|A poem in St. Paul's Saint Anthony Park Neighborhood. |
Here's the text:
There's no place I'd rather be
in this quiet common place
where late morning sun
meets the scent of concrete and cut grass
Each spring here in St. Paul, we can finally see the sidewalk again after the annual snowmelt. This year--the year of "the winter that wasn't"--we've been able to see the sidewalks for ages. And those of us who've been paying attention have noticed more and more poetry pressed into the pavement.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Well, April is not only poetry month in the library calendar, it's also poetry month in the sidewalk replacement calendar, at least in St. Paul, Minnesota.
It's time for the annual St. Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest, an initiative of Marcus Young and Friends, Saint Paul Public Works, and Public Art Saint Paul (the same folks who brought us fantastic large-scale photography by Wing Young Huie along University Avenue in St. Paul).
St. Paul's sidewalk poetry is what it sounds like: short poems penned by local writers and then pressed into the still-wet pavement by public works employees. This year, the contest runs until midnight on Friday the 13th (tomorrow), so if you're a St. Paul resident, capable of writing very short poetry, possessing both internet access and three bucks, this could be your chance to be pressed into a sidewalk, to make your mark in the world of poetry and public works all at the same time.
Want to learn more? There's loads of information here. And one of the greatest links is a page that lets you locate poems on a city map.
So even if you're not in St. Paul, take a virutal stroll down the streets and celebrate the early snowmelt, the sunshine, and the poetry...right under your feet.