Poetry Ideas for Journaling

by Maurianne Dunn

Poetry writing


April is National Poetry Month in the United States, so why not celebrate the great literary works by adding a little poetry on your layouts? Wonderful sentiments are expressed in poetry, and it’s the perfect way to add a little something extra to your layout. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Incorporate a Line of Poetry in Your Title
If you’re struggling to come up with a title, turn to your closest poetry anthology. Many poems have one line perfect for titles in your layouts. For example, for a layout about a romantic relationship, you could use “If ever two were one, then surely we” (by Anne Bradstreet). If you’re putting together a layout that reminisces of home, you could use “God send us a little home to come back to, when we roam” (by Florence Bone).

Use Poetry in Addition to Your Journaling
Sometimes a poem helps convey a story in your layout. When I was young, my brothers and sisters and I loved swinging in our backyard. Another part of my childhood was a poem my mother taught me by Robert Louis Stevenson. No layout about a favorite childhood pastime would be complete without it:

The Swing
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

Use Poetry in Place of Journaling
Sometimes sentiments have been expressed on a layout on the same topic and you feel there’s nothing left to say. This may be a good time to incorporate a poem on your layout. But remember—it’s important to tell your story in your own words, so don’t let a poem replace your journaling on all or most of your layouts.

Finding Poetry to Use on Your Layouts
There are so many wonderful poems out there, but how do you find them? Here are few resources to start with:

* The Internet. The web has a wealth of sources where you can find poems on many different topics. Try searching for a specific topic such as “home poetry” and see what comes up. You can also easily search for a specific poet’s works this way. Plus, check for forums and websites dedicated to poetry, such as Poets.org, PoetryFoundation.org or Bartleby.com/verse.

* Poetry anthologies. If you’re not quite sure what poem or poet you’re looking for, try a poetry anthology from your local library. Anthologies often have poems organized by topic and are easier to peruse than a book by a specific poet.

For more information on National Poetry Month, go to Poets.com/npm.

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