Every year, the first Wednesday of October is celebrated as the Random Acts of Poetry Day. This year, it lies on the 7th of October. On this occasion, I bring to you a list of things you can do to celebrate this RAOP day virtually.
Celebrate RAOP day by:
Submitting to lit journals
There are plenty of literary journals that are currently open for submissions. You must consider submitting to them not just to celebrate RAOP day, but also to hone your skills. Even if you miss the submission deadline, you can always submit for the next issue!
Posting your favourite poems
Use social media to share your favourite poems. Ask your friends to share theirs. Revisit old poems and be grateful for their existence.
Investing in poetry
There are ample of poetry books that need and deserve recognition. On 7th, buy poetry books written by marginalised authors. Celebrate their work. Support small poets.
Goes without saying but still read and recite poems. Attending open mics may not be possible, but see if you can find any virtual open mics to attend.
Dedicating poems to your friends and family
Gift poems to your kin. Whatever you cannot say with words, convey through poems. Send emails dedicating poems to your friends and family. If you can, post a poem.
Even if you have never written anything ever, consider this day to start writing. Write what you feel, write what you want to. Share it with people around you.
Bailey grabs my hand
and pulls me out of the window
into the sky,
pulls music out of my pockets.
“it’s time you learned to fly.”
and vanishes.A poem by Lennie, found on the back of a lollipop wrapper
In the book, “The Sky Is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson, the protagonist, Lennie used to scatter little poems everywhere. I love the book. I love the fact that at the beginning of every chapter, there existed a small poem by Lennie. All the poems, small, raw, and touching. The beauty of this book lies in the fact that this book is about a grief-stricken girl who scatters her poems all over town. When I first read the book, the reason I loved it so much was because of the poems. They made the book so much more than just a story. So, if you can, you must scatter poems.
RAOP day is usually celebrated by this: scattering poems everywhere. It was born from the idea that poems belong everywhere and that poems are not restricted to pages or books. Leave poems on your sidewalk, garage, park, wherever you can.
I hope you all celebrate RAOP day the way you you want to. Here is one of my favourite poems, for you to read.
Small Kindnesses by Danusha Laméris
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”