Posts Tagged ‘Put a Poem in Your Pocket Day’


Matt the barista and the Poem Elf display


National Poem in Your Pocket Day is a good day to be a poem elf.  So many pockets to fill, so many poems to share.

Why is everything I do slightly askew?

Why is everything I do slightly askew?


Last year I set up my very first take-a-poem box at the post office.  I saved the box to use again, but when I pulled it out of the basement, I understood why a certain person who lives with me often complains I hoard junk.  The display was sad:  lopsided, stained with copper-colored splotches of unknown origin, and housing a few dead potato bugs. So I made a new one and placed it in my new favorite writing spot, Great Lakes Coffee.  Great Lakes Coffee is a Michigan chain that lives up to its name.  Everything about this place is indeed great—the teas, the service, the staff, the atmosphere, the décor, and from what I hear from other customers, the coffee.


I didn’t take pictures of all the poems I put in the box.  There were too many, including poems by James Tate, Robert Frost, Ruth Stone, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, W.S. Merwin, Yusef Komunyakaa, Eavan Boland, and my Scottish friend Angus Martin, among others. If you live in the area, stop by Great Lakes Coffee today and pick up a poem.  Or link here to find poems, suggestions, videos, and for those anxious souls who really need it, detailed instructions on how to put a Poem in Your Pocket.

12 by Eat It Detroit


Many thanks to the folks at GLC for displaying my box.

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I keep poems I’ve copied and can’t use for my blog the way some people keep slices of meatloaf in the freezer—-why throw away what can be consumed later?   I had dozens of poems leftover from my niece’s recent wedding (link here), two or three extra copies of poems I’d already written about, as well as a handful of poems that were either too long to post or were written by poets I’ve already posted a poem from.


So when I received two emails reminding me that today is National Put a Poem in Your Pocket Day, I knew my re-use and recycle moment had arrived.    I spent last evening wrapping a shoebox and taping signs to it.  Here’s the result:


Why is everything I do slightly askew?



Either my crafting skills stalled around fourth grade or I took Emily Dickinson’s dictum to “tell all the truth but tell it slant” a little too literally.  In my defense, I was hurrying because Revenge was coming on soon.


Anyway, my box does the job. A nice clerk at the post office okayed my display in the lobby.


I wish I had the dolphin-shaped surveillance camera that Revenge‘s Nolan uses so I could watch my box to see if anyone participates in this national whimsy.



Next on my list of tasks related to Poem in Your Pocket Day is to change out of my yoga pants (which I have no business wearing in public anyway) into clothing with pockets.


Deciding which poem to pocket could take me half the morning.


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