National Poetry Month: Poetry Postcards

Something to think about during this time of social isolation — send a poem in a postcard. Easy, quick, and full of love.

Cupertino Poet Laureate

During National Poetry Month, it’s fun to celebrate poetry in small, unexpectedways. The other day, I received this postcard in the mail:

It was delightful to catch this snippet of poetry in my hands, particularly because it was so unexpected and surprising. It made me think that sending a poetry postcard is the perfect way to celebrate creativity and create delight for someone else.

The rules are simple:

  • Write a poem (or part of a poem) on a postcard
  • Be sure to include the title and author (if you’re sending the card anonymously and including something you wrote, you may leave the author off the card – just be sure to credit someone else’s work)
  • Send to friend, acquaintance, small business, etc.

That’s it! Simple and easy, yet powerful.

If you send or receive a postcard, drop me a note in the comments section and…

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Adrienne Rich’s “For The Record”

Today, as a small one-person part of the Poets Against Trump protest in Washington DC, I’m going to stand on the steps of Cupertino City Hall and read this poem.

20th & 21st Century Protest Poetry

Adrienne_Rich,_Trumansburg,_New_York,_October_2001Award-winning poet Adrienne Rich passed away in 2012, but left behind a remarkable collection of poetry (25 books) and essays (7 books). Often political, almost always personal, Rich’s poems pose deep questions about femininity, power, and language. In 1997, Rich was awarded a National Medal of Arts and declined in protest of Newt Gingrich and the House of Representatives vote to end the National Endowment of the Arts (it failed, thankfully) and the Clinton Administration’s anti-art and literature policies at the time (the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was also on the block). Rich stated, “[Art] means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage.”

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Domestic Meditations

I do love to hand wash dishes, if there aren’t too many, and if the teenagers are not yelling. But I have to really do it right: clean hot soapy water in a basin, gloves, plenty of space, someone to dry or at least room to put clean things to air dry.

This is a nice story with a funny photo about how washing dishes can be a mindfulness exercise. I’ve been there. I recommend it.

“First Words” Reading, October 2011

Sorting old photos, I stumbled upon these from October 15, 2011, the date of Dave Denny’s “First Words” Reading.  This was the first public event Dave presented for the city. Several local poet read along with Dave. (Don’t you love his hat?)

Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 David Denny, Cupertino Poet Laureate
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 David Denny, Cupertino Poet Laureate
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 David Denny, Cupertino Poet Laureate
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 David Denny, Cupertino Poet Laureate
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Jennifer Swanton Brown
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Jennifer Swanton Brown
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Laura Oliver
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Laura Oliver
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Ann Muto
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Ann Muto
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Karl Kadie
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Karl Kadie
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Jack Hasling
Poetry Reading, Cupertino Plaza, October 15, 2011 Jack Hasling

This Cupertino Patch notice was written by Ron Miller, the one-time library commissioner whose great idea the whole PL project was!

Here’s a review by an audience member!

In this nice write up by Cupertino Patch, there are more photos of poets. (I’m not sure where the photos came from, but some of them are the same as the ones I found.)

Those tears

What a great poem, written in 2008, still needed today. Will there ever be a day when this poem is old news? For this I pray.

Resist racism

of a white woman who came to the group for Women of Color
only
her grief cut us into guilt while we clutched the straw
of this tiny square inch we have which we need
so desperately when we need so much more
We talked her into leaving
which took 10 minutes of our precious 60
Those legion white Lesbians whose feelings are hurt
because we have a Lesbians of Color Potluck
once a month for 2 hours
without them
Those tears of the straight woman
because we kicked out her boyfriend at the Lesbians only
poetry reading where no microphone was provided
& the room was much too small for all of us
shouting that we were imperialists
though I had spent 8 minutes trying to explain
to her that an oppressed people
cannot oppress their oppressor
She ignored me
charged into the room weeping & storming
taking up…

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