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.
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.
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?
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.
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.)
Post and top photos by Will Willingham. 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.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In July we’re exploring the theme Rock and Roll.
- Summer Break & Take Your Poet to Work Day - July 17, 2021
- Adjustments: A Belated Bicentenary Party for John Keats - March 4, 2021
- The Reindeer Chronicles Book Club: You’re Cutting a Tree in Almería and Getting a Storm in Dusseldorf - February 17, 2021