Tuesday, April 25, 2023

What's Your Zip Ode?

It may be because I'm working on a project with the National Postal Museum, but I think Zip Odes are big creative fun!

Invented in 2015, the Zip Ode is a five-line poem about where you live, written in the form of your zip code

O, Miami Poetry Festival, and Miami-based radio station WLRN host an annual initiative to collect Zip Odes every Spring, but the form has also traveled all around the world.

To create your own Zip Ode, just write the numbers of your zip code down the left-hand side of your page. Each number determines the number of words in that particular line.

(If you have a zero in your zip code, that line is a wild card! You can leave it blank, insert an emoji or symbol, or use any number of words between 1 and 9.)

But what if you live in a part of the world that uses letters, as well as numbers, in the local postal codes?

Kris Archie came up with a solution for areas that have postal codes with letters instead of numerical zip codes. When a line has a letter instead of a number, that line has one word that must begin with that letter -- like so:

V5B 3H4 (by Kris Archie)

long grey rainy days in
Magnolia blossoms bursting
Over Archie Olson family

Give it a whirl and create your own Zip Ode!

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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