Poetry From the Skies

Just stumbled across this interesting story of a book author promoting his book by dropping cash from a plane. You can check out the article here. Apparently, another publicity stunt helped him become a bestselling author in Indonesia a few years back.

Since I’m always wondering how to drum up interest in poetry, I started wondering if dropping money from the sky would help the poetic cause as well. Something tells me no, or if yes, then it would be for all the wrong reasons. However, maybe there’s a way to slightly change Tung Desem Waringin’s approach.

Instead of dropping money from the sky, maybe dropping poems from the sky would work. Maybe litter the streets with 8×11 sheets of paper with poems on both sides. Maybe do this once a week over every decent-sized city in the U.S. After all, if people are bombed with poetry long enough, there’s a chance they may actually read–and (gasp!) enjoy what they’re reading.

Or maybe I should get my head out of the clouds.

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12 thoughts on “Poetry From the Skies

  1. Tanya

    Iain – I could go for a Hershey haiku right about now! Even a red poem balloon would be nice on this dreary afternoon.

    I know someone who hand-peddled his poetry on the street, literally out of his pocket or his head straight into the hands of (usually) paying customers. Now that’s service! "Wanna buy a poem?" He has quite the library of poetry books out now. From humble beginnings…

  2. Susan Bell

    Karen, I well remember the balloon projects. We used to put our addresses out there asking people to write and let us know where the balloon ended up. Was watching the news last year though, and saw where a group did that and got in trouble. People fussed about the balloons littering, etc. *sigh* Times they are a-changing.

  3. Susan Bell

    Karen, I well remember the balloon projects. We used to put our addresses out there asking people to write and let us know where the balloon ended up. Was watching the news last year though, and saw where a group did that and got in trouble. People fussed about the balloons littering, etc. *sigh* Times they are a-changing.

  4. Patti Williams

    Got to jump in – because I can’t help it – I like to get down deep – that’s why I keep swimming.

    How about bleeding our words from a plane? Letting them flow down, fall upon the willing, the unknowing, the searching? Let them find the paths we have followed?

    Well I think it’s beautiful.

    Much better than sticking shit on our windshields when we’re in Wal Mart buying groceries, advertisements we don’t want. I would much rather find a poem, a lesson, a hint of love. And if not even love, pieces of a soul. I would much rather find that, yes.

    A part of the truth instead of the scam, the crap, that floats around today amongst our parking lots now.

    I’m just a southern girl, but it might make everyone think a little bit. And how could that be bad?

    Patti

  5. Iain D. Kemp

    Tanya – my Doc has me classified as a socio-phobic so DOH! I do this and am well chilled… A box to put poetry in would be cool! Don’t dowm yerself cos you’re too good. Just imagine a verse you thought still needed revising on the back of a pack of Kellogs! How cool wuditbe (all one word now)? haikus on herseys sonnetts on smoothwhip & a sestina on a …. no, Ok pushing it a little…

  6. Tanya

    A few businesses in my neighbourhood have poems painted on their storefront windows, which is great exposure. I really like the idea of a poetry box, but I’d be too shy to leave anything there.

  7. Iain D. Kemp

    Or…. (when there are no missing children) poems on milk cartons. Or maybe the sponsored HEINZ prize for poetry with poems on the back of ketchup bottles. Next to the ingedients on packets of frozen peas would be handy and of course (my favourite) poems about Cats, Poetry and Death on cigarette cartons.

    Oh yes! and the public flogging of teachers ( and anyone else) who think learning poems of by heart is the way to stimulate the young mind!

  8. Joannie Stangeland

    I admit that I would have a concern about litter. Riffing on the plane idea, I thought about sky writing (although that also gets into some environmental issues).

    On a street near my house, there are two separate poetry boxes in which the residents leave copies of poems for people to take. Then, there’s always poems in windows, chalk on the sidewalk, and YouTube. Plus, people like to participate–to be invited in (even if they hesitate for a while). Why not get interactive and put up a poetry soapbox in a park or create a Make-a-Poem game for Facebook?

    Now it’s back to my regularly scheduled Monday.

  9. Sheri

    I’d like to think that people would respond positively to reading poetry after having cash fall on their heads, but…

    I can’t speak for people in other countries, of course. This is a purely American viewpoint. To a lot of people here Poetry=Boredom. And heaven help us, boredom is something we dread more than just about anything.

    I don’t know if poetry appreciation is ‘taught’ any better nowadays, but when I was in school poetry was made a chore. Instead of enjoying the beauty of the language, the fun of painting with words, we were made to focus solely on meter and ‘meaning’. While those things are important, it’s not all that poetry is about. (Not knowing the proper name for a certain shade of green should not keep a person from appreciating a painting using that color. It might add to that person’s enjoyment, but it certainly won’t detract from it.)

    I’ve loved words since before I could actually write them, but for many years even I equated Poetry with ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’. It was a mental block for me. As I’ve tried to change my writing focus from non-fiction to fiction, I’ve made myself read and write poetry as a way of freeing up my creative self. And ya know what? With all the stress of memorizing meter and digging for meaning taken out of the equation, I’ve fallen in love with poetry. (Reading this blog has helped a lot, too.)

    Now, feel free to drop money on my head. I’ll read poetry til the cows come home.

  10. Karen

    Besides Susan’s astute observations of possible consequences of your idea of the poetry drop, there would be the environmentalists, concerned with who will recycle the paper. Or would you use recycled paper? Would birds or other creatures be hit or harmed? Then, again, you could use rice paper, and they could eat it.

    This sounds like one of those balloon projects from an elementary school. Attach poetry and a contact address to a balloon and see where it ends up!

  11. Susan Bell

    Might work. I can guarantee you that someone will sue because the falling paper obstructed their view or gave them a paper cut. And I’m sure one city or other will decide it’s littering and a hefty fine will ensue. That’s usually how things seem to go.

    Then again, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. 🙂

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