Friday, April 27, 2012

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2012

At the library where I work, we have hundreds and hundreds of these:
The old paper pockets that used to go in the back of library books.  One of my coworkers threw down a challenge to each of the people in my department:  find something to do with these.  So, I used them for Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Originally, I was going to give them only to my coworkers at the library.  I chose this poem by William Carlos Williams:


If you had come away with me
into another state
we had been quiet together.
But there the sun coming up
out of the nothing beyond the lake was
too low in the sky,
there was too great a pushing
against him,
too much of sumac buds, pink
in the head
with the clear gum upon them,
too many opening hearts of lilac leaves,
too many, too many swollen
limp poplar tassels on the
bare branches!
It was too strong in the air.
I had no rest against that
The pounding of the hoofs on the
raw sods
stayed with me half through the night.
I awoke smiling but tired.

William Carlos Williams

I printed out these poems and put them in the little paper pockets with a label on them that said "Happy Poem in your Pocket Day 4/26/12"
I showed it to my supervisor, and she suggested I make some for the library patrons as well. So I chose another poem, one more appropriate for children, by Shel Silverstein:
by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"
 I put these in the poem pockets as well:
and set them out at the public service desk with this lovely sign a coworker made:

Not many were taken, but I still think it was a fun idea that I can hopefully repeat next year.  I'd like to to put in a variety of poems next time, though.


  1. I wish Poem in Your Pocket Day was not during state testing. I was glad that one teacher got behind the idea but sad that we couldn't do more.

    Love the way you created your own pockets for poems and the William Carlos Williams poem is beautiful.

  2. I love this idea too! It was really neat. It really is a shame I don't read poetry more. Whenever you come across a good one like those, pass it along if you think about it ;)

  3. Great idea! I love it. Poetry is really underrated.


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