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Mayor Bloomberg Celebrates 11th Annual <i>poem In Your Pocket</i> Day

April 18, 2013

Mayor's Poem Featured in Metro New York

In honor of the 11th Annual Poem In Your Pocket day, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wrote a poem:

Artistic Freedom
By Mike Bloomberg

April is the cruelest month, I’ve heard a poet say
But not for me because there’s Poem in Your Pocket Day
Each year, I get to publish my new verse – it’s quite a perk
Too bad reporters always ask me to describe my work 

Oh who knows?
Here goes…

My stuff’s not like Dickinson – or Gertrude Stein
I’m not a new Longfellow, though he’s just fine
I don’t write like Whitman, I don’t rhyme like Pope
I don’t sound like Ezra Pound (or so I hope) 

My work’s not like Chaucer or Baldwin or Hughes
My poems aren’t like Emerson’s or Angelou’s
I’m not Robert Frost – though we share a few traits
And I am not Keats (which does not rhyme with Yeats) 

My style isn’t Wordsworth – that’s not what it is
Nor is it like Browning (Not Robert or Liz)
It’s not Dr. Seuss.  It’s not Mother Goose.
I just can’t describe it – I have no excuse 

But hey!
That’s okay…. 

I’m Bloomberg!
Not Ginsberg or Sandburg, you see
I shouldn’t be T.S. 
i can’t be e.e.
I won’t ever rhyme like Muhammad Ali 

I’m me


So I’m free
To be anything I want to be

And that is the note I’ll end upon
New York New York!
Write on Write on! 

Mayor Bloomberg’s poem was published today in Metro New York to encourage New Yorkers and visitors to carry a poem in their pocket and share it with friends, family, co-workers and classmates.

Launched in 2002, Poem In Your Pocket was developed by the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Education. It occurs every April in conjunction with National Poetry Month. This year’s celebration is in partnership with the Academy of American Poets, Bryant Park Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Metro New York, the Poetry Society of America, and cultural organizations across the City.

In addition to writing a poem, the Mayor hosted the fourth annual “Poetweet” Twitter poetry contest, from April 1 to April 8. @NYCMayorsOffice received a record 400 poetweet submissions, up from 300 submissions in 2012.  The Mayor selected five winners to be published in Metro New York on Poem In Your Pocket day:

I run to you/thru stinging rain and climbing snow/I wait for you/My Ironhorse/My Silver Stallion/My M train.

Love is a bldg w/a view,a newstand,hotdog or 2,park bench to sit on,an animal saved,tiny apt cave.Love is this city cuz of u.

Small towns dance/Broadway's river of lights/Gotham's glory walks her lines/immortal heroes/etch their stories on her spine.

Published in the Metro pages, Highest form of success for no wages, Some paid by word some by the feet, I sacrifice space for #NYCPoetweet

upper,lower,left and right metro card,keys, chapstick, cash assign and zip ...order in the coat! #NYCPoetweet

Literary organizations across the city will celebrate Poem In Your Pocket with poetry events throughout the day. Event participants are encouraged to use #pocketpoem to inform Twitter followers about Poem In Your Pocket activities.     

Poem In Your Pocket day Highlights:

  • Poets House hosts a Poem in Your Pocket Day Celebration inviting visitors to its Battery Park City headquarters and the World Financial Center Winter Garden to receive a poem to read and carry throughout the day. The literary organization will also begin the day with a community breakfast and open mic at 9AM and continue the celebration with readings by schoolchildren. Events begin at 9AM, Kray Hall at Poets House, 10 River Terrace, Lower Manhattan.

  • Staten Island Museum will be handing out poems that showcase their Cicada exhibition. Carry a cicada poem in your pocket for Poem in Your Pocket Day. All day, 75 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island.

  • Bryant Park’s Reading Room presents its 9th Annual poetry slam featuring student poets from New York City public schools. Cultural Affairs Commissioner Levin and Chancellor Walcott will attend the event at 12:30pm and read a poem. 11:00am-2:00pm, Bryant Park, Manhattan.

  • Brooklyn Museum will offer free admission on Poem in Your Pocket day to visitors who carry a poem in their pocket and present it to the admissions desk. 11:00am-10:00pm, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.

  • At the College of Staten Island, poets Sarah Gambito and Elana Bell will celebrate National Poetry Month as they read poetry in the Library Theatre. 3:30pm-4:30pm, Room 103, College of Staten Island. 

  • Americas Society hosts “Friendship and Cosmopolitanism in Argentine Art and Literature 1920-1930.” In conjunction with Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges, The Art of Friendship contributors to the exhibition's catalogue will examine the creation of a cosmopolitan movement in the midst of the cultural effervescence occurring within Buenos Aires in the 1920s. 6:30am - 8:30pm, Americas Society, 660 Park Avenue, Manhattan.

  • NYU Creative Writing presents Cave Canem Fellow, welcoming guests to celebrate poetry by attending readings from new poetry collections by Cave Canem Fellows. With featured poets – Colleen J. Mcelroy, Roxane Beth Johnson, Remica L. Bingham. 7:00pm, Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 West 10th Street, Manhattan.

  • NYU King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center will present Writing in New York, New York in Writing, featuring students of the NYU MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish program rewriting Federico García Lorca's experience of New York. This event is part of Lorca In New York: A Celebration (April 5-July 21, 2013), the largest-ever festival in North America celebrating the work of acclaimed Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. 7pm-8:30pm. King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, New York University, Manhattan.

A listing of Poem in Your Pocket day and National Poetry Month events, along with poems for download, are available at or through 311.

Media Contact

Marc LaVorgna/Julie Wood
(212) 788-2958

Media Contact

Danai Pointer/Ryan Max
Cultural Affairs
(212) 513-9322