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Words, words, words

The ‘stanzatic’ creativity of National Poetry Month

by Kaitlyn Conrad/Photo & Web Editor

Photo by Kaitlyn Conrad

Photo by Kaitlyn Conrad

April is National Poetry Month. This fact can make writers either quiver their quills in excitement or hide in a corner and cry over the anxiety. In any case, this month is a great way to get creative juices going in just about anyone.

Poetry has been around for quite a long time; many scholars believe that poetry predates literacy. It is believed that some of the earliest poetry was orally recited or sung and it would have been needed to be memorized.

“Epic of Gilgamesh,” the Ancient Sumerian poem, is one of the earliest pieces of literature in existence. The epic poem tells of the adventures of a king who spurned the advances of a goddess and embarks on a quest for immortality.

Ancient Greeks used poetry to relay historical events, with Homer’s Odyssey and the Iliad being some of the most well-known examples. Epic poems like these were the way to transfer great stories to the masses.

Poetry was a way of remembering history, stories, genealogy and law in an oral format. It is closely related to musical traditions and was part of the religious movements.

Jean Cocteau once said that, “A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Much in the way a gardener does not scent his roses.” Poetry is often regarded as having no meaning but the one the reader assigns to it. It can still have the structure and the intended meaning that the author ascribes to it, but like any artwork, poetry can mean many different things to each individual.

Poetry can come in many different forms; it can rhyme and not rhyme, be in verse or in free form. is an annual project in which those participating attempt to write a poem a day during the month of April. NaPoWriMo stands for National Poetry Writing Month and was founded in 2003 when Maureen Thorson decided to take up the experiment and challenged other poets to join along. Since the site’s beginnings, the creative writing poetry contest has grown and it is a great way for writers and poets to stay inspired and disciplined.

During this year’s National Poetry Month, the Navigator News will be holding its own poetry contest. There will be first, second, and third place winners with the first place winner’s poem being published in the May issue of the Navigator News. To enter, participants must first like the Navigator News Facebook page. Participants will then be given a link and password to submit their poem on the Navigator website.

For full rules and regulations, check out our submission page:

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