Thursday, April 28, 2022

National Poetry Month: Week 4

To wrap up National Poetry Month, Kym, Kat, Sarah, and I are sharing Poems for Your Pocket. Poem in Your Pocket Day is actually tomorrow, but maybe our posts today will inspire you to share some poetry tomorrow. 

I've been struck by how green things are getting in my neighborhood, so I'm going to share a short-ish poem that seems quite fitting for this time of year.

Instructions on Not Giving Up
by Ada Limón

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then, 
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

Limón, Ada. "Instructions on Not Giving Up". Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 15, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
You can find out more about the poet here.

Here are some suggestions about ways to participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day from

It's easy to participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day from a safe distance. Here are some ideas of how you might get involved:

  • Select a poem and share it on social media using the hashtag #PocketPoem. 
  • Print a poem from the Poem in Your Pocket Day PDF and draw an image from the poem in the white space, or use the instructions on pages 57-58 of the PDF to make an origami swan. 
  • Record a video of yourself reading a poem, then share it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or another social media platform you use. 
  • Email a poem to your friends, family, neighbors, or local government leaders.
  • Schedule a video chat and read a poem to your loved ones.
  • Add a poem to your email footer.
  • Read a poem out loud from your porch, window, backyard, or outdoor space.

Be sure to check in with KymKat, and Sarah for more poems for your pocket today, and feel free to make others' days a little bit more poetic tomorrow by sharing a poem at work, the grocery store, the bank, the post office, or around your own dinner table. (And remember that any time is good for poetry, not just Thursdays in April!)


  1. I just love that poem so much, Bonny. It's a perfect poem to share "from your pocket!" (Thanks, especially, for the reminder that "any time is good for poetry!") XO

  2. Thanks to The Slow Down, I have come quite the fan of Ada! Yet I had never read this poem! Thank you for sharing it... and yes, it is going in my pocket today! XO

  3. This is absolutely perfect for this time of year! Because I am boring and pretty much walk the same route every day, I've been passing by the same trees and watching as they little by little start to put out new growth. It's like a little miracle the way that nature never gives up.

  4. Ooooh! Maybe I will record a TikTok of me reading a poem for tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Great poem Bonny! I was just thinking along these lines yesterday as we watched the "snow" come down from our apple tree. The blooms are falling and the leaves are getting larger and larger. Spring really is such a magical time! And filled with HOPE so that one does not give up! Thanks for sharing this one.

  6. While I was away last weekend ALL the trees leafed out - the neighborhood is awash in so many shades of green and I'm all smiles about that. The poem you shared celebrates that beautifully! I've really enjoyed the poetry you've shared here this month. Thank you!

  7. everything is greening up here and it is a glorious sight to behold! Lovely poem :)

  8. Greening up is indeed wondrous. I love the end of the poem that includes, "the mess of us . . . I'll take it" I need a little green in my life today. Thank you.


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