I read enough these days that poetry is dying, an anachronism in the increasingly rapid digital world, destined for extinction, irrelevant to today’s world…
And then I read about 100,000 poems from 300 contemporary poets from 204 countries being dropped on London. A sky full of poems. The Chilean arts collective Casagrande has orchestrated poetry drops (poems on bookmarks) five times previously. In their experience, there has never been a need for a massive cleanup afterwards because people have picked up every poem. Cristobal Bianchi, a member of Casagrande, said, “Every time we have done this before there is not a single bookmark on the ground – people collect them all,” he said. “People fight for the poems, and it becomes a collective reading of poetry.”
And then I watch the videos here of smiling people reaching up to pluck poems from the air. Children gathering them by the handfuls. People reading and sharing what they’ve found. Laughing. Poems fluttering down through twilight into waiting arms.
I tell you. It’s enough to make a grown poet cry….