Poetry on the wall

A new street movement in Florence

Kaylee Denmead
March 5, 2015

You have probably seen them around Florence: white posters containing just a few lines of poetry affixed on previously defaced walls or derelict buildings. They are the work of Movimento per l’Emancipazione della Poesia, which, for the past five years, has presented poetry in unexpected places.

With its origins in Florence, the movement specializes in hanging anonymously written poems on the sides of buildings. The first building to sport poetry was along via Alfieri, behind piazza d’Azeglio.



photo by Marco Badiani

The last five years have brought much success to the group, whose goal is to publish poetry free of charge and without financial or political attachments. Its members are poets who currently range in age from 15 to 60, and the Movimento, which goes by ‘MEP’ and has now spread to 14 cities, will soon have a presence in Naples, Turin and Verona, as well as having more than 4,000 fans on Facebook (see theflr.net/mepfb and theflr.net/mep).

Looking ahead past its fifth anniversary, the Movimento plans to continue its campaign to promote the place of poetry in modern society. Ultimately, the movement hopes that its efforts will no longer be needed as poetry’s importance gains recognition.

In the meantime, look for the Movimento’s poems around Florence, the white sheets covering the grime with poetry. 

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