P I Y P.

So I can't believe I missed 
National Poem In Your Pocket Day . . .

(Thanks to Leenie at Side Trips for calling this glaring error to my attention, btw...and you can read her delightful post about it here!)

But just because I've been consumed with all-things-move doesn't mean we shouldn't have a little belated acknowledgement of the day here at Small Works, because there is nothing we love more than that perfect little arrangement of words that, as soon as they bump up next to each other, somehow magically become a poem.

I loved poetry from a very young age.  My father always recited it (still does).  And I have fond memories of my big sister practicing a highly dramatic reading of Alfred Noyes' The Highwayman for her 9th grade English class night after night as I would drift off to sleep in the next room.

That poem had it all in my young opinion -- drama, romance, jealousy, revenge, even a hint of sex! -- and it was my favorite for a long time. I felt it was a terribly sophisticated choice.  Now it always makes me smile.

But I remember being delighted to find it included in this little volume:

This book turned up at my 10th birthday party, the gift of a dear childhood friend.  I loved it then, and I love it even more now, partly as a result of the charming inscription:

(Elizabeth Smart's aunt, by the way -- just an interesting factoid.  
And she looked almost exactly like Elizabeth.)

I thought it was such a cool and thoughtful gift, from one nerdy intellectual 10-year-old to another.  I remember all my other gifts at that party sort of paling in comparison.

The preface of the book says this:

"This is the age of science, of steel -- of speed and the cement road . . . Science and steel demand the medium of prose.  Speed requires only the look -- the gesture.  What need then, for poetry?

Great need!

There are souls, in these noise-tired times, that turn aside into unfrequented lanes . . . here the light, filtering through perfect forms, arranges itself in lovely patterns for those who perceive beauty.

It is the purpose of this little volume to enrich, ennoble, encourage.  And for man, who has learned to love convenience, it is hardly larger than his concealing pocket."

-- Roy J. Cook, Editor

The idea of National Poem In Your Pocket Day is that you select a poem you love and carry it with you to share with whomever you like -- coworkers, friends, family.  You can also share it on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

Poets.org offered these ideas 
for unfolding your pocket poem and sharing it with the world:

  • Urge local businesses to offer discounts for those carrying poems
  • Post pocket-sized verses in public places
  • Hand-write some lines on the back of your business cards
  • Start a street team to pass out poems in your community
  • Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines
  • Add a poem to your email footer
  • Post a poem on your blog or social networking page
  • Project a poem on a wall, inside or out
  • Text a poem to friends

  • All good ideas!
    I love the idea of posting small verses in public places.  I know how happy it would make me to come across such a gem on my daily travels.

    Yes, poems are still for those who perceive beauty.  And in the immediacy of our digital age, it couldn't be easier to share the beauty when we find -- or better still! -- create it. 

    Come on . . . do your friends a favor. 
    Text someone a poem and their day just got 
    a whole lot better.  Guaranteed. 
    (I speak from experience, lucky me!)

    Happy Weekend!


    Leenie said...


    In the undergrowth
    There dwells a Bloath
    Who feeds upon poets and tea.
    Luckily, I know this about him
    While he knows almost nothing of me!

    Shel Silverstein

    Allie said...

    Your post title cracked me up...I'm afraid I was clueless as well!!! I love the preface to your book of poems. Delightful. The poem in Leenie's comment cracked me up too!

    Margaret Cooter said...

    This needs to be international!

    As for coming across poems, I am guilty of proliferating them, at least in the workplace - on the inside of the doors in ladies' loos. However I was found out ... the story is here:

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