Poetry Bombing: little literary surprises

Somewhere along the way, in the vast evolution of personal entertainment, poetry got lost.

A study from a couple of years ago highlighted this salient fact when it revealed that over a period of 16 years poetry readers had fallen away by 50% (dropping from a paltry 17% in 1992 to a fairly pathetic 8.2% in 2008).

However, perhaps the problems lie with the method of delivery, more than the idea of poetry itself.

A recent effort to inject a little bit of the poetic back into our daily lives comes in the form of 'Poetry Tags', a new guerrilla art project from Agustina Woodgate in Miami as part of the city's poetry festival.

Billed as a form of poetic graffiti, Agustina sneaks into thrift stores with handfuls of pre-prepared garment labels – adorned with short poems – and hand sews them into clothing.

“Sewing poems in clothes is a way of bringing poetry to everyday life just by displacing it, by removing it from a paper to integrate it and fuse it with our lives,” says Agustina, “Sometimes little details are stronger when they are separated from where they are expected to be”.

It’s all very low key, but much like Yarn Bombing it highlights a return to handicrafts and a rethinking of how literature,  and words themselves, can interact with our existing surroundings, beyond the page of books and the digital restraints of our ereaders.

For brands the message here is about ‘little surprises’ as opposed to big spectacles. The little label that might touch someone in a more intimate and personal way than a message shouted from a 30 ft billboard.

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