Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Calling All Fools

“It is difficult to get the news from poems,
yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
~ William Carlos Williams

Yes, you can actually DIE (miserably!) from poetry deficiency. Take it from William Carlos Williams who was not only a brilliant poet, but a brilliant physician, as well.

That’s right, good old Dr. Williams prescribed poetry.

And although it's been over 50 years since he died (blissfully!) at the age of 79, the world hasn't heeded his poetic call to action.

Case in point  most of us were required to learn the techniques of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in high school health class, but do you recall a unit on life-saving poetic procedures?

Neither do I.

And while defibrillators have become standard equipment in sports facilities, shopping centers, entertainment venues, office buildings, transit centers, and schools, I have yet to see a clearly marked box of emergency poems in any of these locations.

Imagine how many lives go unsaved.

Well, my friends, that is about to change.

Welcome to the new CPR  Cardio-Poetic Recitation.

This revolutionary method requires one poem, an audible speaking voice, and clear articulation with heart-felt enthusiasm...

Apply liberally to any miserable person as often as necessary.

It is up to us to put the new CPR into action, and there's no better time than April, National Poetry Month

So, please carry a poem with you at all times 

the lives of miserable people everywhere are in your hands.

Bonus: In honor of the National Poetry Month / April Fools’ Day combo, I dug up this little ditty foolishly attributed to both Alexander Pope and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. While we don’t know exactly who gets the credit, we do know that it is the best-ever response to a critic. So, if anyone gives you trouble this month, be sure to have it on hand...

Sir, I admit to your general rule
that every poet is a fool.
But you yourself may serve to show it
that every fool is not a poet.

PROMPT: Be a poetic April fool and embrace National Poetry Month! Challenge yourself to write a poem each day. I do, and I find that it's a great way to super-charge the creative process. Whether you jot just three lines or twenty, the practice is certain to open your heart and mind. What’s more, it practically guarantees that you won’t die miserably! 

Also, be sure to get your new CPR certification by carrying a poem with you at all times  and with today’s technology, it couldn't be easier. Go to Poets.org to get the poem-a-day app or email subscription. So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow… and YOU.

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