Pick a Subject, Get a Poem
I recently had the pleasure of visiting downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania during the holiday break. This small city is worth getting to know. There is a great group of citizens brimming with creative energy and passion–all being directed toward creating a more vibrant community.
During my walk, I rounded a corner and discovered this creativity on full display: I met Abigail Mott, a poet. She sat quietly by the edge of the street on a small chair in front of a folding table with a beautiful black antique typewriter resting upon it. A paper sign, secured only by the weight of the typewriter, hung over the front edge of the table. It read, “Pick a Subject, Get a Poem.”
I was intrigued. I made a beeline and inquired about her story.
Abigail grew up in Lancaster and currently lives in Colorado. She was back home visiting for the holidays and set up shop just outside the busy Lancaster Market to engage the community with her poetry on-demand project.
I love stuff like this and immediately requested a poem. My topic: boisterous children. (I have three kids, two of which are 3-year-old twin toddlers.) She told me it takes about ten minutes to compose a poem.
Abigail inserted a small piece of typewriter paper into her machine. The paper itself was special–a beautiful cream color with a delicate quilt texture. She immediately began to type. There was no moment of deep contemplative thought or writer’s block; she dove right in. Click, click, click.
I stepped away to give her some space. When she reached for her camera phone to snap a picture of her work I knew it was time to return. As I approached the table, the rest of my family, including my three kids, had caught up to me, just in time to hear Abigail read the poem herself.
I love it all. I love the poem. I love the simplicity of what she is doing. It’s brilliant.
It’s also a great reminder on this first Monday of 2016 that we’re all empowered to utilize our creative gifts and that we possess everything we need to start now. There’s no excuse to stall or complain about a lack of resources. Grab a simple pencil and paper (or an old typewriter), let go of that inner judge, and dive right in!
If you’re intrigued with Abigail’s work, be sure to check out her Tumblr and follow her onTwitter.
Wishing you all a very creative and innovative 2016. Happy New Year!