Is That A Poem In Your Pocket?

Joey Cutts, Staff Writer

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I get it. The end of the year is getting nearer and everyone is itching to get out of school and into summer. AP and IB exams are getting closer and testing the limits of your caffeine tolerance. Perhaps, like me, you are considering the merits of dropping out of high school and living a minimalist life in the mountains with some friendly squirrels. You aren’t alone. I believe everyone at Minnetonka has a burning desire buried deep within themselves that can only be satisfied by one thing. It worked for Shakespeare, Frost, Dickinson, and Whitman. It’s not drugs! That’s right: Poetry.

April is National Poetry Month. Not known for their marketing prowess, the Academy of American Poets in 1996 introduced the celebration to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. There are innumerous ways to celebrate this particular month such as writing, reading, or even complaining about poetry. You can even take a few moments to talk to your English teacher about poetry, possibly earning you some extra points or even a migraine.

Perhaps most notably, this month provides the platform for National Poem in Your Pocket Day. This year Minnetonka will be celebrating on April 28th. Frequently compared to Project X, Poem in Your Pocket Day is a unique tradition here at Minnetonka. Every year, the Writing Center sponsors a school-wide contest. In order to participate, students can recite a poem in front of their classmates and teacher. At the end of the day, the teacher will then write down the names of any participants, adding them to the list of contestants. Of this list, several will be randomly selected as winners. Local businesses such as the General Store, Licks Unlimited, Adele’s, Dunn Bros, and Excelsior Bay Books are all sponsors of the contest and generously donate prizes to the winners.

 

While you are certainly encouraged to pick any poem you think worthy of sharing, the Writing Center coaches and staff members distribute poems in traditional poetic attire (aprons). They also feature poems on their windows, spanning all kinds of different subjects, open for anyone who is interested.
As mentioned previously, Poem in Your Pocket Day has a rich history at our high school. As you can possibly imagine, poetry puts a strange fervor in the air that can only be satisfied with rhyming couplets, Shakespearean sonnets, and dramatic depictions of flowers. Some historically notable events include a former hall monitor writing and reciting poems about working with students in the halls. Another year, an ad campaign ran on the morning announcements called, “If Dave Can Do It, So Can You”. It featured any and all staff members named Dave reading poetry. Football coach Dave Nelson read poetry on the football field. Math teacher, Dave Thomas, burst into English teacher, Judy Thomas’s, room to recite poetry. And of course, students have used Poem in Your Pocket Day for the perfect promposal. There’s something for everyone and even if you are not a poetry enthusiast named Dave, you can still join the fun.

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