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A poetry stand is a short pole with a display case at the top, made for holding poetry. It is usually placed outside of someone's house, on the sidewalk, where a passerby can stop and read poetry. Physically, a poetry stand resembles the devices used to distribute realty information about houses, although often with different aesthetics, fitting the distribution of poetry. The poetry placed in the stand can be either original poetry, or it can be a poem by a famous poet.

I have only seen poetry stands in a few places in Portland, Oregon, and I don't know if the custom is wide spread outside of Portland. I don't know when the custom begin, although I first remember seeing them around 2005. I also don't know if there is a name for these things other than "poetry stand", but that seems the best descriptive name, if ironically a little prosaic. The use of poetry stands could be seen as a little twee, and a little too "Portland", but I have found them to be quite nice, in the right context. It is a custom that I could imagine spreading, and bringing much light into people's lives.

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