April is National Poetry Month. Tomorrow (April 18) is National Poem In Your Pocket Day. Celebrating is easy: pick your favorite poem, put it in your pocket. Share it with your friends, family, co-workers, and fellow wordsmiths throughout the day. Tweet your #pocketpoem. Download a pocket poem for you and your kidlets. I’m going with this one by Claude McKay, because it reminds me that us New Yorkers are a hodgepodge of displaced peoples from the world over, seeking familiarity, comfort, a good piece of fruit. Will you celebrate with me?
The Tropics of New York
Bananas ripe and green, and ginger root
Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,
And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,
Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,
Sat in the window, bringing memories
of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical skies
In benediction over nun-like hills.
My eyes grow dim, and I could no more gaze;
A wave of longing through my body swept,
And, hungry for the old, familiar ways
I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.
– Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer