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Worries of a Poet on World Poetry Day

Worries of a Poet on World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day one and all! : I think this is a lovely idea but two things worry me ... actually I'm wrong, a lot more than two things worry me.)

On 21 March 2016 World Poetry Day many coffee shops will let you pay for your beverage with a poem. According to this Daily Telegraph article 1,280 coffee shops around the globe are participating.

There has been debate, for as long as poetry has been written, about what poems are worth. So today we have an anser - if you push the boat out and choose a double-shot mocha, with oodles of whipped cream and chocolate and whatever else you can find behind the counter, then your poem is worth perhaps £5. I haven't actually attempted to buy such a behemoth of a coffee with a poem, but I suspect the eligibility might only extend as far as a straight filter coffee and no fancier.

... Does your average coffee shop have specialist poetry valuers who can look at a poem and know that a haiku or a limerick entitles the bearer to a certain level of coffee reward, a sonnet or a sestina earns a little more, and on and on up the scale? It would be a lively scene at the counter as poet and barista verbally brawl over negotiations of poetry and coffee. Actually, I think I would quite enjoy drinking there!

Let's fast forward past the negotiations ... you've sold your poem and consumed your coffee. Does this mean your poem has now been published? Has swapping it for five pounds of coffee now exclueded it from having a chance of winning a £100 local competition? My, that was an expensive coffee you've just drunk.

In keeping with the excellent essay by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D (watch the film Dead Poets Society if that one has escaped your notice), to make sure that you are empowered with solid facts for World Poetry Day 2017, I will spend the rest of this year researching, tabulating and graphing a reference guide equating poems with their relevant worth in measures of coffee. I anticipate it being ready for purchase, costing £99 from all good local Amazon bookshops in time for Christmas ...

Published inPoetry


  1. Antoinette Rock Antoinette Rock

    Happy Poetry Day!
    Hope more people become aware of the many values of poetry.
    Read and read and read!!!!

  2. Susan Susan

    I would not have thought of it that way! Thanks for the eye-opener! Fortunately, I don’t drink coffee and won’t have to purchase any with my poems. LOL

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