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March 18, 2011

Poetry Friday--Oh, to Live in Saint Paul

I love living in New Hampshire! I've been here since 1976 and I'm planning to stay here until I go to that big anthology in the sky. But, just for today I'd like to be from Saint Paul, MN. Why? Because Saint Paul is city that appreciates poetry. And, it allows its sidewalks to be adorned with poems. Isn't that great?

The 4th Annual Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest began on Tuesday and will run through April 17. Winners will have their poems cast in concrete, and, they win a cash prize. Wow! What a thrill that must be! It's almost enough to make me want to move there!

In the past three years, "31 poems have been impressed into 268 sidewalk sites citywide." I especially like this quote from the man who created the program, Marcus Young,
We think nowhere else in the world can the residents of a city publish their poems in a book the size of St. Paul. I encourage all St. Paulites to submit short poems and contribute compelling and beautiful thoughts to the everyday experience of walking our sidewalks.
Good luck to all you St. Paulite poets!

Here's a video that was produced for last year's contest:

So, if you lived in Saint Paul, which of your poems would you submit?

Here's a tanka that might work:
cat's body alert
to the sounds through
the open window
...after the rain
breathing it all in

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
Head over to A Wrung Sponge for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Andi has some nice haiku on there that would look very nice on a sidewalk!


  1. What a cool concept! I think your tanka would work nicely. Thanks for sharing, Diane.

  2. That's fabulous! I can imagine Edinburgh doing that. It would be cool if schools had a poem or two at their entrances.

  3. why isn't every city doing that? seems so relatively low cost and a great way to get poetry in public places/neighborhoods that don't get or see a lot of public art.

  4. This is just too cool -- I agree every city should do the same! Thanks for sharing, Diane :).

  5. There are Japanese gardens in a number of places where haiku are found on paving blocks, plaques, or on boulders. It would be easy enough to paint a poem on a rock in a rock garden, and if it wears off, you can paint another one over it.

    Here's an example.

  6. That is a great city project! We do it in chalk around my school grounds. I love your tanka!

  7. Chalk is good! The teen advisory board did chalk messages in front of our library one spring--such fun!

  8. This is the most HOPEFUL story I've seen all week. This is how cities and government and arts are SUPPOSED to work! Hooray for St. Paul!!

  9. A little dose of hope is always welcomed!