

Movies – Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “One Art” in the movie In Her Shoes)



Bible – Psalms and more

Artwork/posters – Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” (Google it!)

Plays – T.S. Elliot’s collection of poems Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats,  was made into the Broadway sensation Cats)

Movies – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the  Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

Learning activities --

Nursery rhymes to teach lessons to children

Motivational poems

Language poems

Poems that ask us to ponder new ideas

You can even find poetry on subways (From MTA Poetry in Motion – NY Transit):

Writing poetry enriches us, changes us, complements, and completes us.

I want you to pull out a sheet of paper and write down your answer to the following questions:

Why do you write poetry?   My answer – and it’s different for each of us – is that it brings me to new understandings, lets me play with language in new and exciting ways, sharpens my prose writing, and helps me think differently.

What is yours? If you don’t know, or if you have stayed clear of poetry, take the plunge. This is the month to explore poetry in all of its myriad forms. It’s National Poetry Month.

Grab a pen and paper, open your laptop. Start right now. Here’s a prompt to get you started:

Take a T.S. Elliot approach to writing about something usually considered wonderful. In The Waste Land, instead of lauding Spring, he writes:

April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire. . .

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers

Don’t be scared of it – grab hold and make it your own, make it apply to your daily life. This month, I’ll be trying to convince you that poetry is for anyone and everyone. For more tips, advice, and inspiration on writing – and this month on poetry in particular – visit My Blog. I’m posting something about poetry every day this month.