How are you celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day?

Brittany Sullivan  //  Apr 26, 2018

How are you celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day?

On April 26, 2002, the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, introduced Poem in Your Pocket Day—a day that celebrates the beauty and power of poetry by encouraging people to select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets expanded the initiative to all fifty states, and today, we’re excited to join in the celebration!

I asked the team to share what poems they would be carrying in their pockets today. Scroll down to see their picks, and share your poems on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem

Still looking for Poetry Month reading recommendations? Don’t miss our round-up of “17 books to read for Poetry Month!”


Lady Liberty 

By Nathalie Handal

Carried in the pocket of Brittany Sullivan

All stars lead to this city,

she's an angel unfolding midnight

a river of invisible trumpets

and sidewalks of moons,

she's the blues

drunk on the light

commuting with love

on a sailboat

that's found

the perfect island.


Leave It All Up to Me

By Major Jackson

Carried in the pocket of Deimosa Webber-Bey

All we want is to succumb to a single kiss

that will contain us like a marathon

with no finish line, and if so, that we land

like newspapers before sunrise, halcyon

mornings arrived like blue martinis. I am

learning the steps to a foreign song: her mind

was torpedo, and her body was storm,

a kind of Wow. All we want is a metropolis

of Sundays, an empire of hand-holding

and park benches? She says, “Leave it all up to me.”


Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kaur

Carried in the pocket of Emily Morrow

you tell me to quiet down cause

my opinions make me less beautiful

but i was not made with a fire in my belly

so i could be put out

i was not made with a lightness on my tongue

so i could be easy to swallow

i was made heavy

half blade and half silk

difficult to forget but

not easy for the mind to follow


Let America Be America Again (excerpt)

By Langston Hughes 

Carried in the pocket of Loribelle Lapaix

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.


(America never was America to me.)


Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.


(It never was America to me.)


O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.


(There's never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")


Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?