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Word Portraits for National Poetry Month

April 12, 2019


Poetic Day 12 of National Poetry Month:  April 12, 2019, Friday


As the second week of National Poetry Month is drawing to a close, I am also thinking of National Library Week, which began on April 7 and continues through April 13.  Three cheers for the Clinton Public Library (Clinton, Indiana), all of my school libraries, and the Talking Book and Braille Library of the National Library Service!  Libraries and books continue to be vitally important in my life.  Thanks to the wonderful librarians and library board members!


With pondering libraries, I wanted to share a book-related poem in this WORDWALK post.  In my poetic archives, I found a shell of a poem which I had begun in 2018, but had never finished–until tonight.  I revised lines, turned around a couple of lines, and added lines to craft the verses that become this “poem-of-the-day.”


Do you have a poem that you have put aside for a while, a year, or longer?  I encourage you to give the poem another try with a new perspective and determination to turn the earlier draft into a final poetic product.  Happy writing!  Remember that five writing prompts will follow today’s new poem.



Word Portraits


poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



In library galleries,

word portraits–

framed in leather,

hardback, or paper–

are on geometric metal and wooden shelves,

not on graceful easels.


Word portraits

are lacquered onto pages,

bound together tightly:

with a multiple fan feature,

movement glides from left to write,

then, a turn from right to left.

Ah-ha! The Literary Butterfly

floats under a right-hand page

and lifts the page to the left.

Two new word portraits appear.


In this fictional or nonfictional fashion,

I continue through the word portraits

of each chaptered room of this gallery.


With butterfly grace,

reading powerfully uplifts

the most artful,

imaginative, enriching

flight of the mind.


* * *




  1. Write a poem which is set in a library.
  2. Write a poem which pays tribute to the library of your youth.
  3. Write a poem which mentions the titles of some of your favorite books–from childhood to present.
  4. Write a poem about visiting a library at night, after hours of normal operation.
  5. Write a poem about Little Free Libraries.


Please return to WORDWALK on Monday, when I will continue the celebration of National Poetry Month on April 15.  I am content to be almost halfway through my goal of posting one poem and five prompts on each weekday of National Poetry Month.


With great appreciation for libraries,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


April 12, 2019, Friday






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One Comment
  1. Such an elegant poem, Alice! Thank you for the beautiful “Word Portraits.”

    Blessings to you and Willow—

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