Jelly Nguyen '24
Apr 14, 2023
For every month, there is a celebration. In February, it’s Black history. In March, it’s women’s history. In April, poetry it’s poetry.
National Poetry Month was established in April of 1996 by the Academy of American Poets with the hopes of recognizing the role of poetry in American life. Within Mercersburg Academy, there are many ways to recognize this month.
The haiku contest, which is open throughout April, is a way for students and faculty to demonstrate their love of poetry through a simple but meaningful poem. Also featured, will be a “haiku of the day” when members of the community read a haiku of their choice to the rest of the community after advisory lunches. To start the month, Oscar Su ’25 read the poem he wrote and submitted to the haiku contest.
Also a part of the monthly celebration, a form was sent out to the entire community, asking “What’s your favorite poem?” This continues to encourage the community to engage with their inner poet and share the art they appreciate.
“People connect to poetry and this gives a place for them to share what poetry means to them. Poetry connects real feelings to real connections and memories and could be a way to mark important things in life,” said English Department Head and Director of the Writing Center Michele Poacelli.
As a part of the celebration, Mel Cort ’23 is offering a workshop on Tuesday, April 18. Cort will offer the workshop “Bookbinding for Beginners” from 6:45 pm to 7:45 pm at the Writing Center.
For many members of the Mercersburg community, poetry is an integral part of their lives, a way to express even the tiniest things that seem negligible in everyday routine. For Poacelli, poetry is a way to pay attention to the littlest details of life that one often overlooks. “The reason I like poetry so much is that it makes me see the world. Poetry helps to draw attention: Stop, pause, look around, consider, and reconsider,” she said.
For Cort and Isonah Dlodlo ‘23, two active poets in the community, poetry is a way to express their feelings about trivial things that are often ignored by the normal eye.
“I use poetry as a creative outlet and a way to romanticize my life. I like writing about inconsequential moments that seem pretty as if they're the center of the world. Some of my favorite poems I've written are about hearing aids, ordering at Mcdonald's, a nurse who was nice to me, and a leaking trash can,” said Cort.
For Dlodlo, poetry is, in simple words, life. “Poetry for me is a means of breathing, it is life, it is how I process and express my emotions. It's flawed and sometimes I hate it. But I also always love it.”