Posts Tagged ‘Poem in Your Pocket Day’

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2020: April 30

April 29, 2020

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the American Academy of Poets has designated April 30 as National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Until this year, the idea was simple: people selected a poem that they loved during National Poetry Month and carried it with them to share with co-workers, family, and friends. People unfolded poems from pockets throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores. In light of the current COVID-19 circumstances, the celebration can continue digitally.

Here are ways to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day 2020:

  • Select a poem and share it on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem. 
  • Simultaneously participate in the Shelter in Poems initiative, and select a poem that brings you solace during this time of distance and solitude. Share what it means to you and use the hashtags #pocketpoem and #ShelterInPoems.
  • 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. 

Poem in My Pocket:

During times of crisis and personal upheaval, especially meaningful poetry comes from the Book of Psalms. David, my all-time favorite poet, has provided comfort, encouragement, and strength during my darkest days. The Book of Psalms continues to be a source of inspiration as well. Despite the devastating aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, I wake up each morning abiding in the safety of the Lord, thankful for life, health, and strength, being able to express in words my gratitude. In reflecting on where I have been and where I am now, I often say, “If it had not been for the Lord, I shudder to think where I would be.” I also think of Psalm 124 which opens with a similar statement, “If it had not been for the Lord who was on our side. . . .” Here is personal poetic expression, an original psalm, that I would like to share on Poem in Your Pocket Day:

If It Had Not Been for the Lord


“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,”
Let Israel now say—
Psalm 124:1


If it had not been for the Lord who was on our side,

We would have drowned in the sea from the tears we cried.

We shudder to think just where we would be today.

We would have lost our mind or turned and walked away,

But we learned that God is faithful—this cannot be denied.

He was there to guide when we were tempted and tried,

Our shelter from the storm where we could run and hide.

He was our deliverer—that is all we have to say:

If it had not been for the Lord.

Enemies rose up like a flood to wash aside,

But God came through and rescued us and turned the tide.

Pressing toward the mark, dawning of a brand-new day,

Through all our trials we learned to watch, fight, and pray.

The Lord is our keeper; in Him we confide:

If it had not been for the Lord.

We close with this musical reminder based on Psalm 124 from Esther Mui: “Our Help is in the Name of the LORD.” She causes us to think about where we all might have been, if it had not been for the Lord who was on our side.