What does the month of April bring?

The obvious answer is from a very familiar rhyme. April showers bring May flowers.

Fitting, then, perhaps that April is National Poetry month.

As a fiction writer, I rely on prose to entertain and get my point across. I've never had the gift for flowery language, iambic pentameter, or haiku. I do enjoy reading poems, especially those that touch my heart with their sentimentality or tickle my funny bone.

One of my friends, who is a poet, has been sharing her favorites with me and other online friends. Every day, she e-mails us a poem. I'll be honest, some of them, I just haven't gotten, but all in all, I'm excited to read her daily offerings.

I'm going to share my favorite so far:

Advice from a Caterpillar

Chew your way into a new world.
Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt
again. Self-reinvention is everything.
Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging
bristles. Don't get sentimental
about your discarded skins. Grow
quickly. Develop a yen for nettles.
Alternate crumpling and climbing. Rely
on your antennae. Sequester poisons
in your body for use at a later date.
When threatened, emit foul odors
in self-defense. Behave cryptically
to confuse predators: change colors, spit,
or feign death. If all else fails, taste terrible.

Amy Gerstler (Dearest Creature)

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets inaugerated April as National Poetry Month. Publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. If you check out Poets.org you can find numerous ways to celebrate poems.

What's your favorite?

Ericka Scott


  1. Hi Erika:

    I love the caterpillar poem! Good advice! I love reading poetry too - i subscribe to poets.org and everyday i get a poem via e-mail. ;D


  2. Hwæt, we Gar-Dena in gear dagum, theod cyninga thrym gefrunon...

    I never get tired of teaching it -- and reciting it for my students. I love Dorothy Parker and Anne Sexton, too.

  3. I always think of Whan that Aprill with hise shoures soote, the droghte of March hath perced to the roote... this time of year. Chaucer's lines capture the changes of spring and that itch you get "to goon on pilgrimages." I sure do!


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