Enjoy a few Socrates staff members’ favorite poems, selected for Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day 2020!

In a Tree House

By Hafiz


Will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,

For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to.

Love will surely bust you wide open
Into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy

Even if your mind is now
A spoiled mule.

A life-giving radiance will come,
The Friend’s gratuity will come –

O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.

From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God.

Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing One
From the lunar vantage point of love.

He is conducting the affairs
of the whole universe

While throwing wild parties
In a tree house – on a limb
In your heart.

Selected by Audrey Dimola, Director of Public Programs, for Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day 2020.


By Muhammad Ali




Selected by Malaika Langa, Director of Finance & Administration, for Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day 2020.


By Frank O’Hara


How funny you are today New York
like Ginger Rogers in Swingtime
and St. Bridget’s steeple leaning a little to the left

here I have just jumped out of a bed full of V-days
(I got tired of D-days) and blue you there still
accepts me foolish and free
all I want is a room up there
and you in it
and even the traffic halt so thick is a way
for people to rub up against each other
and when their surgical appliances lock
they stay together
for the rest of the day (what a day)
I go by to check a slide and I say
that painting’s not so blue

where’s Lana Turner
she’s out eating
and Garbo’s backstage at the Met
everyone’s taking their coat off
so they can show a rib-cage to the rib-watchers
and the park’s full of dancers with their tights and shoes
in little bags
who are often mistaken for worker-outers at the West Side Y
why not
the Pittsburgh Pirates shout because they won
and in a sense we’re all winning
we’re alive

the apartment was vacated by a gay couple
who moved to the country for fun
they moved a day too soon
even the stabbings are helping the population explosion
though in the wrong country
and all those liars have left the UN
the Seagram Building’s no longer rivalled in interest
not that we need liquor (we just like it)

and the little box is out on the sidewalk
next to the delicatessen
so the old man can sit on it and drink beer
and get knocked off it by his wife later in the day
while the sun is still shining

oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much


Selected by Julia Metro, Director of Development & Communications, for Poem-In-You-Pocket Day 2020.

This Is Just To Say

By William Carlos Williams


I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


Selected by Sara Morgan, Communications & Marketing Manager, for Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day 2020.

Untitled Lists of Transformation

The following pieces were written by local high school students participating in the Park’s Sculpture Studio education program. Lead Educator Douglas Paulson asked the students to list things that had been transformed by their experience in Sculpture Studio. The resulting compositions can be read as poetry:


Our paper turned to a book
Our book then got lines
Our book was defined by different words.
Then our book had drawing.
The the inflatable got different things on it.
The inflatable was getting destroyed
We started with paper and markers then went to making objects


My mood
My hunger
My outfit
My mind
My love for dogs
The place changed
the sculpture
the weather
Chirping birds
how many dogs I saw
my tiredness
the leaves
the things I did
Cars driving
the view of nature


Deactivated –> Activated
Human –> Cyborgs
Cyborg rebellion –> New life
Galaxy –> New home
Futuristic –> New land
One control –> Everyone’s control
Rocket                     Metal
Stars                         Anger
Planets                     Happy/Fun
Black hole               Beauty
New inventions      Games


Selected by Douglas Paulson, Lead Educator, for Poem-In-Your-Pocket-Day 2020.

I taste a liquor never brewed (214)

By Emily Dickinson


I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!


Selected by Jess Wilcox, Curator & Director of Exhibitions, for Poem-In-Your-Pocket Day 2020.