April is National Poetry Month.

According to Cynthia R. Green, poetry is a good way to keep our brains challenged and vibrant because

  • Poetry engages our minds. “By its very nature, a good poem asks us to delve a bit deeper to best discern its intention.”
  • Poetry gets creative juices flowing. “Whether we read or even choose to write verse, poetry forces us to think out of our own box or experience.”
  • Poems fit anyone’s time constraints because they come in all sizes-long, short, and everything in-between.

A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) goes a step further saying that reading or writing poetry can be critical to maintaining our mental acuity and potentially reducing our risk for dementia over our lifetimes.

Now I’d say that gives poetry reading a resounding YEAH.

To help you jump-start your poetry reading, here’s one by Shel Silverstein who wrote children’s poetry.

I often used “Listen to the Mustn’ts” from Where the Sidewalk End in my classroom. I love its message about chucking conventionality and negativity, and embracing the power of imagination and possibility. It’s a lesson for everyone.If you want to keep charging your brain, Poets.org will send a Poem-a-Day via email free of charge. You can register here .

Poem graphic taken from Pinterest.