Community-Wide Poem Continued…

Remember that post about collecting poetry in Teds and how we were going to continue to collect more lines on Fairfield way? Wellll…it happened! I know you guys have been waiting on the edge of your seats to see what other lines your fellow students came up with, and I’m sure you need a somewhat legitimate excuse to take a break from studying from your oh-so-exciting finals! So, here it is.

We posted up right outside the library with our little blue strips and our long river review launch party reminders, and began to chase people down. Our opening lines in the beginning started out a bit, frazzled. “Hey, would you like to write me a poem?” Some people may have thought we were their stalkers and others just plain crazy, but that’s the beauty with a guerilla marketing collaboration like this, or any collaboration really. You start from scratch, adjust and then get the hang of things! We decided our opening line would be better served as, “Can you write?” A seemingly silly and obvious phrase, but it got heads to turn. Remember the initial line, retrieved from Art Spiegelman, and by now has been ringing over and over in my head is…

“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have lost at all.” 

We also chalked this quote on the pavement by where we were standing.

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…and now a variety of inspirational to funny to witty lines from students and faculty who stopped on their busy days to come up with these…

“It’s better to pick yourself back up than be too afraid to fall.”

“I took the path less paved and that has made all the difference.”

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“When your love is lost, your whole world is thrown off.”

“Faith!” (Bold and to the point…I like it.)

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Side Note: It was extremely interesting to see the different interpretations people had of our original line we showed them. We would tell people to write the next line as if it were their poem. To write whatever that original line sparked in them. Being a psychology student, thinking of the difference in lines we got. Many of these lines could have been dependent on the person’s mood at the time, showing the emotional connection between one’s current mood and their expression of words or interpretation. A lot of it I felt had to do with the person, who they were and what they have been through. It was beautiful really. To approach strangers, that we know nothing about. Give them lines of paper and some really spilt their heart out. Some directed their lines outward to others in a more advise tone way and others made it personal within themselves. Long or short, it was interesting to see the different takes on handling one set of instructions we gave them, based on the same line. Based on the individual and their experiences, these people became not just random people walking on the streets, but humans with experiences.

“memories of first girlfriend.”

“…because life is full of battles and victories but only the people who tried will come down in history.”

“Don’t be afraid to take chances, don’t be afraid to fall.”

“To love and be loved is the greatest happiness of existence.”

“LOVE IS A GIFT FOR ALL, GIVE LOVE AND YOU WILL RECEIVE.” heart

“We are defined more by our failures than by our successes.”

“…unless that love turns to hate.”

“Not all who wander are lost, and if you’re lost definitely keep wandering.”

“And in Uconn’s case we feel the love, and haven’t lost a championship.”

“because it’s always worth trying isn’t it?”

“Although love is truly never lost.”

“The feeling of loss is a void that can never be filled, an eternal loss.”

“Because you have experienced LOVE.”

“love is one of those complicated things that everyone tries to understand and can’t.”

“What if the heart could remember.”

“time heals all wounds, even when you feel it won’t heal the loss of a loved one.”

“The harder you love the harder you all.”

“When I think about the time he kissed me by Swan Lake, I know why.” (yes I’m saying “AW!”)

“You are so beautiful.”

“NO to graduating…illiterate.”

I lost my universe in a bottle.”

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“Money and Power.”

“Lost Love Loses the Lover.”

“Jump into emotions without turning back.”

“It’s better to have loved and lost JUST BECAUSE.”

“To lose, helps you you grow. If you’ve never lost, you’ll never grow.”

“I’ve never known euphoria without knowing pain.”

“…for to love is to have all needed in life.”

“Just dance, it’ll be okay.”

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“In loss and pain, we find happiness.” (wise words)

“Taking a chance is better than not trying at all.” (wise words again)

“For to lose is to understand what you had. And that just may have been love.”

“Believing is important!”

“It’s better to have lived and lost than never to have lost at all.”

and for comical relief… “My heart goes th-thump when I look at your RUMP!” (phew, we needed that.)

“For that what is lost never has a chance to dwindle and die.”

” Love is everywhere. Take a second and check it out.”

“COURAGE.”

“love is powerful.”

“Work hard and aim for the stars, but don’t forget to kick back and chill at the bars.” 😉

“Fear is not a good enough reason to not do something.”

“Because without sadness how do you know happiness?”

“…said the bitter rose to it’s many thorns x.”

“…unless it’s a Monday.” (And it was! hah)

“Always be a winner, never lose.”

“Love is Kind Love is Patient.”

“Without love there is no peace.”

“Unless your only loss is your calculator right before you calculus final.” (oops)

AND FOR OUR BATHROOM MONOLOGUES…

ISj51LIVAv0eIbXdUiig2dM3KYvR6_4c2_9b5z8CIL4 Hey… guerilla projects can get a little hands on, down in the dirt, but that’s where you can get the best stuff right?

“Why put off something later you could make happen now?”

“So grasp my hand. Let’s take a journey to the unknown. In love we fall.”

“Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain.” -Dave Mathews Band

“Cause nobody wants to be alone.”

“You are beautiful, no matter what they say.”

And some comforting advice to our graduates…

“If life gives you lemons, squeeze em’.”

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I really enjoyed participating in the guerilla art and marketing inspired collaboration and I recommend it to all groups, clubs, and anyone trying to promote or spread awareness about anything important to them. I did not expect to the retrieve the results we did. Sure, you have to be tough and realize there are going to be some people on the street that do not want to participant. But, in a broader spectrum for life, this has taught me you can’t give up hope based on the negative feedback, you have to push through and the positive feedback will be worth it!

Whatever line we got, there was a human behind it, spreading love, spreading advice, spreading emotion. This project also broadened the meaning of “poetry,” for myself and the others I worked with on it. Before form, before poeticism and all the terms that come with it, was just a person. A person trying to express themselves with these words, that are made-up too. Before the words even, everyone is just trying to convey the abstract feelings of love, happiness, sadness, striving, reflecting, defeat, and the list goes on. Even though these words that represent them are made up, the abstract concepts, emotion behind them can not be denied. Expression of oneself, no matter what form, now to me is poetry.

It has also made me realize in interacting with these strangers, had I not tried to interact with these people, I would have never known their sorrow, their hope, their pride. So, before you give the person who got to the coffee counter before you a dirty look, think about the fact that they’ve went through something too. Think about how they can probably relate to one of your abstract feelings of love, sadness or hope. Every single person has loved and lost in some way or another, so smile and acknowledge this “oneness” we all share and remember we are all connected. Thank you for reading and thank you to all that participated in our community-wide poem! And remember, the poem never ends, it just begins with you.


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