It’s Take Your Poet to Work Day!

Here in the upper Midwest, we’ve had our share of summer storms these past several weeks. Wind, water and hail, and the things they conspire to do while folks are hunkered down in the basement—cursing whoever took out the batteries to the only flashlight they could find in the house—have kept me busier than usual.

take your poet to work day sara teasdale in gear bag

My professional alter ego is a claims adjuster. That means when I got up this morning and dressed my favorite poets for work, I had to explain to Sara Teasdale that climbing a ladder in that pretty dress of hers was going to be a really bad idea. I had to explain to Pablo Neruda that we were driving over to Minnesota, and they wouldn’t look kindly on him smoking that pipe of his in public. I had to tell T.S. Eliot that if he let the cat loose on the roof I wasn’t going to be the one to chase it down. And I spent about an hour trying to coax Emily Dickinson out from behind the mahogany door so we could get on the road.

When we first conceived of Take Your Poet to Work Day, I had no idea how complicated it would be to wrangle a herd of poets out the door and off to the job.

take your poet to work day neruda on ladder

And once we got going, it didn’t get any easier. Eliot kept trying to take the wheel. Neruda talked the two girls into setting up for a picnic in the grass. And seriously? When you sit down to do paperwork, there’s nothing much creepier than Edgar Allan Poe peering at you over the top of your screen.

So I’m wondering how it’s going for you. Did you take your poet to work today? Who did you take? What did your poet do?

take your poet to work ts eliot driving

If you haven’t started, there’s still time to to get in on the fun. Check out our Take Your Poet to Work Day infographic and choose from among our ready-for-work poets that you can cut out, color, and take along with you. And don’t forget to share your stories.

Post a picture and mention or tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (If you Instagram, also tweeting to us will help ensure you are seen.) Maybe we’ll even feature you and your poet!

Here are some great Take Your Poet to Work adventures we’ve seen so far (from the looks of it, the reclusive “I’m not going anywhere with you” Emily Dickinson seems to be a hit. And none of these poets seem to work very hard.)

emily dickinson looking out windowsara teasdale in cupemily dickinson take your poet to workpablo neruda bread













Post and top photos by Lyla Willingham Lindquist. Emily Dickinson looking out window by Ann Kroeker. Sara Teasdale in a teacup by L.L. Barkat. Emily Dickinson in an envelope by Sandra Heska King. Neruda and bread by Monica Sharman.


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  1. says

    This is so good, I’m printing it for keeps!

    Just got Neruda colored. John had to sharpen the few stray colored pencils I was able to round up. Neruda’s got a busy day in the car: Walmart, high school, H-E-B. We’ll see how he does.

  2. says

    Taking Emily out to help me weed and prune–hoping to be inspired to write a few lines in the process. Then it’s back inside at the desk to Get Organized. Wonder what she’ll think of that?

  3. says

    I took Shel Silverstein to work with me today. Drew a picture of a bald guy with a beard and a wry smile. He’s staring at me right now.



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