Saturday, June 11, 2011

the neighborhood poetry stand





This is a simple treasure that appeared late last summer in the front yard of a house three blocks from ours. It excited and enchanted me in such a powerful way that I looked forward to getting to that spot every time we walked the dogs.

Isn't the design simple yet ingenious? Unfortunately, the box was not adequately waterproofed and when the rains came last autumn the last poem of the season got drenched. The people who run the poetry stand left it there all winter and it was an interesting study in what the ravages of winter can do to a piece of paper that is held in place for months. I longed to see it cleared out and hoped the people who built the poetry stand didn't leave the soggy, unreadable poem there due to disappointment in their design.

We walked the dogs last night and, hurray! the poetry stand has been cleaned up, the old poem removed. Nothing new is there yet, but I am full of anticipation for what may come. I love the idea so much that I wish to have one in front of our house too. What a fantastic way to share with neighbors, and what a great enhancement to summer break for kids to read and ponder poetry on the street.

Can you imagine neighborhoods full of individual poetry stands? I can, and it makes me smile.



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20 comments:

mythopolis said...

It's a wonderful idea!

Jennifer said...

A neighborhood full of poetry stands sounds like a wonderful thing. In Berkeley we have our political/peacnik stands (articles against war), a poetry garden http://www.bpfp.org/affiliate-groups/PoetryGarden/ and a poetry walk http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5759 (too lazy to make these hidden links), but I like the grassroots feel of this..

Looking to the Stars said...

Oh, Lydia what a wonderful idea! What a lovely area you live in, such creative people. Looking forward to you sharing what poems are left there :)

kj said...

lydia, this is SO COOL!!!! i want to do this too! i live on a cul de sac off a main road and not many people walk by. but still. the idea is so good i may try it anyway. the first poem i would leave would be one of mary oliver's.

i hope you are having a fine weekend. xoxo
kj

manuela said...

what a fantastic idea!! thanks so much for sharing it with us, and for the photos - this will definitely stay with me in the 'must be implemented someday' idea-book :)

FishHawk said...

"Writerquake" has been included in this weeks A Sunday Drive. I hope this helps to attract even more new visitors here.

http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2011/06/sunday-drive_12.html

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ When I see these neighbors (whose names I do not yet know) I will be sure to tell them how much their poetry stand has delighted people!

Jennifer~ Yes, the grassroots feel (perfect description) is heartening. That is not to say that I am not going to have some fun looking at your links.

Looking to the Stars~ It is a sweet little neighborhood full of hard-working and creative people, and I am grateful to live here. :)

kj~ Loved your comment and good weekend to you, too. Hope you follow your enthusiasm and set up your own poetry stand! Mary Oliver's poetry would be a perfect launch, and even if it isn't the most traveled path to your front yard I bet it ultimately would be appreciated.
I wonder if my husband will like the idea - hmmm....

manuela~ Love your appreciation for the poetry stand. I like the name of your idea-book; it is hopeful without being pressurized!

Lydia said...

FishHawk~ Your exciting comment was waiting after I had replied to the others, and what a great pleasant surprise! I am so honored and thank you immensely for the recognition.
(It is nearly 3:00 a.m. here so I will visit your blog and see what Sunday Drive is all about after I get some sleep!) *.*

distracted by shiny objects said...

Fabulous idea and am hoping for more updates and photos. I wonder if the owners had an idea of their last poem gracefully dissolving in the time gone.
Congrats on the recognition on Sunday Drive! :>)

Freda said...

Brilliant idea - the only trouble is we really do have far too much rain here for it to work.

Rob-bear said...

A neighbourhood full of poetry stands? Sounds positively subversive, in terms of subverting the dominant philosophy of our time. I love the idea. Now, where to start? Ahhhh . . .

susan said...

I wonder if they were hoping that others might stop by to leave a new poem in the box after a suitable time had passed? If I had a house I'd post a picture box.

ds said...

What a cool idea! Can't wait to know what the new poem will be (or were the owners hoping someone else would insert a favorite, as Susan suggests?). Poetry boxes, like bluebird houses, dotting every road...

Lydia said...

distracted~ You might be right about them actually having planned to let the poem winterize! I sure hope they place a new poem there soon, and I will share. Thanks!

Freda~ And that is my worry about doing one here....because of the proven sopping condition of the one up the street. It will take some special work to seal it if we make one.

Rob-bear~ As Julie Andrews sang in the Sound of Music: Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...
(that is kind of subversive thinking for today's jump-into-the-middle-of-many-things mentality). Do one! Let us know about it if/when it happens. :)

susan~ Interesting concept, but the box appeared to be sealed in some way. Or maybe that was just my impression. I must look more closely (the way a painter, like you, would have looked to begin with). Your blog is like your picture box.

ds~ You also wonder if they hoped someone else would insert a new poem....and (see comments to susan above) now I truly wonder myself! I will examine for a slot or flip top of some sort to see - next dog walk.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

that is a really good idea - i hope they allow anyone to take part and make sure they waterproof better going forward - :)

rosaria said...

What a brilliant idea! It will sit with me for a while, and it will transform me as it transformed you. What a wonderful world. And, borrowing your phrase, "it's a big deal."

Olga said...

Absolutely wonderful,funny and inspirational idea!

Lydia said...

Pixies~ I hope so too. :)

rosaria~ Thanks...it is a big deal that their idea has delighted so many of us. Would a poetry stand survive the coastal damp? I think it is possible. :)

Olga~ Yes! I am anxious to let the people know about these comments. :)

Helen said...

Hello! Our city needs a poetry stand ... in Drake Park downtown, along the Deschutes River! We just celebrated Haiku Weekend here with all sorts of events. I'm inspired! We need a poetry stand.

Thank you for the lovely compliment .. a history book in poem form ~ brilliant. Oh, yes, Mr. Revere needs a little validation, don't you think?

Lydia said...

Helen~ A poetry stand in Drake Park is a wonderful idea! Let me know if you get this instituted, because my cousin and other family lives in Bend and I would want to let them know.

Your Haiku Weekend sounds intriguing. Silverton is having a Renaissance Fair this weekend, but I will be out of town.

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