April is. . . National Poetry Month

I love the month of April. Not because of spring, (a season that I don’t care for), but because April signals so many different changes: spring break, Easter, my blogiversary, and the start of National Poetry Month. I love poetry and by celebrating N.P.M. is a great way to share some of my favorite poets and their works. It’s also a great excuse to read more poetry than I usually do. Do you read poetry? If so, are you going to celebrate National Poetry Month?


Can’t Tell

Nellie Wong

When World War II was declared

on the morning radio,

we glued our ears, widened our eyes.

our bodies shivered.


A voice said

Japan was the enemy,

Pearl Harbor a shambles

and in our grocery store

in Berkeley, we were suspended


Next to the meat marker

where voices hummed,

valises, pots and pans packed,

no more hot dogs, baloney,

pork kidneys.


We children huddled on wooden planks

and my parents whispered:

We are Chinese, we are Chinese.

Safety pins anchored,

our loins ached.


Shortly our Japanese neighbors vanished

and my parents continued to whisper:

We are Chinese, we are Chinese.


We wore black arm bands,

put up a sign

in bold letters.



From the poetry anthology, Claiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women’s Poetry edited by Marilyn Sewell.



7 thoughts on “April is. . . National Poetry Month

  1. Okay. First, your poster hypnotized me.
    Second, I’m re-reading this poem. So in tune with the current events. Can’t get enough of it!

  2. A quick glance at my reading log and the stacks next to the bed, and I see that I haven’t read a book of poems since January. Must remedy that. Thanks for the nudge!

  3. I really haven’t read much poetry in the past several years, but April being poetry month has kind of given me a boost! I am going to have to try something, and I just love the poem that you chose for this post! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. I think of April as poetry month when I think of teaching Writing to my class, but not when I think of writing for my blog…or reading for my pleasure. Thanks for reminding me, exanding my horizons which can become so narrow when left to themselves.

    Now, the Psalms would count for poetry, would they not?

  5. I am having trouble reading your blog on my iPad. Keeps jumping out of your post.

    I am crazy about poetry, too. I think life would be better if there was more poetry out there. Perhaps doctors could prescribe a poem with antidepressants. Our legislators could read a poem after the pledge. Poem tattoos? Poem bumper stickers?

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