SGH on Why Poems are the Apartments of the Housing World

SGH on Why Poems are the Apartments of the Housing World

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Maxwell Ryan
Jan 7, 2005

City slickers like to pretend they're too hard-boiled for things like poetry, but stanza is Italian for room, and in fact nothing complements apartment living like poetry's sharp lines, quick turns, hard-won grace, and carefully preserved pockets of empty space.

From Walt Whitman's urban sprawl to Eileen Myles' skinny tenements, poems give an expansive skyline back to those of us who spend too much time in subway tunnels and downtown canyons.

At the intersection of poetry and architecture is the exhibit "Walking, Poems & Buildings," which opens this week at Poets House (72 Spring St., 2nd floor) and includes collaboratively produced poems and architectural models of a bus shelter and a "writer's hut."

This season, the hottest, slimmest gift isn't a plasma television—it's a volume of poetry. What's on your shelf? (Thanks, Patricia!) SGH

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