PIYP Day is April 26th…Are you ready?

On April 26th, schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues will ring loud with open readings of poems from pockets on PIYP day or Poem in Your Pocket  Day. The idea is simple:

• Select a poem you love during National Poetry Month
• Print or write it out
• Carry it with you and share with co-workers, family, and friends
• Or tweet about your selection on Twitter with the hashtag #pocketpoem.

If you can’t think of a poem to carry, you can click here to download one or simply enjoy the funny, the serious, and the unusual choices when you click on one of the pockets pictured on the page.

At estate sales I often find books of poetry or handwritten poems in pockets, in desk drawers, framed and displayed, and any number of other places. My favorite discovery happened closer to home when my mother-in-love passed away. We found this poem glued in her Bible and another copy of the same poem in her husband’s.

Should You Go First
By Albert Kennedy “Rosey” Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain,
To walk the road alone,
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear,
With happy days we’ve known.
In Spring I’ll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall when brown leaves call
I’ll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain,
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you’ve touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I’ll hear your voice, I’ll see your smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain,
To finish with the scroll,
No length ‘ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We’ve known so much of happiness,
We’ve had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I’d have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I’ll follow you.
I’ll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road
You’ll hear me call your name.

Rosey Rowswell wasn’t a Longfellow or Edgar Allen Poe. In fact, his real job was a broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 19 seasons (1936-54), but he did write books of humor and poetry. And, I love this touching poem.

 More, I love the romantic sentiment of finding a copy in both Bibles. My husband’s parents were married for fifty-nine years before Otho passed away. I’ll guarantee you when Rose went to glory five years later she called Otho’s name and met him on that path.

Will you join us and share your favorite poem in a comment? We’ll pretend to hear your voice.


14 Comments on “PIYP Day is April 26th…Are you ready?

  1. I just today found this poem in a packet of things my grandmother had tucked away. It came to me after she died in 1986, and I had totally forgotten about it. She had copied the poem by hand onto a piece of notebook paper. There I was, weeping in my basement as I read it. The joy of seeing her handwriting again, and the words of the poem moved me deeply. I think it was especially poignant because there isn’t a day that I don’t miss her and can’t wait to call her name as she walks “slowly down that long, lone path.” I googled the first line to see who had written it and found your lovely post. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it.

    • Thank you, Stephanie, for stopping by the front porch and sharing your sweet story. I hope you stop again.

      I can so relate to the tears. Every time I read the poem and think of my mother-in-law, I tear up. I can’t wait to meet her and my father-in-law on the path.

  2. I remember one of Elvis Presley’s press conferences that he mentioned this poem in a book. But he stated it was by an unknown writer. Have you heard this mentioned as well over time. Kind Regards Dennis

    • I had not heard that, but Elvis does get credited with lots of stuff…mostly stuff after he died. LOL Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  3. Judy ~~ You should have given us a hankie warning! But I guess that’s the power of good poetry – it can touch our heart strings in so many ways. One of my favorites was The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes I believe. Very romantic and dramatic at the same time. Thanks for a great blog as always! Cheers ~~ Mary B 🙂

    • Promise to give a hankie alert next time. I wasn’t familiar with The Highwayman so I googled and found some neat school projects posted. Thanks for stopping by and introducing me to a new poem.

  4. Hi, Judythe! my favorite poem is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning(as I recall) and is called In Little Ways-again, I think that was the title. I knew it by heart as a teenager and young adult in college. It ends with “’tis not love’s going to haunts my days, but that it went in little ways.”


    • Welcome to the porch, Pam. Elizabeth’s sonnet are my very favorite especially Sonnets to the Portuguese. I did a cross stitch once with the phrase Grow old along with me as an anniversary present. Thanks for stopping by. Come again soon.

  5. You’re right about the blurred vision! What a touching story and poem. Thanks for sharing it.
    I guess I would have to go back to Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot for my favorite poems. I just love “The Naming of Cats is A Difficult Matter.” Too long to reprint here, but here are four lines:
    “The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
    You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.”

  6. What an endearing poem and how poetic to find one in each of their Bibles. Tearing up over my coffee this morning just thinking about it and then reading the poem did me in. Thanks for sharing.

    My favorite right now is Ode to a Nightingale by Keats. I’ll be sure to carry it in my pocket tomorrow.

    • I enjoy Keats too. More than when I had to study him while in school. Don’t just carry the ode tomorrow read it to someone too. Not sure everyone studies Keats anymore.
      Thanks for stopping by the porch today. Come again.

  7. I don’t really have a favorite poem ~ although I will now look for one to honor tomorrow.
    Your favorite brought a tear to my eye ~ so romantic and touching..

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