50.5 Million Can't Be Wrong
by Mike Bloomberg
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2012
Hey there, fella! Lady, hey!
Didja hear? It’s “Poem in Your Pocket Day!”
Tenth anniversary – the bubbly’s flowing
People are cheering… yelling… Tebowing
Where best to celebrate this whole affair?
The Crossroads of the World – Times Square
Historic site of many a saga
And on New Year’s Eve… one Gaga
From across the globe, they visit here
50.5 million last year
Wanting to see all they’ve anticipated
Just follow directions – it’s not complicated
Bronx Zoo? (Take the 5 or the 2)
Rockefeller Center? (Walk 6 blocks, then enter)
Empire State? (Bus to Fifth, then go straight)
Ferry to Staten? (At the tip of Manhattan)
Unisphere in Queens? (Get there via several means)
NY Aquarium? (Too far for kids to walk. Just carry ‘em)
“Mamma Mia”? (Right behind you. See ya.)
So on this big birthday of PIYP
Have a fantastic day in NYC
Take in the town – there is so much here to do!
(Just have a Poem in Your Pocket when you do)
Mayor Bloomberg’s poem was published today in Metro New York and appeared on the MTV 44 ½ screen in Times Square 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, MTA Arts for Transit, the Poetry Society of America, the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the Times Square Alliance, and cultural organizations across the City.
Mayor Bloomberg’s poem “50.5 Million Can’t be Wrong” celebrates New York City’s record number of visitors in 2011 and the many iconic places that they come to experience. On Tuesday, the Mayor announced a new tourism goal to attract 55 million visitors and generate $70 billion in annual tourism economic impact by 2015.
In addition to writing a poem, the Mayor hosted the third annual “Poetweet” Twitter poetry contest, from April 6 to April 20. @NYCMayorsOffice received more than 300 poetweet submissions using #NYCpoetweet. The Mayor selected five winners to be published in Metro New York and on the MTV 44 ½ screen in Times Square on PIYP day:
New York's sakura-strewn streets/rivers of pink sing/beauty in the fragility of life/bonds with our sister-city Tokyo/Arigato. #nycpoetweet
City of dreamers/ Keep moving to realize/ No slumber needed/ #NYCpoetweet
I put a poem into my pocket and left behind my wallet. Verily replied the token clerk when I asked would he take a sonnet. #NYCpoetweet
Bought a new cell phone/ I didn't like the last one/ It only made calls. #NYCpoetweet #Haiku #Poetry
The art deco crown of the Chrysler Building/ bends to exchange intimacies/ with Grand Central's eagle/ state secrets #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 PIYP activities.
Poem In Your Pocket day Highlights:
- The Poetry Society of America and Times Square Alliance invite visitors to read poems on a giant “poetry polka dot” in Times Square throughout Poem in Your Pocket day. Starting at 10am, Times Square Plaza, Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets, Manhattan.
- Bryant Park’s Reading Room presents its 8th Annual poetry slam featuring student poets from New York City public schools, NYC youth poet laureate Ishmael Islam, music from Aurora Barnes, poets from literary groups including Urban Word and the Community Word Project, and more. 11am-2pm, Bryant Park, Manhattan.
- Wally's Square Root Cafe and Coffee House celebrates PIYP with some of NYC's best poets. Puma Perl, Thomas Fucaloro, Edaurdo Jones, and many more. 5pm, 584 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn.
- 4 St. Paul’s Gallery and Cafe celebrates PIYP day with an evening of poetry and conversation. Bring a friend and share your favorite poems in an intimate gallery setting. Admission is free. 6pm, 4 Saint Pauls Avenue, Staten Island.
- Poets House hosts an evening of poetry and music about Lower Manhattan with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra and students from local schools P.S. 89 and I.S. 289 celebrating the culmination of a neighborhood arts-education partnership funded by Goldman Sachs. 6pm, World Financial Center,Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street.
- The Academy of American Poets will launch the newly redesigned "American Poet", a bi-annual journal of the Academy of American Poets. Yusef Komunyakaa, Thomas Sayers Ellis, and Sandra Beasley will read from their work, and complimentary copies of "American Poet" (and refreshments) will be available for attendees while supplies last. 7pm, 37 Main Street, Brooklyn.
- Late Night Library presents its Annual Party & Reading celebrating one year of monthly podcasts with simultaneous readings from its home cities of Brooklyn, New York, and Portland, Oregon. Using Skype to transmit readings by Brooklyn- and Portland-based writers who have recently published debut novels or poetry collections, the event allows attendees to communicate in real time. 10pm, South 4th Bar and Cafe, 90 South 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY.
- New York City Public School students across the five boroughs will take time to share poems with classmates, including the Bronx High School of Science and Martin van Buren High School in Queens.
A listing of Poem in Your Pocket day and National Poetry Month events, along with poems for download, are available at www.nyc.gov/poem or through 311.