Special Event: April is National Poetry Month!


Happy National Poetry Month! Have you ever written a poem? I write poems all the time. Every Monday I write a haiku (#haikumonday) and I love to write limericks. In February I wrote a sonnet for someone’s birthday. That’s a really long poem that is often written to celebrate somebody you love.

Lately I’ve been writing about historical things – objects, people, events, and other things. My inspiration comes from the New-York Historical Society, of course!

A haiku is a very short poem with three lines. In the traditional Japanese haiku, the first and third lines have five syllables and the middle line has seven syllables.

Though not long enough

It was better than the ground

George Washington’s cot


Camp bed used by George Washington at Valley Forge, 1777-1785, New-York Historical Society, Gift of Ernest Livingston McCrackan


Free from tyranny

The mob marched to Bowling Green

King George had to go

Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, Pulling Down the Statue Of King George III, New York City, 1852-1853, oil on canvas, New-York Historical Society, Gift of Samuel Verplanck Hoffman

Those poems are about two objects in our collection. Here’s a limerick to someone special in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum.

There once was a man born free

To Lafayette he spoke eloquently

McCune Smith was his name

Doctoring, his fame

And this week 200 he’d be!


It’s true! This Thursday is the 200th birthday of James McCune Smith. We’ll have a special scavenger hunt and a birthday card to sign!

And to continue to celebrate poetry here at the New-York Historical Society we’re inviting author Robert Forbes to join us this coming Sunday. He’ll read his animal poems from his books Let’s Have a Bite and Beastly Feasts. Learn about what inspires HIM to write poetry. Through his fun writing, children 4-8 will meet an emu, a crocodile, a goose, inchworms, and egret, a rattlesnake and more!

Right after, to continue our day with animals, Jerry Zelenka will bring some live ones in to meet! Don’t miss that!

You might even be inspired to write a poem about them…we’ll have a poetry corner to put up your work. If you write a poem to celebrate animals, Earth Day or history here, you’ll earn free admission for a child entering with one paid adult. Download the template here!



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