I somehow got the idea of putting poems into Easter eggs and hiding them in some public place for people to find. I do want them to be all-ages (or at least PG-rated) poems; although it's mostly for unsuspecting grownups, some kids might get involved too. I'm hoping for a blend that leans toward easily accessible poems, with a little bit of funky stuff mixed in.
I took these 40 poems, made twelve copies of each, and stuffed them into 480 plastic eggs. The full text of the poems is listed at: http://www.vaxer.net/~sylvar/eggs/
- Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself", verse 1
- JRR Tolkien, "A box without hinges, key or lid" (egg riddle)
- Emily Dickinson, "I never saw a Moor"
- Spike Milligan, "Love Letter"
- Carl Sandburg, "Fog"
- Walt Whitman, "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"
- Elizabeth Flynn, "After Grave Deliberation..."
- Thomas Moore, "An Argument: To Any Phillis or Chloe"
- Richard Wilbur, "Parable"
- Dave Padilla, "The Easter Egg Hunt"
- Samuel Hoffenstein, "Babies Haven't Any Hair"
- Morris Bishop, "The Naughty Preposition"
- Arthur Guiterman, "Local Note"
- Arthur Guiterman, "On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness"
- James Facos, "Fable"
- Felicia Lamport, "Poll Star"
- E. B. White, "Commuter"
- Leigh Hunt, "Jenny Kiss'd Me"
- Dorothy Parker, "One Perfect Rose"
- Lord Bowen, "The Rain It Raineth"
- Ogden Nash, "The Termite"
- Langston Hughes, "Advice"
- D. H. Lawrence, "Intimates"
- Ben Jonson, "Song"
- Clement Barksdale, "To My Nephew J.B."
- John Bunyan, "Upon The Snail"
- Henry Aldrich, "A Catch"
- Esther Johnson, "If It Be True"
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Eagle"
- Robert Browning, "Meeting at Night"
- Coventry Patmore, "Magna Est Veritas"
- Eden Phillpotts, "Miniature"
- Robert Frost, "A Mood Apart"
- Frances Cornford, "Childhood"
- Marianne Moore, "Poetry"
- Phyllis McGinley, "The Adversary"
- e.e. cummings, "sweet spring"
- William Carlos Williams, "This Is Just To Say"
- Shiki, "Heat"
- Arnold Franken-Major, "Easter Surprise"
I delivered sets of eggs to public libraries all over Pinellas County (the west side of the Tampa-St. Petersburg bay area). In some cases I even had time to help hide them.
Reports were uniformly positive, but the way readers reacted varied. Some brought the eggs up to the circulation desk; others kept the eggs for themselves. (Which is what I had intended.) The most surprising, and thoughtful, response was to unfold the poem, read it, carefully fold it back up, and put the egg back for the next person to find!
I don't know if I'll be able to do this every year, but I've got the poems on a CD-ROM in case I'm asked to help out again. This was fun!
Thanks, everyone, for your contributions.