April is National Poetry Month, Lets Celebrate!

National Poetry Month - The Amazing Office Journals

April is National Poetry Month (NaPoWriMo). Poetry Writing Month is a great time to explore the world of poems, poetry writing, and poetry's history.


What Is National Poetry Month?

National Poetry Month or #NaPoWriMo was created in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, and it occurs every April. According to the Academy of American Poets National Poetry Month:

... is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry's important place in our culture and our lives every April.


History Of Poetry

While poetry writing dates back to prehistoric times, the very earliest poetry was spoken or sung. The earliest written poetry dates back to around the 25th century B.C. in Africa. During this time, poets were part of theatrical performances, and these first poems were frequently epic stories that recorded historical events.
Around 600 - 500 B.C., the Greeks developed the lyrical poem, which is the foundation for modern poetry. Lyrical poetry is known for expresses personal emotions or feelings and is usually spoken in the first person.

What Is A Poem


There are three general types of the modern poetry genre :

    • Narrative - tells an epic story,
    • Dramatic - poetry that creates tension, conflict, character, and drama,
    • Lyrical - is an expression of feelings and is frequently accompanied by music.

There are also some additional types or sub-types such as:

    • The ode,
    • The sonnet,
    • The balled,
    • The limerick,
    • and many more.

Modern poems don't necessarily follow a single structure, and there are many ways to write it, such as:

    • With specific metering such as the Haiku or the Iambic pentameter,
    • With praise such as the ode, 
    • With structured rhymes like the sonnet, which has a 14 line rhyme scheme of ABABCDCDEFEFGG.

There are many more poetry structures, but these are the most common ways to write modern poetry.


Some Classic Poetry Examples

Here are some examples of some classic poems.

"No Man Is An Island"

by John Donne


No man is an island,

Entire of itself,

Every man is a piece of the continent,

A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thy friend's

Or of thine own were:

Any man's death diminishes me,

Because I am involved in mankind,

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

It tolls for thee.


"Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening"

by Robert Frost



Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.


He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.



by Langston Hughes



Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.


"If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking"

by Emily Dickinson



If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain;

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.


Six Ways To Celebrate


Here are six ways you can celebrate this great month.


  1. Read a poem each day throughout the month.
  2. Memorize a favorite poem.
  3. Write a poem each day throughout the month.
  4. Sign up for a poetry class or workshop.
  5. Investigate poetry events on your area.
  6. Read poetry from your state poet laureate.

Now It's Your Turn

In the spirit of National Poetry Month (#NaPoWriMo), grab your journal (see our journals at our store The Amazing Office) and write a poem a day in April. This activity is a fun exercise, and your appreciation for poetry will grow as you write.


See our related post Haiku Poems, History and Examples

This Weeks Quote

I was reading the dictionary.

I thought it was a poem about everything.

- Steven Wright

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