Watch Miami Pedestrians Recite Poetry During O, Miami 2014

The O, Miami Poetry Festival has dreamed up dozens of creative ways to expose Miamians to poetry: flying banners in the sky, sewing verses into thrift store clothing, marching through the streets dressed as dead poets.

But during O, Miami 2014, artist and writer Elena Errazuriz took a more straightforward approach. She stopped pedestrians on a busy downtown street corner near Miami Dade College, put a poem in their hands, and asked them to read it aloud.

Errazuriz filmed over 50 passers-by reciting "This Is Just To Say" by William Carlos Williams. She's compiled the results into a video ode to poetry, the people of Miami, and the transformative power of reading verse aloud.

"Is there any point to poetry," Errazuriz asks. "The answer sometimes given is beauty. Beauty for its own sake. And to picture beauty you can use people."

That exactly what the video above has done. Its many voices come together to transform a collection of simple lines into a broader, beautiful portrait of the city.

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Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle

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