Summer is one of the happiest seasons at Tweetspeak Poetry, because it is the season of Take Your Poet to Work Day (or, you know, to the beach). It’s one thing to start every day with a poem (we recommend it). But how great would it be to start your day with a poet? On Take Your Poet to Work Day, we encourage people around the world to take their favorite poet to work for the day.
Take Your Poet to Work Day is coming July 18, 2018
To help you play and celebrate with us, we’re releasing poets each week in a compact, convenient format you can tuck in your pocket, tool belt, or lunchbox.
We even released a full collection, The Haiku Masters: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa.
In 2015, we introduced the Bard of Avon William Shakespeare, beloved poet Maya Angelou, and iconic American poet Robert Frost, Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, Polish poet Wisława Szymborska, and America’s poet, Walt Whitman.
In 2016, English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, joined in, along with Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Irish poet Seamus Heaney, and English poet and novelist Emily Brontë, Australian poet and activist Judith Wright, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Because you can never have too many poets in your lunch box (or your desk drawer), we launched a new school-year celebration in April, Take Your Poet to School Week, with some favorites for the younger (and younger-at-heart) poetry readers: Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, Robert Louis Stevenson and the always delightful Mother Goose.
This year, we start off our new releases with Argentine poet and author Jorge Luis Borges.
Take Your Poet to Work: Jorge Luis Borges
Get your own Jorge Luis Borges Take Your Poet to Work Day Printable that you can print, color and cut out for the big day.
One of the founders of post-modernist literature, Argentine poet and author Jorge Luis Borges, born August 24, 1899, wrote his first story at age seven and was first published at age nine, when a Buenos Aires newspaper printed his translation of The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. He first garnered international attention many decades later when he won the International Publishers Prize, after which his short story collection, Ficciones, was published in six different countries.
Better known for his fiction work, Borges was influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and Franz Kafka, though Walt Whitman had a profound impact on his poetry. His first poem, in fact, “Hymn to the Sea,” is seen as having been written in Whitman’s style. Borges was recognized as someone deeply immersed in world literature and despite his first spoken language being Spanish, he learned to read English first. HIs first collection of short stories, The Garden of Forking Paths, was published in 1941, after Borges nearly died due to complications suffered following a head wound.
Borges worked in a library for a time, but was fired during the years of the Peron government. As his eyesight began to fail, he started on the lecture circuit. Following the ouster of Peron, Borges was appointed head of the national library and also taught at the University of Buenos Aires. Borges died in 1986.
Excerpt from “A Patio”
Tonight, the moon, bright circle,
fails to dominate space.
Patio, channel of sky.
The patio is the slope
down which sky flows into the house.
—Jorge Luis Borges
Post and illustrations by Will Willingham.