There’s something to be said for meetings amongst decentralized teams that take place over time. Not the conference or video call type of meeting, but the kind that takes place in a discussion thread over time. Sure, the immediacy of a real-time brainstorm can often yield interesting and sometimes revolutionary results. But, particularly if your team is weighted more heavily to the introverted end of the scale, ideas are often lost in the thunder and lightning of those sessions while words pull themselves around a good idea over time like a bright white cumulus as the sun comes and goes.
Such was one of those meetings of the editorial team of Tweetspeak back in 2013 when Poetry at Work Day and Take Your Poet to Work Day were born. With one question on the table (which I no longer remember), a meeting went on all day, in starts and stops, with time for thought and exploration, as fledgling ideas were tended to and nurtured into something that’s grown much larger than our creative little group of editors. Poetry at Work Day is now celebrated around the world by writers, readers, teachers, businesses, government entities and more. Here are some of the tweets we saw in recognition of this day, which seeks to find and elevate the poetry already alive and well in our places of work.
There’s good reason to love poetry at work on the Hudson above all others.
Like the pilgrim divests himself of worldly goods,
the garden’s stripped back to a skeleton,
only the vertebrae of paths holds its truest form
even as trees keep blossom close, buds aching
— Wave Hill (@WaveHill) January 8, 2019
It is the work of poetry to translate us, after all.
Putting someone’s words
Into someone else’s tongue
— Surrey Translation (@STB_Ltd) January 8, 2019
Few places need poetry to break out of the lines like a cubicle wall.
— Laura Lynn Brown (@lauralynn_brown) January 8, 2019
On Poetry at Work Day, it’s always good to hear from the patron saint of work-from-home employees, Emily Dickinson.
— T. Keith Edmunds (@tkedmunds73) January 8, 2019
As they say, code is poetry. So it’s good to see the folks at Wix stepping into the game.
The computer screen’s smile
Shines on for miles
The mouse’s warm touch
I love it so much
The keyboard feels great
And I know: this is fate
The phone’s splendid sound
It’s the best thing around#PoetryAtWorkDay
— Wix.com (@Wix) January 8, 2019
(And of course we’re all about equal time for WordPress.)
Like some tweets from the college account,
Check #CAFNR #hesm and #mizzou hashtag amount,
Don’t worry about critics as I run the analytics,
Then I’ll edit the website in #WordPress of course,
And enjoy life in the higher ed workforce! #PoetryAtWorkDay
— Genevieve Howard (@HowGen) January 8, 2019
Along with our friends on the other side of the pond (and the other side of the mountain), we always encourage a good walk to loosen up the stanzas.
— Hillwalk Tours (@HillwalkTours) January 8, 2019
Some days, work can be downright astonishing. Mary Oliver would agree.
"My work is loving the world." ~Mary Oliver
Happy #PoetryAtWorkDay ! @M_Olive1935_5B, thank you for showing us how to be astonished. Such meaningful work. 🙏🏼#amwriting #poetry @tspoetry pic.twitter.com/mhgaPiBYfh
— Shannon Beltz Mayhew (@ShannonBMayhew) January 8, 2019
Always good to see what our friends in radio bring us on Poetry at Work Day, this time channeling Marie Kondo and her tidying magic.
This one is called…
“Tidy desk, tidy mind.”
Up to a point, that’s fine.
(Last time I even SAW my desk
— Tim Lihoreau (@TimLihoreau) January 8, 2019
— Bliss 104.3 (@RadioBlissJo) January 8, 2019
First in the Office at 7:15,
Breaking the silence as I start my scene –
Macavity the Mystery Cat is my song of choice,
As I jeté down corridors, belting full voice.
Now sat at my desk until 6pm,
I’ll be singing along to @ClassicFM#poetryatworkday
— Helena Christie (@HelenaChristie4) January 8, 2019
Rushdie famously said that the work of a poet is to name the unnameable. I think we’ll let this one speak for itself.
— Jemima Laing (@jemimalaing) January 8, 2019
A Poetry at Work Day without bard and entrepreneur William Shakespeare wouldn’t really be a Poetry at Work Day.
"I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all." – Viola, Shakespeare in Love.
— WMU Theatre (@WMUTheatre) January 9, 2019
You may not, however, want to follow poets into the dark.
— ArtsEmerson (@ArtsEmerson) January 9, 2019
The next generation of poets working:
— Auditorium Theatre (@AuditoriumChgo) January 9, 2019
These folks kind of give new meaning to Poetry for Life.
— Transplant Manitoba (@TransplantMB) January 9, 2019
#PoetryAtWorkDay +1 We think everyday should have a little #inspirational poetry in it. Here is a link to a wonderful poem written by our #hospice #nurses. It's a gift for you to #share RT #WednesdayMotivation @hospiceuk @WordsworthTrust @PoetrySociety https://t.co/dKvcTU5Ien pic.twitter.com/C3rIwRJeAe
— Hospice at Home West Cumbria (@HospiceatHomeWC) January 9, 2019
And then there’s poetry (at work) in motion.
Today is #PoetryAtWorkDay. Here's an excerpt from "Snow Dance" by Gary Bryson: "Pillowy powder/Falls from the sky, I gaze in wonder,/As the white flakes fly./Dancing and swirling,/Through the air,/Like an aerial ballerina,/Without a care." What's your favorite poem? pic.twitter.com/GKeCR7h5qs
— Northrop (@NorthropUMN) January 9, 2019
Which, of course, can take on various forms.
A silly poem I posted elsewhere yesterday to wish my franchisee son and FIL, family, and employees Happy #PoetryAtWorkDay
— SandraHeskaKing (@SandraHeskaKing) January 9, 2019
Time is too long for life;
For knowledge it is fleeting.
What have we come for, night, heart of night?
We cannot but dream, die,
And dream that we live still
And, at times, for a moment, wake.
Happy #PoetryAtWorkDay! ✍🏽📚
— EL UNIVERSAL English (@Univ_inenglish) January 9, 2019
Hey. Schoolwork is work. And it’s poetree.
Our 8th grade poets took an excursion to the poetree museum. We had an opportunity to explore different types of poems and tools authors used. 📝@MsJLBolden @tianabean @comenecint @AggieAdmin92 @ELAted_in_AISD #MeetMeintheMidddle #gallerywalk #PoetryAtWorkDay #wearehoffman pic.twitter.com/y8TmJWIgaK
— Mrs. Oguntuga (@MrsOliteracy) January 9, 2019
As we’ve been saying nearly forever: There’s poetry in the workplace. Even in the office supplies.
In honor of #PoetryAtWorkDay, our resident #LACountyArts Poet Laureate (and Director of Research and Evaluation) Bronwyn Mauldin crafted this compelling ode to office supplies. Who knew office supplies could be so inspiring! @guerrillareads #poetry #poems pic.twitter.com/3KYkeFO6tv
— LA County Arts Commission (@LACountyArts) January 8, 2019
Photo by Jan-Helge69, Creative Commons license via Flickr. Post by LW Willingham.