“Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.”
Inspired by a long history of others who have done the same, a few times a year I take it upon myself to write 30 poems in 30 days and have found various prompts online and in print to be greatly supportive of this huge, sustained (and exhausting) undertaking.
This year I’m inspired by my armchair reading and my own meandering personal path to present a poetry prompt a day for the month of April but with a difference: starting April 1st, through a series of questions, exercises, images, excerpts and ruminations we will write poetry for 30 days to the theme of personal mythology.
Jung once asked us to ask ourselves, What is the myth you are living?
Whether or not you realize it, you have a personal mythology. You probably have many more than one. You may not be conscious of them and I can’t tell you what they are, but there are several traditions and sources we can learn from that may help us get deeper into our own patterns. And, if we don’t like them, we can change them.
Before we jump in:
Start to pay attention to your dreams as of tonight, write them down, even the merest fragments you can recall. Try to get a little more sleep than you think you’ll need.
As always, our subconscious will be informing the art we make and will provide much of the rich imagery that will end up in your poems. Attending your dreams through the vehicle of writing is a way of signalling to that part of you that you are listening and receptive.
Get a poetry notebook to carry with you, and a pen that flows. If you keep one already, a journal is also handy for purposes of observing ourselves, and a regular, daily writing habit will provide the necessary infrastructure.
Note that this will not be a forum for posting our poetry, but I actively encourage commentary, conversation, questions and improvements on the prompts themselves.
Note also that I am neither a therapist nor a depth psychologist. I am a poet who resonates to her own mythology even as she writes it, and as it writes her.