I came to loving poetry late in life when I realized what was happening when I read a great one. It was just as Emily Dickinson described:

If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

Hungering for THAT experience, I love finding poems randomly in unexpected places, beyond the usual books. This image of a W.S. Merwin poem tacked to a tree reminded me of that very serendipitous kind of beauty:

Here it is once again this one note
from a string of longing

tightened suddenly from both ends
and held for plucking

tone torn out of one birdsong
though that bird

by now may be
where a call cannot

follow it
the same note goes on calling

across space and is heard now
in the old night and known there

a silence recognized
by the silence it calls to


There is a subversive quality to poems randomly found, of words that have the power of a drug…


…to access mind and heart…

…as is Walt Whitman found on a tree:

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid
and self-contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long. 

Part of the lovely mystery is the person who planted the poem…a gift given by a stranger who likely didn’t know who would find it…

Like Agustina Woodgate has been going into thrift stores and secretly sewing poems — here from the 8th century Chinese poet Li Po —inside the clothes. 

Agustina Woodgate guerilla poetry sewn in clothes
Agustina Woodgate

I once came upon a block-long construction barrier plastered with poetry…

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

…and took some time to read them, astonished by the labor taken by a stranger on behalf of strangers…

There are many ways to become a poetry bomber…

An ordinary printer will do to print out all the poems you might want, to slip into someone’s pocket, or tape to a wall, or leave on a bench…

Sally Schneider

Artist Lisa Morphew loves to tape a poem onto any package she sends. Who knows who reads it on its way…?

Sally Schneider

Psychotherpist Rachel Fleischman’s email signature includes a poem...

A magnetic poetry kit will go far to transforming metal public signage…


And there are more formal efforts — installations really — done with planning and calculation, like these bricks hidden around the Central Park Zoo in New York City. They were part of a program created by Poets House to deepen public awareness of environmental issues through poetry.

Poetry Brink, Central Park; Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

I felt serious joy discovering all of them.

My love of that subversion inspired me to seed this webpage with poems…

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