April 26 is Poem in Your Pocket Day, part of National Poetry Month. On this day, people are encouraged to carry a poem in their pockets and share it with others. Below are recommended rhyming poems for this day from contemporary classical poets and famous classical poets of the past. Also, click here for an easy to download and print PDF file of the below poems.. Enjoy!

 

Rhyming Poems by Contemporary Poets

 

From My Pocket

Written upon finding most contemporary poems recommended for this day do not contain rhyme or meter.

By Evan Mantyk

From my pocket came cardstock that
____Had the words below inscribed
In letters golden thoughts emblazoned;
____Hear them now described:

“Poems with rhyming and good timing
____Have a certain charm
That makes the brain a speeding train
____That moves the writing arm.

You may say that they’re passé
____And shallow in their scope,
Yet discipline will often win
____Without the help of dope.

Call it common or old fashion
____And yet what could be
More profound than how words sound when
____Made in harmony,

Like the brass bell’s ringing sound swells
____Sending waves afar
With force not random, but from atoms
____Lined like music bars;

Tin and copper smelted proper
____Makes the metal brass,
For each its protons has strict patterns
____And a constant mass.

Things with order and strong borders
____Leave a lasting mark,
Reverberating, undulating
____Here to ages dark,

From those ages and skin pages
____To antiquity
And forward flying past our dying
____To posterity.

Song that’s singing! Gong that’s ringing!
____Through the poem with rhyme!
Forever living, ever giving
____Meaning through all time!”

 

A Poem’s Purpose

By Michael Maibach

A poet writes
His heart that day,
It is for him
A way to pray.

The reader finds
Those words as new –
Their life unique,
Their story true.

What the poet felt
It matters not,
The reader’s task
Is to loose the knot.

To loose the knot
That’s closed their heart,
The poem may serve
As their fresh start.

As you read a poem
Ask one thing –
Who might you love?
What bell to ring?

 

For Food I Could Never Find

Breathe forth your words now, breaking at long last
The fasting that has kept me hungering
For food that I could never find on earth.

– Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Paradiso xix.25-27

By James Sale

For food I could never find
How long I fasted I can’t say;
Always a fullness on my mind
Bid me hasten on my way.

For food I could never find:
How hunger drove me night and day;
Always somehow made mad my mind.
I’d want to stop but couldn’t stay.

For food I could never find.
How seeming good but tasting clay;
Always voracious in my mind,
I’d start to focus then would stray.

For food I could never find:
How meat at first turned quick to hay;
Always projecting in my mind
I’d start with yes but come to nay.

For food I could never find:
How long for heaven I would pray;
Always the manna, thin as wind,
Evaporated on my tray.

For food I could never find
And if I could, could never pay;
Always that debt was on my mind,
Always in eating more delay.

For food I could never find.

 

Would You Rather Come Back As…

By James B. Nicola

Would you rather come back as a dog,
tied and trained, or aloof, as a cat?
____Some might have to come as a rock or a log.
But I would come back as a hat.

Though stuck on a shelf in a box
in what might seem to be an abyss,
____I would not get annoyed by the ticking of clocks,
but await the arrival of Miss

or, on top of a Man-About-Town
with a kick in my bowl, and my brim
____on a bias to strut for a day up and down,
I would complement her, or him.

At the end of the day, I’d be dosed
with a powder—or herb, now and then—,
____brushed and tucked in a closet, but only, at most,
until I am wanted again.

All I need’s to be reincarnated
as a chapeau, beret or fedore,
____and not know that the era of fashion has faded,
that no one wears hats anymore.

 

Cosmic Walk

a sonnet

By Sathya Narayana

A lone pedestrian this trembling soul!
Vied destiny…the distant pool of light
beyond the shallow shoals, the mocking Knolls,
the clouded sky and spiteful stars of night!
A chosen sanguine tread, sans wheels and wings
this journey long, on ghostly soles through maze
of loose desires on strings of swaping springs
and falls towards the goal; in cosmic chaise!
A magic decision to make this walk,
Unsure if there’s a goal; whether exists
or not; parrying worldly jolts and knocks
to break that phantom lock with beatified fists.
____Love has no limbs, light…eyes; and bliss no taste!
____In peace glides smooth ethereal flight, sans haste!

 


 

Rhyming Poems from Past Poets

 

A Passing Glimpse

By Robert Frost

I often see flowers from a passing car
That are gone before I can tell what they are.

I want to get out of the train and go back
To see what they were beside the track.

I name all the flowers I am sure they weren’t:
Not fireweed loving where woods have burnt—

Not bluebells gracing a tunnel mouth—
Not lupine living on sand and drouth.*

Was something brushed across my mind
That no one on earth will ever find?

Heaven gives its glimpses only to those
Not in position to look too close.

*Drouth: Drought

Eternity

By William Blake

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise

 

The Arrow and the Song

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

 

Bells (First Stanza)

By Edgar Allan Poe

HEAR the sledges with the bells—
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

 

The Camel’s Hump

By Rudyard Kipling

The Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven’t enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!*

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know’ there is one for you)
When we get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst* with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn* of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump—
The horrible hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo
If I haven’t enough to do-oo-oo!
We all get hump—
Cameelious hump—
Kiddies and grown-ups too!

*Black and blue hump refers to a black or blue mood, similar to “feeling blue” or “black humor” used today
*Frowst: to lounge about lazily somewhere warm
*Djinn: Pronounced “jin” is a spirit, similar to the word genie today

 

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4 Responses

  1. James A. Tweedie

    What a fun set of poems. Thank you, Evan, for marking the holiday (sic) with a poem of your own. Pocket poems are best when they are short. I carried one in my wallet for several years after graduating from high school–a couplet written by a friend:

    When in danger, when in doubt,
    Run in circles, scream and shout.

    Back in those days, whenever something went wrong and I felt as if my life had been derailed I would think of this poem . . . and smile. Come to think of it, maybe I should tuck it back in my wallet once again. Perhaps alongside something by Ogden Nash along the lines of, “The one “L” lama, he’s a priest . . .” etc.

    Reply
  2. Sathyanarayana

    Thank you Sirs. It is a great honour to be amongst the great poets.

    Reply

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