January 14, 2016

Poetry Friday--Something New Every Day

I get lots of email from Pinterest inviting me to explore other peoples' boards on topics we share an interest in. One of those emails led me to poetry board, that led me to an Albuquerque Journal article from last spring. The article tells the story of a calligrapher, Kathy Chilton. Kathy would staple little poems to a telephone pole that stood outside her home. For Christmas 2014, Chilton's husband made her a poetry box. In the wooden box are poetry books and a pen and blank pieces of paper.
"It’s amazing to me how many people have left poetry in the box," she says. "There is something new every day."
Chilton, and her husband, are on a mission to share poetry and her neighbors are responding!

I'm sure you've all seen the news stories about the "Little Free Library" movement where people take a book and/or leave a book to share. Of course, like every good and generous movement that comes along, there are its detractors. Some municipalities have even taken to banning the free libraries due to "zoning laws" and what have you. I believe the good that comes of such an idea far surpasses any negativity. The Library of Congress awarded Little Free Library its Literacy Award: Best Practices 2015, for "outstanding work in the field of literacy." So there, you naysayers!

We can hope that the poetry box idea grows, too! So many avenues for people to explore!

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

It's funny how related things suddenly seem to find their way into our consciousness at the same moment. The article above I found on the same day as I found a quote by William Butler Yeats, which "spoke" to me. Inspired by the poetry box and the quote, I wrote this:
A Perfectly Made Box

A poem makes a sound when it is finished like the click of the lid of a perfectly made box. William Butler Yeats

Perfectly aligned hinges
do not bind.
Its finish is oiled
and polished.
Its scent is reminiscent
of a forest.
It wears the label "art."

It is only when a box
is well used
and showing signs
of wear that
the crisp metallic click
reminds us of
the passion in its making.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I recommend that you now head down south where Keri Recommends is hosting this week's Round-Up!

21 comments:

  1. That's wonderful that people are responding to the poetry box! I like that ending of your poem, Diane, the meaning of that 'crisp metallic click'. And love the serendipity of the quote. Glad you shared!

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    1. There are lots of hidden poetry lovers waiting to be discovered.

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  2. I'd love to know if her husband was aware of the Yeats quote before making the poetry box! For the first time, I wish I lived on a busier road so I could start my own poetry box that wears the label "art." At least this post prompted me to like you on Pinterest (not sure why I hadn't made the connection before). Thanks for opening my eyes, Diane.

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  3. How cool about Kathy's Poetry Box! I'll have to read the article to learn more about that. Seems like it might be great for a school or park? And I can see why that quote spoke to you. Very inspiring!

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    1. School would be a fabulous idea. I've read about "fairy doors" where notes are left for fairies and are answered by fairies (wink, wink). Perhaps the fairies are poets in need of a poetry exchange.

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    2. A school is a perfect place. A new school year is starting in 10 days time in Australia. Methinks that gives me 10 days to find a beautiful box.

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  4. Your poem reminds me of the BELIEVE box that I made for myself. A place to keep little wishes and hopes. It's nice to have something tangible, a box to store poems and ideas, so they become real.

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    1. And to keep the clutter of ideas contained!

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  5. I never read that Yeats quote before. I love it, and your poem.

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    1. Thanks, Ruth. There are some great Yeats quotes. "We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry."

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  6. Love the quote (borrowing for my digital quote wall), and love the community poetry box idea!

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    1. Tell us about your digital quote wall!

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  7. "the click" reminding us of the passion of its making. I've seen a poetry box in a neighborhood in Seattle. They put copies of a poem in the box so you can take one with you. I think we need one near our dog park. We could read and write dog poems. The issue is not zoning, but sadly the Little Free Library in our park was vandalized.

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    1. Vandals! If only they got more of a thrill from reading than from destruction.

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  8. People are so clever, especially you. I love the idea of poetry taking over a neighborhood! We all have a light to shine with our poetry, whether we pursue publication or telephone poles. :-)xoxoxo Thanks for sharing your thoughts on creativity -- I agree that priming the pump is hard. Sometimes I find ideas as plentiful as fallen leaves on the ground this time of year, others I stare in a stupor. Regular participation in Poetry Friday helps!

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    1. Sometimes when working on an idea, the work takes an unexpected turn and becomes something completely different. I love that surprise! That's what keeps me moving.

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  9. What a lovely serendipity of article and quote. Your poem is a perfect companion and speaks to me of the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made box and a well-made poem.

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  10. I am so glad to be joining the Poetry Friday community once more and immersing myself in the beauty of poems that I haven't really read for awhile now. Yeats packs a curious punch in his verse, it blindsides the reader, catches one off guard, and leaves one feeling in awe of how masterful he is as he plays with words. :)

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