Writer’s Block: A Poetry Walk on Woodwell Street

handmade letters attached to residential house reading "certain"
One thing is certain: Woodwell Street continues to impress with block-long public art projects

When last we left Woodwell Street—a single long residential block at the north end Squirrel Hill—it was full of bright color. Thin streamers from every point in the rainbow decorated lamp posts and trees like electric shafts of light. House after house, the community art project was a wonderful, safe, deep pandemic way to get out and experience little bursts of joy.

Woodwell Street is at it again, read the email from dedicated streetwalker Lisa Valentino, and she wasn’t kidding. (The block mounted a yarn bombing project between then and now, we’re told, but we missed that one.) Woodwell Street is currently host to an excerpt of Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb,” displayed (mostly) one word at a time, house-by-house, in block letters attached to front porches and dug into flower beds.

The poem, written for and first delivered at the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris, is a call to action. To merge mercy with might and might with right are fabulous words with terrific intention. Walking down Woodwell Street on a blessedly beautiful day like the one we happened to catch is a wonderful experience of community effort, but putting those heady words into action isn’t so easy. Let’s all see what we can do.

handmade letters attached to residential houses reading "but one thing"
But one thing
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "is"
is
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "certain"
certain:
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "if we"
if we
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "merge"
merge
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "mercy"
mercy
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "with might"
with might,
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "and"
and
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "might"
might
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "with"
with
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "right"
right,
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "then love"
then love
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "becomes"
becomes
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "our"
our
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "legacy"
legacy,
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "and"
and
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "change"
change,
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "our"
our
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "children's"
children’s
handmade letters attached to residential house reading "birthright"
birthright.

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