A Rhyming Regimen

This past April, poets around the world celebrated National Poetry Month, some writing a poem every single day.


Aris Pastor

Outside the GOAL office, a poster quotes United States Poet Laureate Ada Limón in celebration of 2023’s National Poetry Month.

Isha George, Staff Writer

The Academy of American Poets designates April as National Poetry Month. The AAP began poetry month in April of 1996 with the goal to explore and appreciate the influence and beauty of poetry a little more in everyday life.

The month involves various activities by the AAP and other organizations, including libraries, reading circles and schools. The month is recognised within the literary community as a time to pay attention and tribute to the pivotal role of poetry in modern culture.

Poets new and old are given the chance to come together and celebrate what poetry means to them and to expand upon their horizons previous.

North Allegheny attempted to join the fold, with GOAL teacher Janellen Lombardi organizing a daily poetry prompt challenge as well as a variety of other poetry-related events throughout the month.

“Writing is a discipline. Professional authors and poets write every day, not just when the inspiration strikes,” Lombardi said. “By making writing a daily practice, students learn how to channel their creativity and be more productive. That’s why I’m a fan of the 30-Day Poetry Challenge during the month of April.”

Lombardi–now in her 10th year hosting Poetry Month–has planned various other activities as well.

“This year, a few of the highlights of National Poetry Month include a Poetry Bingo game, Poem in your Pocket Day, and a Take-and-Make Journal Kit where students can keep their poetry from the month,” she said. “All this and more is in the effort to bring a little of the wonder of poetry right to NA’s front door.”

It’s true that a picture can be worth a thousand words, but in poetry, the right word, placed ever so carefully, can be worth a thousand pictures.

— Mr. Rhinehart, AP English teacher

“Every year, I’ve handled it a little differently. In the past, I’ve brought in poets to run workshops; we hosted a ‘Poetry Idol’ competition with another school; students have entered their poetry into contests,” Lombardi also said.

Integrating poetry into daily life even for a little while can have massive benefits both for a person’s written skills and for their internal well-being, and the many forms in which it can be celebrated this month is intrinsic to its nature.

AP English 3 teacher Lance Rhinehart said that “poetry condenses experience and emotion into a toothsome and chewable conveyance of personhood. It’s true that a picture can be worth a thousand words, but in poetry, the right word, placed ever so carefully, can be worth a thousand pictures.”

One can expect that this feeling is shared by many in the literary community and AAP, who have chosen to dedicate a month to the understanding and appreciation of poetry in all its various forms. The palatability of this form of writing allows it to not only reach levels within a person but can equally bring out those feelings and thoughts that are drawn out.

“Poetry is one of the few forms of creative outlet that holds infinite potential for therapeutic expression with both its creator and those who encounter it,” Rhinehart said.

Rhinehart believes that adolescence is a perfect time to delve into the world of poetry. At an age where hobbies can become rare, it is important for teens to find healthy and calming ways to manage the stress and pressure built up within.

Junior Andy Long agrees with this sentiment.

“I think these daily prompts are a great motivator and spark of creativity for further development of my poem writing skill,” Long said. “I’ve always enjoyed the rhyme and flow of poetry the most. Conveying a deeper message with good word choice feels very satisfying to me.”

Though National Poetry Month has now passed, the students who deepened their appreciation of the art form will likely only continue to explore poetry’s limitless allure.