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NPR Arts & Life

A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

Poetry, from out of the digital ether.

Just about a month ago, we introduced a simple idea. And we did it simply. With just a tweet or two, All Things Considered called on listeners to help us celebrate National Poetry Month (April, in case you didn't know). We'd supply the hashtag, or so this simple idea went, and all of you would supply the good stuff — the lines, the lyrics, the sweeping odes and potent gut punches.

Simple at the outset, sure — but your response contained multitudes.

Haiku. Tanka. Tributes to parents balding, or overbearing (and bears, too). Matters of bone and spirit, food and fulsome politics. Poems in at least three languages, poems from at least four different classrooms across the country (including even a third grade class). And a single lost feather, borne to earth on an idle breeze.

Of course, we can't hope to name all the poems that moved us. Please, instead, accept just a few of our favorites from this fruitful month of poetry, read aloud often by the very poets themselves. In one case, Whiting Award-winning poet Ocean Vuong picked his own favorite to read for us.

Read and listen to them below — divided imperfectly into two categories, the latter of which you can skip to with the following link — or just head here to wade deeply into all the thousands of miniature works of art our listeners wrote.

Skip To The Profound


The Funny Stuff

The white dog watches.
Sandy Watters / Flickr

Shelby Boehm


The Profound

Lost by Icarus?
Sandra Kottonau / Flickr

Phil Boiarski

Tia Shearer

Sherri Drake

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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