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National Poetry Month: Community Poem 2022

Exquisite Hope 2022

Photo of the collaborative poem created for National Poetry Month, 2022. Poem written on a large piece of butcher paper with colorful markers.

There’s a poem in this place—

That nobody can erase —

Let me take Lukas to space,

Where the sun shines,

And the stars cheer on,

Far from the dissonance that wracks my mind — tugging

And me here kept on the ground, continuing on, chugging

perhaps wombats

I bought some magic beans

Upon an astral sea of shining stars

perhaps it was all my imagination

the hill we climb

The tree leaves dance in the wind

The dog walked beside the cat

The Elevator chimes as it opens

the moon is full tonight

The cow jumped over the moon

The grass wasn’t greener

I need to fix my broken nail


Stars glistening beyond the moon

The Beaches white sand

The puck gliding across the ice

Sitting the dark, feeling like a starless night


The chill is alleviated, summer is orange

Although the seasons change, I remain the same.

Lukas returns with the banana

Apocalypse — an unveiling, not the end


Climb the mountain full of wonder

The moon pulled over her silver blanket

The sun gave her a thousand kisses

And I wish we could revisit what we’ve

loved, lost, remembered and regretted.

Cold, crisp wind strikes the heart <3 

dot, dot, dot, dot, dot …

Someone up there must be

looking out for me

because things are starting 

to look up in my life

Life is not an easy thing in itself,

but the rewards of life are more and more glorious.

And as my crops grow and flourish, 

I’ll make sure to care for the soil,

Water the seeds within my mind, so

the fruit becomes full of wisdom. I’ll 

savor the bite of this fruit, while gazing

at the hard work I’ve done.

In the end

they all looked at each other

and said nothing

for there was nothing to say

Photo of  the poem in progress on a table, with markers and a National Poetry Month poster.

The University Libraries invited members of the CU Boulder community to visit the library on April 12-13, 2022 from 1-3pm to contribute anonymously to a community poem.

Inspired by the 2022 National Poetry Month poem "In This Place (An American Lyric)" by Amanda Gorman, participants will anonymously contribute a line of poetry to be added to one long collaborative poem that we are calling "Exquisite Hope." The starting line will be the same as Gorman's poem:

National Poetry Month 2022 poster design including the first line from Amanda Gorman's Poem "In This Place (An American Lyric):" "There's a poem in this place --"

There's a poem in this place—

This type of collaborative poem shares its origins with the Surrealists’ Exquisite Corpse game. The game is necessarily collaborative, requiring multiple participants, and is traditionally played with paper and pen. One player writes down a word, phrase, or line and then folds the paper to hide their contribution before passing it to the next player. The result is poetry of chance that a single author could not have imagined. 

The final poem is above. Thank you for participating!

National Poetry Month 2022 Poster courtesy Academy of American Poets.