April Is National Poetry Month

Cris Johnson, National Poetry Month, poetry, rhymes, rhyming devices, mnemonic device

Cris Johnson, National Poetry Month, poetry, rhymes, rhyming devices, mnemonic device

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

National Poetry Month

Do you recognize the rhyme above? It’s the last verse in a book written by one of children’s favorite poets…Dr. Seuss! And speaking of poets…April is National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month is celebrated by tens of millions worldwide, from students and teachers  to librarians and book sellers to literary events curators, publishers, and bloggers. Founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, the aim of National Poetry Month is to:

*Provided by the Academy of American Poets/poets.org.

Poetry is defined as “literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.” Essentially, it is a form of written expression that allows the writer to use language to influence its readers, connect with others, and share experiences. Poems can be long or short, they can rhyme or not, be silly or serious, it all depends on the author!

For those thinking “I’m not a huge fan of poetry,” have you read these famous poems?

  • “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelous. (Read the full poem here.)
  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. (Read the full poem here.)
  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. (Read the full poem here.)
  • “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman. (Read the full poem here.)
  • “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas. (Read the full poem here.)

Granted not all poetry is created equal the same way not all books are created equal, but it has such a wide breadth to it that there is a poem out there for everyone!

In fact, poetry has grown increasingly in popularity over recent years.

“A passion for politics, particularly among teenagers and young millennials, is fueling a dramatic growth in the popularity of poetry, with sales of poetry books hitting an all-time high in 2018” reported The Guardian.

“…reading surged up a remarkable 76 percent, to 28 million people in 2017, with the numbers especially strong among young people. The share of 18-to-24-year-olds who read poetry more than doubled between 2012 and 2017” wrote USA Today.


Yes! I may not offer a school assembly or library show centered around poetry but what makes this form of writing so memorable is the rhyming. Rhyming, a mnemonic device, links words together by sound, also known as acoustic encoding, which enables us to remember better. Rhyming can be especially useful for students learning new material because short rhymes can be used to memorize important names, dates, and places.

Have you ever watched Dead Poet’s Society starring Robin Williams? Here are several clips that capture the true beauty behind language and poetry!

Rhyme Your Way To A Better Memory

My Memory Workshop “Double Your Memory” teaches several different memory systems based on rhymes, mnemonics, patterns, and much more, and can benefit library patrons of all ages, from teens seeking to do better in school to senior citizens looking to strengthen their ability to recall information. The techniques I highlight are presented in a fun, light-hearted, fast-moving program that will have your guests demonstrating their comprehension before the program is even over!

Learn more or contact me today to get my on schedule!