Monday, April 18, 2022

NPM 2022 - Day 18

Today's poem is written to a first day cover. For many years I maintained a web site on teaching with stamps. A woman found my site and offered to donate a large collection of postcards and first day covers for me to use in my teaching. I found this one while looking for covers to share in a class session. Since NATO has been in the news as of late, it seemed a fitting choice. 

This poem is written as a tanka. A tanka is a 5-line poem with the syllable pattern 5-7-5-7-7. You can learn more about this form at The Tanka Journal.

First Day Covers are envelopes affixed with a stamp or stamps on the first day that they are made available for sale to the public. On the first day of issue, the envelope is stamped with a postmark and cancellation indicating the date and location that the envelope was received into the postal service. You can learn more about First Day Covers at The American First Day Cover Society.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new inspiration I've found for a poem. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these poems on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 

April 1 - Senryu to a photo of my grandmother as a child
April 2 - Haiku to my mother's recipe
April 3 - Dodoitsu to a war memento
April 4 - Choka to my mother's engagement announcement
April 5 - Gogyohka to the receipt for my mother's engagement ring
April 6 - Senryu to a student's drawing of my dad
April 7 - Tanka to a photo of my grandmother and her mother by a car
April 8 - Dodoitsu to a piece of V-mail from my great uncle 
April 9 - Senryu to a Christmas card from Paris during the war (1944)
April 10 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
April 11 - Dodoitsu to an early family portrait of my mother
April 12 - Senryu to a photo of WWII nose art 
April 13 - Senryu to a pair of postage stamps issued in 1934
April 14 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
April 15 - Senryu to a photo of my mother as a child 
April 16 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandmother sent my grandfather
April 17 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandfather sent my grandmother 


  1. I am learning so much from your series, not only about different forms of poetry, but also about history. I had never heard of a first day cover. Your tanka today makes me so, so sad. I wonder whether anyone will speak truth, or if it will be too late when they do...

    1. Thanks, Carol. I'm enjoying looking through these materials. I'm teaching social studies methods this semester and I'm thinking about ways to use primary sources across the curriculum.

      I too am incredibly sad about what's happening in Ukraine. I fear the world is making a mistake by just watching and letting it happen.