It’s National Poetry Month again. The Academy of American Poets set up April’s month-long focus in 1996 to celebrate poets’ role in our culture and promote how poetry matters.

“Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and—of course—poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.”

And poetry is not a waste. Research confirms that reading or writing poetry can support our mental acuity and potentially reduce our risk for dementia over our lifetimes.

Who doesn’t want that?

These are some of my favorite poems if you want to celebrate National Poetry Month with me.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash – A favorite of my children and grandchildren. I read it over and over to all of them.

Go Down Death by James Weldon Johnson – a funeral sermon in rhyme. I memorized this poem for a speech class in high school – a long, long time ago.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – I used this story poem often in my classroom. It’s also available as a storybook, a wonderful gift for any age.

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost – I’ve loved this poem since I memorized it for English class in high school.

My list could go on and on.

I hope you have a favorite poem too and pause sometime this month to read a poem or two.