National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month.  Normally this would be a good time to attend a “poetry slam” , a more traditional poetry reading, or some other event that celebrates the power of well chosen words and carefully crafted phrases.  This year, not so much.

But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo poetry this time around.  We have some for you today created by OLLI-USF members, and we’ll bring you more in extra editions of OLLI Connects for the rest of the month.  And we have an NPR link below that we hope you’ll enjoy.



Crossing Over

Across the road, a white PODS square
like a giant icebox
roots in the driveway. A metal ramp
scrapes the concrete. The new neighbors
the third to buy this house
at seven zero seven White Wing Place
unload their belongings.

After many years I don’t recall the people
who first bought there. I remember fledgling
oaks planted too close to unruly
magnolias and sturdy sod squares
nestled in rows. At the villa’s entry
a small Bird of Paradise poked its orange beak.

Most  residents are retirees. On White Wing Place
a smiling sun blazes: holiday galas, poker games,
block parties, bunko weave a fabric
and community unfolds. Neighbors become family
a forever gift.

Over time, the dark face of loss looks our way.
Ambulances rush in the night.
Street lights stutter and sound is noise. Sidewalks crack
and shrubs beg to die.

We try to cross the road and the setting sun rages.

–Evelyn Ann Romano




Only fifteen percent of individual households own individual socks
the rest get along as best they can
passing from foot to foot
sharing collections of striped,
spotted, ribbed, fish net
magenta, ecru, black
saved with love in chests
file cabinets
shoe boxes
hollow trees
or tunnels in the ground
going down
and down
and down


Did Beethoven
leave the gate open?
he was absent-minded bless him
and then there was the deafness
Mozart definitely
little Leo
left the gate open
for Beethoven
he was a sly one
a little devil that Amadeus
I remember when

–Brenda Tipps


For a delightful extended appreciation of poetry in the time of coronavirus, enjoy this post by our friends at NPR.

National Poetry Week Poster photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Evelyn Ann Romano was a member of the Lifelong Writers at USF for several years and has been a member of OLLI since 2016. She has taken OLLI courses in poetry, writing, technology and laughter yoga.  Her latest collection of poems, Ripe, is available from Amazon and other book sellers.



Retired high school English teacher Brenda Tipps joined OLLI-USF in 2007. Brenda has been a longtime member of the Great Books discussion group, has taught many courses for OLLI including Readers Theater, poetry and drama.



4 Replies to “National Poetry Month”

  1. Love these poems! Thank you to Evelyn and Brenda. (I must say I have a particular soft spot for the one about Mozart.)

  2. Thank you Evelyn and Brenda
    What a treat to help us begin another week. You are special dividends this morning.
    Cheers! Judy Patterson

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