Today on My Poetic Side we look at the pandemic poetry going viral and the GoFundMe for the City Lights Bookstore.
Poem Created Using Emails Goes Viral
An English teacher from Virginia, USA posted a poem that she had created on Twitter over the weekend. She created the poem using the opening lines of emails that she had found in her inbox since the country went into quarantine.
The poem which is titled
features the lines
on a repeating basis.
It didn’t take long before the poem had been shared rather a lot. In fact, it took less than 24 hours before the poem had been liked over 83,000 times and shared by 23,000 people. It was also the inspiration for a number of other poems of a similar type including one written by a student nurse that was made up of lines taken from emails she had received from her college. Another poet chose to do things a little differently by creating a poem using the last lines from their emails and the refrain
For many people, poetry is proving to be a real source of comfort during the Coronavirus pandemic and a way in which they can express their fears and concerns from the confines of self-isolation. Poets who have been popular have included a 9-year-old girl in the UK who praised the NHS and a nurses partner in Salford who had his poem read by the actor Christopher Eccleston on BBC radio.
A 29-year-old Royal Navy petty offices who performed his poem online in March received over 241,000 views in just two weeks His poem written with a nod to his native Yorkshire dialect reflected on the panic buying of toilet paper and pasta in the supermarkets.
In March an anthology of poetry written by interpreters, doctors and cleaners who all work for the NHS was released. The book was titled These are the Hands and was named for a poem by Michael Rosen who is currently in hospital suspected of having Covid-19.
Simon Armitage, the UK poet laureate, also released a poem about the quarantine in the middle of March. Lockdown tells the story of the bubonic plague in Eyam which took place in the 17th century, before looking at Meghaduta, the epic Sanskrit poem written by Kalidasa.
GoFundMe for City Lights Bookstore
Located in San Francisco, the City Lights Bookstore is one of the most famous independent bookshops in the world. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this small store with an important history has already found itself in dire straights
They started a GoFundMe with the hope of raising $300,000, their efforts were more than rewarded when it just a week they had received $400,000 from over 9000 contributors.
The bookstore was co-founded by the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953. It not only holds a special place in the local community but also in the hearts of poet enthusiasts all over the world. The bookstore also had a publishing arm which was instrumental in helping the writing careers of Ferlinghetti and other beats poets including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.